There is nothing better than biting into a juicy, sweet watermelon. No matter how much we enjoy the delicious taste, the question remains, does watermelon go bad?
When purchasing watermelon from the local grocery store, the last thing we think about is how long is a watermelon good for. We often opt for the whole thing rather than a quarter or half because of cost; we tend to overlook shelf life and storage options.
Buying the whole watermelon isn’t necessarily the wrong choice, as long as we make sure the fruit doesn’t go to waste. All too often, when we buy it, we end up throwing some of it away because, realistically, there is only so much watermelon we can eat at a time.
Knowing the answer to when does watermelon go bad is the first step to eliminating waste. The other part is learning about the different ways to preserve it.
How Long is a Watermelon Good for and Other Useful Tips
When purchasing watermelons, select the ones with dull skin and no cuts or dents. Look for an oblong or round shape with no flat sides.
A creamy yellow patch is a sign of a sweeter tasting fruit. Rather than throwing away any extra watermelon, let’s take a minute to talk about the various storage options for maximum freshness.
Does Watermelon go Bad? How You Can Tell
Does cabbage go bad? What about peaches and watermelon? Like all kinds of food, yes, watermelon does spoil.
How to tell when a watermelon has gone bad depends on whether it’s cut or not. It’s harder to tell when whole watermelons have spoiled because the flesh is encased inside the rind.
If any mold appears on the outside of the rind, throw it away immediately. In most cases, the watermelon is still good if the outside is firm to the touch and offers a uniform color with no bruising.
Bruising and dark spots located on the rind require further investigation as it doesn’t tell us anything about the condition inside.
To determine if the watermelon is rotten, you must examine the flesh, which means cutting into the watermelon. Doing this does reduce its shelf life, however.
Determining if it is rotten is easier once it’s cut. Inspect the cut fruit closely for any loss of color or dark spots. The color change won’t make you sick, but it won’t taste as sweet as it should.
A sour smell is a sure sign of spoilage. Mushy, slimy flesh is also a sign that the watermelon is past its prime. It’s possible to discard the mushy, slimy pieces and eat what is leftover.
How do you know if an onion is bad? Use the same markers to tell if your onions have spoiled.
Sight, smell, and touch are all excellent indicators of spoilage in many fruits and vegetables, as in how to tell if green beans are bad or tomatoes, or even eggplant.
How Long Does Watermelon Last?
Once cut from the vine, watermelon lasts about four weeks if kept at room temperature. To extend the shelf life by two weeks, transfer it to the fridge.
For store-bought watermelon, it is strongly recommended you consume it within ten days of purchase.
It takes at least two weeks for watermelon to reach the local grocery store, plus it sits for several days before buying. If you know when the watermelon was harvested, it’s easier to determine when it’s no longer any good.
When Does Watermelon go Bad after Cutting?
Sliced or cut watermelon keeps up to five days inside the fridge. Whether you cut it yourself or you bought it that way, you must refrigerate it immediately.
Wrap it tightly inside plastic wrap or store in an airtight container. Unwrapped fruit dries out in the fridge and allows it to absorb smells from inside the refrigerator, altering the taste.
Cut your watermelon into the same size as your graham cracker squares. Spread a layer of whipped topping on each graham cracker square. Place the cut watermelon on top of the whipped topping and cover with the second graham cracker square.
How to Store Cut Watermelon
When cutting into the watermelon, only cut as much as you need. This way, you only have to preserve a large piece and perhaps a handful of leftover bite-sized ones. The larger the cut pieces are, the easier they are to store.
To store cut watermelon with the rind still intact, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then place inside the fridge. It keeps for one week.
The plastic wrap prevents the fruit from picking up any extra flavors or smells while sitting inside the fridge. It also keeps the flesh moist. You can use plastic wrap for bite-sized pieces or pieces without the rind, but that gets messy.
Instead, store these pieces in airtight containers or resealable plastic bags. Use the watermelon within three to four days. After just one day, the liquid that gives watermelon its sweet taste begins to seep out.
Can I Freeze Excess Watermelon?
It is possible to freeze watermelon, but taste, color, and texture change during the process. As watermelon is mostly water, freezing doesn’t work the same as with other fruits. Once thawed, it turns a bit mushy, and the color and taste are different.
To freeze excess watermelon, cut away the rind, remove all the seeds, and cut it into cubes. It’s also possible to freeze it in bigger pieces, including slices.
Cover a baking sheet with some foil and spread out the cubes. Place inside the freezer until frozen. Transfer the frozen watermelon cubes to a resealable plastic bag, label with the date, and return the bag to the freezer.
Our favorite way to use frozen watermelon cubes is inside smoothies. You can also use the frozen cubes to create watermelon infused water.
You can follow a similar process when freezing squash without blanching it. Cut it into cubes or slices – there’s no need to remove the skin on summer squash – and pack it into a zipper seal bag for the freezer.
Pour all listed ingredients into a high-power blender. Blend the ingredients until smooth. Add more liquid as needed if the smoothie is too thick. Once blended, taste for sweetness. Add more honey if desired.
Tips for Using Frozen Watermelon
Watermelon doesn’t come with an expiration date, but if you can’t use it all within one week, your best choice for long term storage is storing watermelons in the freezer.
While you won’t want to eat frozen watermelon straight out of the freezer, it works well in smoothies, drinks, ice cream, and many other recipes.
Start by blending the frozen watermelon in a food processor – this replaces the churning process in ice cream machines. Add the salt and sweetened condensed milk. Blend all ingredients until smooth, roughly 5 minutes.
Dish the sherbet out into airtight freezer-safe containers or resealable freezer bags. Place everything inside the freezer for two hours before serving. Keep any remaining sherbet frozen for up to two weeks.
Thank you for coming to learn the answers to how long is a watermelon good for. If you found any of our tips on when does watermelon go bad useful, please share on Facebook and Pinterest so others can learn what to look for in checking watermelon freshness.