If you have a large watermelon or leftovers and are wondering if can you freeze watermelon - this is the article for you. During summer watermelon is enjoyed at BBQs, picnics, and just about every gathering so no wonder extras are often in our kitchen. It can be enjoyed long after the hot days of summer are over, by simply preserving some for later.
To retain watermelon for later enjoyment, there are some key things you can do. With just a few steps and some planning, freezing watermelon can be done right. Learning how to freeze watermelon in a few steps is quick and easy. Here I share all my top tips on freezing, defrosting, and using frozen watermelon in some tasty recipes.
When fruit is in season we try and enjoy as much of it as possible. Sometimes we have an abundance on purpose or by accident. Seasonal fruits are great to enjoy right away when fresh but also some are great for drying or freezing for later enjoyment.
Can You Freeze Fresh Watermelon?
Whether you have whole, half, or slices of watermelon, it can be frozen. The best way to keep watermelon for later enjoyment is by safely freezing it. Yes, it is freezer-friendly. Not only is it safe to freeze watermelon, but it does also freeze well.
The only drawback is that you won't be able to bite into a juicy slice and have that same crisp texture that fresh has. Once the watermelon thaws, the texture will change and be soft and some of the water will be released. But rest assured the chunks, pieces, or juice will have the same wonderful flavor and it's great in many recipes.
Best Ways to Freeze Watermelon
When freezing watermelon, first off make sure it is fresh and of good quality. Melon that has already spoiled, dried out, or is no longer at its peak of freshness will not freeze well and is not worth saving. It is best to remove the seeds and cut the watermelon up when it comes to freezing it.
Ways to freeze watermelon is by cutting or pureeing it to store in the freezer. Flash freezing is the best in small chunks but there are other ways to do it. Before you prep the watermelon for freezing, ask yourself a few questions first. These questions will help you decide how to freeze watermelon.
- How much room do I have in my freezer for watermelon?
- What containers or freezer-safe bags do I have for storing frozen watermelon?
- How will I enjoy & use thawed watermelon later?
All of these questions and answers will help you decide how to go about freezing it. If you have very little space in your freezer or want it for sorbet later, puree or juice of the watermelon is the way to go. If you want a smoothie or gazpacho, with plenty of freezer space, slices or cubes of watermelon are the way to go.
- Freezing Slices
- Freezing Cubed Watermelon
- Freezing the Juice or Puree of a Watermelon
Now that you have decided how best to freeze your leftover watermelon, check out other tips and tricks that will help you out. Make sure you know how best to freeze it with a step-by-step guide in the recipe card below. Also, find out how long it will keep in the freezer and how best to defrost it.
BONUS: Oh and there are recipe ideas below too!
How Long Can You Freeze Watermelon?
Frozen watermelon can last for up to 9 months in the freezer if stored properly. As long as it is in air-tight containers or ziplock bags that are well sealed, it will last in the freezer for a long time. Any frozen watermelon that has been exposed to air, has frostbite, or has thawed and refrozen is not best to use and has gone bad. If that has happened, it is best to throw it out.
What to Do with Frozen Watermelon?
Can you eat frozen watermelon and what to do with it are common questions. Once that juicy summer fruit is solid in the freezer, what next? There are many recipes and ideas that make use of frozen watermelon. You can also use defrosted watermelon that was previously frozen in yummy recipes like my Watermelon Mint Martini.
- Smoothies - throw some frozen chunks into a blender with other ingredients like vanilla yogurt, ice cubes, and other fruits.
- Cocktails - use watermelon juice or the blended puree to make cocktails like my recipe for a martini or use frozen watermelon cubes in place of ice in a fun drink.
- Sorbet - grab a blender and a few ingredients to make a yummy Watermelon Sorbet for dessert.
- Ice Cream/Gelato - use the juice, puree, or chunks to make watermelon ice cream by replacing the mango in my Best Ever Mango Ice Cream with pureed/strained watermelon instead.
Defrosting Frozen Watermelon
To use the watermelon in recipes, you may or may not need to defrost it. Whether you need to soften it a bit before blending or want watermelon juice to be completely liquid again, the best way to thaw it is in the refrigerator. If you want a slushie or smoothie, you may use frozen cubes straight from the freezer.
Remove the frozen watermelon cubes or juice from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator. Depending on the size of the frozen pieces, it can take from 6 hours to 2 days for them to be completely thawed. Then use it with one of the above yummy ideas or recipes. Try and use the defrosted watermelon within 1-2 days.
The best thing you can do to freeze watermelon safely is to make sure you have the right equipment. Whether you freeze chunks or puree, making sure watermelon is in freezer-safe containers that keep air out is important. Here are some items you may find helpful the next time you freeze some melon or other fruits.
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Make sure to store the watermelon for up to 9 months in the freezer. Labeling the container or bag will help you keep track. Place the containers or ziplock bags in the freezer where they will be flat or not tip over or be exposed to possible puncture.
As mentioned above, use thawed watermelon within 1-2 days. Make sure any you are not able to use right away is thrown out. Also, throw out any that has gone bad. How can you tell watermelon is not safe to eat and has spoiled - it is slimy, smells sour, discolored, or has a fuzzy or tacky texture.
Freeze the watermelon as soon as you know you will not be using it all right away. The fresher the watermelon is, the better quality it will be months later when you use it.
Can You Freeze Watermelon?
- freezer storage containers or Ziploc bags
- Remove the rind and seeds from the watermelon.
- If freezing slices, cubes, or chunks, cut them into the big or large-sized pieces you prefer.Place watermelon cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze for 1 hour. After 1 hour, place the flash-frozen watermelon chunks in an air-tight container or sealable bag. Label with the date and place in the freezer to continue freezing until solid.
- If freezing puree or juice, blend or process the watermelon to the desired consistency. Place the liquid watermelon in an air-tight container with a tight-fitting lid. Label with the date and place it in the freezer.
- Store for up to 9 months in the freezer.
- To thaw, see the tips and tricks in the section above for defrosting watermelon.
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