3 simple tricks that can help you pick the sweetest watermelon

Snack on a sweet watermelon this summer to beat the heat

Watermelon slices stock photo
Watermelon slices stock photo (pixabay)

Any watermelon connoisseur will tell you - not all watermelons are created equal.

Some are sweeter than others, but good news for Texans looking to bite into some fresh fruit this summer, experts say watermelon sweetness is “off the charts” this year.

According to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service vegetable specialist Juan Anciso, watermelons from the Rio Grande Valley are of superior quality this summer.

The Brix count, used to measure sweetness, found watermelons from the RGV area are between 11 and 13, a press release from AgriLife Extension states.

The typical Brix measure for a watermelon, according to Washington State University, is 7.8-8.2 for somewhat sweet and 8.3-9 for sweet. Anything greater than 9 is considered very sweet.

Just because the crop is good this year, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the sweetest fruit.

If you’re not a melon mastermind you can use three simple tricks from the AgriLife Extension to pick the perfect watermelon:

Tip 1: Find the yellow belly, or the field spot

Other than cutting open a watermelon to see the inside, the field spot is perhaps the best indicator of the ripeness. This spot on a melon shows where it was laying on the ground while attached to the vine.

If the watermelon is ripe, the field spot should be a large, yellow patch on one side of the melon. If it is ripe, the color should be a creamy, almost butter-like yellow. The bigger the yellow belly and the creamier the color means the more time the melon spent ripening on the vine. However, if the spot is smaller or looks more white than yellow, then the melon may not be as ripe.

Tip 2: Tap the underbelly and listen for a deep sound

Another way to find a ripe watermelon is to lightly knock the outside with your knuckles. A ripe melon will have a deeper sound, as opposed to an over-ripe one that will have a more hollow or flat sound. A duller, more hollow sound can mean the flesh is starting to go soft and spoil.

Tip 3: Look for a dull and heavy watermelon

Although it may not be the most photogenic nor the easiest to carry to your car, the best watermelons will be dull in appearance and heavier than the rest. A shiny melon indicates the insides are under-ripe.

The heavier the melon - the juicier it will be. Watermelons are 92% water so do a little heavy lifting before you pick your perfect melon!

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About the Authors:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.