Watermelon lovers know that the juicy and refreshing taste of a perfectly ripe watermelon on a hot summer day is incomparable!
But sadly, as much as we wish it wasn’t true, watermelons do eventually go bad.
But how long can you expect your watermelon to last?
And can you leave it out on the counter, or do you need to store it in the fridge?
And once you’ve cut it open, how many days can you keep it before it goes bad?
In this article, we’ll explore how long watermelon are good for and give you some tips on how to tell if your watermelon is still fresh.
So, let’s dive in and find out everything you need to know to enjoy your watermelon to the fullest!
How Long Is A Watermelon Good For?
At Room Temperature
Let’s start with a whole watermelon that hasn’t been cut yet.
If you’ve just picked up a fresh watermelon from the supermarket or the grocery store, you might be tempted to leave it out on the counter.
However, this is not the best idea if you want to make it last as long as possible.
At room temperature, a watermelon will last for about a week.
After that, it will start to lose its sweetness and texture, and may even develop mold or other signs of spoilage.
In The Fridge
If you want your watermelon to last longer, the fridge is your best bet.
Place your whole watermelon in the fridge and it will last for up to two weeks.
The cool temperature of the fridge will slow down the ripening process and help to preserve the fruit’s flavor and texture.
Just make sure to store it on a shelf and not in the crisper drawer, as the humidity in the drawer can cause the watermelon to become mushy.
In The Freezer
If you have a whole watermelon that you know you won’t be able to eat before it goes bad, you can also freeze it.
All you need to do is cut it into chunks or slices, remove the seeds, and place it in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Frozen watermelon can last for up to 12 months, but it’s best to eat it within the first six months for optimal flavor and texture.
How Long Does Cut Watermelon Last?
Now let’s talk about cut watermelon as once you’ve sliced open a watermelon, it’s important to store it properly to make it last as long as possible.
At Room Temperature
If you’ve cut up your watermelon and plan to leave it out at room temperature, it will only last for a few hours.
The warm temperature and exposure to air will cause it to spoil quickly, and bacteria can start to grow in just a couple of hours.
In The Fridge
The best way to store cut watermelon is in the fridge.
Place it in an airtight container or cover it tightly with plastic wrap, and it will last for up to five days.
However, keep in mind that the longer you keep it in the fridge, the softer and less flavorful it will become.
In The Freezer
You can also freeze your cut watermelon.
Just like with a whole watermelon, remove the seeds and cut them into chunks or slices before placing them in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Frozen-cut watermelon will last for up to six months, but it’s best to eat it within the first three months for optimal flavor and texture.
How to Tell If Watermelon Has Gone Bad
Signs Of Spoilage
No one wants to bite into a spoiled watermelon! Here are some signs to look out for to determine if your watermelon has gone bad:
- Mold or other signs of discoloration on the outside or inside of the watermelon
- Soft, mushy spots or bruises on the outside of the watermelon
- An off or sour smell when you cut into the watermelon
- A slimy texture when you touch the flesh of the watermelon
- An unpleasant taste when you take a bite
If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to discard the watermelon to avoid getting sick.
What Will Happen If You Eat A Watermelon That’s Gone Bad?
As you might have already guessed, eating spoiled watermelon can make you sick.
Bacteria can grow on the surface of the fruit, especially when it’s not stored properly, and cause foodborne illnesses like salmonella or listeria.
These illnesses can lead to symptoms like fever, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Therefore, it’s important to always check for signs of spoilage before consuming that much-desired watermelon slice!
How To Choose A Fresh Watermelon
Choosing a good watermelon is essential to making sure it lasts as long as possible and tastes delicious.
Here are some tips to help you choose the best watermelon:
Pay Attention To Its Appearance And Color
The first thing you should look for is a watermelon with a uniform color and smooth, unblemished skin.
Watermelons should be a deep green color with lighter stripes.
Avoid watermelons with any white streaks or spots, as this could be a sign of underripe fruit.
Check Its Size And Shape
Watermelons come in all shapes and sizes, but the best ones are usually symmetrical and have a uniform shape.
Choose a watermelon that feels heavy for its size, as this is usually a sign that it’s full of water and juicy.
Moreover, make sure it’s the right size for your needs, whether you’re looking for a small personal watermelon or a large one to share with friends and family.
Make Sure It Has The Right Texture And Sound
Finally, give the watermelon a quick tap with your knuckles.
A ripe watermelon will produce a deep, hollow sound, while an underripe or overripe one will produce a dull thud.
In addition to that, try giving it a quick squeeze, as a ripe watermelon should feel firm but slightly yielding to pressure.
The Bottom Line
Now that you know how long your watermelon is good for and how to store it properly, make sure to follow our advice to enjoy the best and most fresh watermelon slices this summer!
- 1 Blender
- 8 cups cubed seedless watermelon
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger juice
- Sparkling water optional
- Fresh mint optional, for garnish
- Blend the cubes of watermelon in a blender.
- To filter the juice, spread a few layers of cheesecloth or a nut milk bag over a big dish.
- Add the lime juice and ginger juice after transferring to a pitcher. If preferred, add fresh mint as a garnish and serve with sparkling water.