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Cantaloupe is a juicy and delicious fruit to enjoy on a warm summer day, or really at any time. Whether you like eating cantaloupe on its own, adding it to a tasty fruit salad, or using it to make scrumptious smoothies, you need to know how to cut it correctly. There are actually quite a few different techniques for how to cut a cantaloupe. Keep reading, and I’ll lay them all out so you can decide which technique you prefer based on your comfort level and how you plan to use the cut cantaloupe.
Table of Contents
- Picking Out the Best Cantaloupe
- Peeling a Cantaloupe
- Removing the Seeds
- How to Cut Cantaloupe
- Cutting a Cantaloupe with the Rind On
- How to Use Cantaloupe
- Storing Cantaloupe
- Freezing Cantaloupe
- Slice, Serve, and Enjoy!
Picking Out the Best Cantaloupe
Before cutting a cantaloupe, you must first ensure that the one you have is ripe and ready to be cut. Part of this comes down to selecting the best cantaloupe at the grocery store and then waiting for it to be perfectly ripe.
When looking for a cantaloupe at the store, stay away from any that have discolored spots on their rind. You also want to avoid grabbing a cantaloupe with a soft spot. Soft or dark spots are an indication that the cantaloupe, or at least a portion of it, aren’t going to taste right.
Once you have picked out a good cantaloupe, the next step is to make sure that it is ripe before you start cutting it. When you press gently on a ripe cantaloupe, you should feel it give just a bit.
If the cantaloupe you bring home from the store isn’t completely ripe yet, don’t rush to cut it right away. Leave it out on your counter to give it a few more days to fully ripen. Trust me, you’ll be glad you waited, as a ripe cantaloupe is not only tastier, but is also easier to cut.
Peeling a Cantaloupe
Once your cantaloupe is ripe and ready to cut, wash it in the sink using cool water or a fruit and vegetable wash. This step is important to make sure all the pesticides are rinsed off of the cantaloupe rind so they don’t transfer to your cutting board.
Next, make sure you have all the tools necessary to cut the cantaloupe. You’ll need:
- A large cutting board (you may want one with wells to prevent any cantaloupe juice from getting on your counters)
- A sharp knife (here are some of my favorite knife sets that cost less than $200)
- Platters for serving and/or containers for storing your cut cantaloupe
Now, we’re ready to start peeling the cantaloupe. Put the cantaloupe on the cutting board and use the knife to cut off the stem ends. These are the narrower ends of the cantaloupe. There should be a visible circle showing where the cantaloupe was once attached to the vine.
Cutting off these edges creates a flat base that will keep the cantaloupe from sliding around as you peel it. Stand the cantaloupe upright on one of the flat surfaces. Use your knife to peel off the rind. To do this, you’ll want to cut downward at a slight angle to curve around the edge of the melon. This will help ensure that you don’t waste too much of the flesh.
As you’re cutting off the rind, it is likely that you’ll miss little strips of green skin here and there. You can go back and clean up these edges after the majority of the skin is off.
Removing the Seeds
Next, cut the cantaloupe in half, length-wise. To do this, start with it standing up on one of the flat sides, then slice the knife straight through the center.
This will leave you with two halves, each with a center full of seeds. Cantaloupe seeds aren’t very difficult to remove. You’ll just need to lightly scrape them off using the edges of a spoon. Then, scoop the seeds out, and discard them.
How to Cut Cantaloupe
So, how do you cut a cantaloupe? There are a few approaches for cutting cantaloupe to choose from. Choose the one that best matches your desired use and/or presentation method for the cut cantaloupe. We’ll start with ways to cut cantaloupe that has been peeled.
If you’re looking for the easiest way to cut a cantaloupe, slices are a popular option. So, how to slice cantaloupe? Start with the flat side of the peeled cantaloupe half down on the cutting board. Use your knife to slice the fruit using even and straight cuts. You can customize the thickness of each piece based on how you plan to use or serve the fruit, but most choose a thickness between 0.25 and 0.5 inches thick.
Cutting cubes is arguably the best way to cut up a cantaloupe. To do this, follow the directions above to slice the cantaloupe. However, you’ll want to make your slices a bit thicker (about 0.75- to 1-inch thick). After slicing the cantaloupe, turn your cutting board and slice it again going the other direction. This will create cubes. If the cubes are a bit too big for you, you can make one more cut through each piece to cut them in half.
Cutting cantaloupe wedges is often seen as the best way to cut up a cantaloupe. With the flat side of the cantaloupe down on the cutting board, cut it in half lengthwise. Then, cut each piece in half again, and then one more time. You could even make one more cut through each wedge if very thin slices are desired. This will yield about 16 wedges total
Cutting a Cantaloupe with the Rind On
There are also a few ways to cut a cantaloupe which don’t involve removing the rind. So, for the following ideas, you can skip the step above that calls for peeling the cantaloupe. However, you do want to make sure that you still wash the cantaloupe skin to remove any pesticides that may be present.
For all the techniques below, you’ll want to cut the cantaloupe in half. Begin by cutting off the stem ends to make a flat surface. Then, slice your knife down the center of the cantaloupe and remove the seeds.
Want to know how to cut a cantaloupe fancy? Well, cantaloupe spheres, or balls, look pretty impressive, without being too much work. For this technique, you’ll need a melon baller. Rotating the melon baller through the flesh of each cantaloupe half yields perfectly round spheres that you can add to a fruit salad, appetizer tray, or use in a variety of other ways.
If you want to know how to cut cantaloupe fast, try wedging the unpeeled fruit. This may be the easiest way to cut cantaloupe, since all you need to do is cut through each half of the cantaloupe. To make wedges with the rind still on, follow the steps above to cut each half in half. Then, slice each of these pieces in half, and make one more cut through each quarter to half it again. This process will yield 16 cantaloupe wedges.
How to Use Cantaloupe
Now that you know how to cut cantaloupe, it is time to enjoy the fruits (pun intended) of your labor. Cantaloupe is not only tasty, but it is also good for you. There are so many delicious ways to use cut cantaloupe. First, you can always just eat the freshly cut cantaloupe. Cantaloupe is very yummy and stands perfectly well all on its own.
There are, of course, other ways to enjoy cantaloupe. Here are a few options you may want to try:
- Add cantaloupe cubes or spheres to other fruits to make a smoothie (ice optional)
- Mix cantaloupe with other cut fruit for a tasty fruit salad
- Wrap cantaloupe wedges or slices with prosciutto to serve as an appetizer
- Cut cantaloupe into thin slices to serve over pork chops
- Mix cantaloupe with club soda and apple cider vinegar and a shot of bourbon for a refreshing summer cocktail (omit the bourbon for a virgin beverage)
- Add cantaloupe and granola to yogurt
An uncut cantaloupe can be left on the countertop for up to three days. Just pick a spot on your counter that is dry and not in the line of direct sunlight. You can also store an uncut cantaloupe in the fridge for up to five days.
Once cut, cantaloupe should always be stored in the refrigerator. Place smaller chunks or spheres of cantaloupe into an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. If you have any larger chunks of cantaloupe, they can be wrapped with a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil and stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. If you have some pieces with the rind still on and others without the rind, do not wrap them up together. This will help prevent cross-contamination.
If you don’t think you’ll eat the entire cantaloupe while it is still good, you can freeze some of your cut cantaloupe. Freezing some extra cantaloupe can also help you enjoy this scrumptious fruit whenever you want.
After cutting the cantaloupe into chunks, cubes, or spheres, as described above, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the cantaloupe pieces out on the tray. Put the baking sheet with the cantaloupe pieces in the freezer until each piece is frozen solid.
Remove the trays and the cantaloupe from the freezer, and put the cantaloupe pieces into freezer-safe containers or bags. If possible, remove all the air from the bags or containers using a vacuum sealer.
Alternatively, you can also freeze puréed cantaloupe. After puréeing the cantaloupe chunks, put the soft purée in ice cube trays. Freeze the ice cube trays, and then once frozen, remove the chunks of cantaloupe and put them in freezer-safe bags.
Frozen cantaloupe can remain in the freezer for up to 12 months.
Slice, Serve, and Enjoy!
Yum! Now that you know how to slice a cantaloupe, are you ready to cut and enjoy that cantaloupe sitting on your counter or go grab one from the grocery store? I hope you have found my tips and various cutting techniques helpful! Which of the different techniques that I shared do you think is the best way to cut a cantaloupe?
How do you cut a cantaloupe step by step?
When you’re wondering how to properly cut a cantaloupe, the exact step-by-step directions can vary depending on whether you want cantaloupe slices, wedges, cubes, or spheres. Additionally, there are different ways to cut a cantaloupe by either cutting off the rind first or leaving it on.
How do you cut a cantaloupe to make it juicy?
If you want your cantaloupe to taste juicy when you cut it, you must ensure that it is nice and ripe before slicing into it. Once ripe, you could cut slices, wedges, cubes, or spheres to enjoy the juicy fruit.
How do you cut and skin a cantaloupe?
To remove the rind from a cantaloupe, start by slicing off the two stem ends. Then, stand the cantaloupe up on one of these ends, and carefully cut off the rind, cutting at a bit of an angle to go around the sides of the cantaloupe. Once the cantaloupe is peeled, cut it in half and remove the seeds. Then, you can choose to cut each half into cubes, slices, or larger wedges.
How do you know when a cantaloupe is ready to cut and eat?
A ripe cantaloupe should have a little give when you press on the edge of the rind with your finger.