Watermelon Rind Pickles

Watermelon Rind Pickles

This recipe application for watermelon rind pickles is the finest thing you can do with a watermelon besides greasing it up and chasing it around the pool.

Watermelon Rind Pickles
Write a review
  1. Rind from a watermelon 5 pound watermelon, approximately 2 pounds
  2. 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  3. 1 cup water
  4. 3/4 cup sugar
  5. 2 ounces candied or crystalized ginger chunks (1/4 cup)
  6. 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  7. 1 teaspoon red pepper flake
  8. 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  9. 1 star anise pod
  1. Scoop out melon leaving about 1/4-1/2 inch of red flesh.
  2. Peel off outer green with vegetable peeler and then cut into 1-inch cubes.
  3. Bring the apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, ginger, salt and spices to a boil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan (2-quart). Hold the boil for 60 seconds then carefully add the watermelon. Return to a boil and turn off the heat. Remove the pan from the heat and cool for 30 minutes.
  4. Move the pickles to a 2-quart jar using a canning funnel and ladle. Pour on as much of the pickling juice as possible. Cover the jar and leave at room temperature for another one and half hours.
  5. Refrigerate overnight and consume within a month. These pickles must be refrigerated.
  1. Great as a side with grilled dishes or as salad tossed with crispy, crumbled bacon and served over greens.
ALTON BROWN https://altonbrown.com/


Add yours
  1. 4

    I made these substituting 1/2 white balsamic vinegar and 1/2 apple cider vinegar for the vinegar. Also used a premix of mulling spices..festive, sweet and tangy yummy results.

  2. 6

    Oh and that was like a year ago so been loving them since to make myself!. Lol esp. Since that restauarant been long gone.

  3. 7

    Liked your recipe. Most simplest i found. Plus dont like all the spice and clove(hate clove) stuff so most recipes seem to have one or the other or both in them. Where i live they sell them at a fruit stand for $9 a jar. I did buy 1 until i was like i can make my own if i could find a recipe and found this simplest recipe. Had these 1st time years ago at a restaurant…lol country girl born but never even heard of them before then. Needless to say i got a plate of them whenever i went on top of my salad. Thanks for making this so simple to fix for me.

  4. 8

    So good! I’ve never had pickled watermelon rinds before, I think I’ve been deprived!! I didn’t have any kosher salt, so I used half the amount of regular table salt. I also used regular ginger in place for the candied, and ground allspice rather than the berries (I think I used 1/4 tsp ). They really turned out great and have a nice little kick to them.

    • 11

      yes you can chop one day and put the pieces in the fridge til your ready to pickle the next day. i also have health issues and often need to break up the process like this. it always turns out fine.

    • 12

      That’s usually what I do. It sometimes takes me a few days to dissect a whole melon. As long as you keep everything refrigerated, it should be ok.

  5. 13

    I have an okra pickle recipe and a peach pickle recipe and I needed this to feel like a real southerner. Your version explains the one thing left out of other versions, which look like they were copied from a book and not experience. THANKS

  6. 14

    My first batch was a success, great recipe. I did bottle them hot and put lids on while hot they seemed to seal. I have just opened my last jar still lovely, chrunchy, went well with a Christmas salad here in Australia, everybody liked them, did not last long enough.

  7. 16

    I grew a small watermelon in my son’s garden thus summer and it was truly weird in that the seeds were huge, but edible, and the flesh inside was a, more sockeye salmon coloured than watermelon. But it was tasty and I’ve now pickled the rind with apple cider vinegar, a cinnamon stick, 12 cloves, a pinch of garam masala and a quarter cup of diced candied ginger. I will use 1 cup jam jars and sealer lids and put the whole batch of jars through the hot water bath method. All my jams and preserves make great Xmas gifts. Always use organic sugars, fruit and vinegars thereby saving honey bees!!

  8. 17
    Karen Nolan

    Amazing! I used rice vinegar instead of apple, and brown sugar instead of white and left out the red pepper flakes because I don’t like heat/hot spice. I also doubled the recipe because I had lots of watermelon rind. Excellent as a side to fried chicken and rice! I will never throw out watermelon rind again!

  9. 18

    Yes organic watermelons exist and are delicious. We like smaller, round and seedless kind -just right – unless u have a giant crowd and a big fridge.. I have not found great-tasting super-large melons these days. Locally, BJ’s and Kroger’s imelons n Virginia are the sweetest and best. Oh and Costco and Harris Teeter too, of course.

  10. 19

    Yes organic watermelons exist and are delicious. We like smaller, round and seedless kind – goof unless u have a giant crowd and a big fridge!

  11. 20
    Pam B.

    I am going to try this as soon as I find the ginger!! I have used several of AB’s recipes and my family loves them. Since I started using AB’s brine recipe, I have had Zero complaints about dry turkey….Thank you Alton!!

  12. 21

    Tasty but I think I’ll reduce the salt next time. I used “extremely” hot crushed red pepper flakes and they are quite on the spicy side but I like them. I’m surprised there aren’t any comments about how big this recipe is – I didn’t weigh the watermelon but it was really small. I doubled the recipe for the brine and still only used half the watermelon rind – and it filled three large jars. Oh well – more to share with my friends!

  13. 22

    I just cut it into chunks, cutting the green part off in the process with chef’s knife. Much easier and faster. Not sure why the peeler is needed.

  14. 23

    Wow! These are scrumptious! My husband loves the heat, and I reduced the red pepper flakes by half! My better half will never let me toss another watermelon rind!
    Big time “thank you” Mr. Alton.
    Note: also reduced the sugar by 1/4 cup.

  15. 24

    These are really delicious, BUT why on earth do they call for candied or crystalized ginger? As soon as you put it in water, the sugar dissolves, and it pretty much becomes…ginger. Which is what I used, since I always have it on hand anyway.

  16. 28

    We made these today. I automatically reduce the salt by half, though otherwise followed recipe. They are quite spicy, not your (or mine) grandma’s watermelon pickles! We canned them, water bath method for 15. I think they’ll benefit from a couple of week’s worth of marinating.

  17. 29

    Consult the National Center for Home Food Preservation at the University of Georgia anytime you want to do a recipe that does not require refrigeration. Use exactly the recommended ratio of water and vinegar if doing this.

  18. 30

    Rae, your family’s method could result in botulism poisoning. Not a safe method at all 🙁
    I would find a recipe in a modern canning cookbook, or stick with Alton’s method.

      • 33

        chris L, your ignorance is massive. There have been numerous outbreaks of salmonella, the causes of which were traced back to tomatoes, peppers and watermelons grown in Mexico…all from raw sewage being used to fertilize the fields in which they were grown. If YOUR house is as nasty as your attitude, then I’d rather eat at Bruce’s house than yours.

  19. 35

    After trying these, I want to go out and get a bunch of watermelons just to make a bunch more!
    I think I’ll try the brine in cauliflower, carrots, and maybe mushrooms!

  20. 36

    The ratio of vinegar to water is too high giving a very pungent fresh pickle. Fresh pickles should have a crisp texture supported by a savory and sweet brine. The ratios of vinegar to water in this recipe is the problem. Next time i’ll tryusing 1.5 cups water to 0.5 cups vinegar.

      • 40

        I did just that. I canned them in a pressure canner for for 10 min at 10 lb. Came out perfect.
        I have seen other recipes that are also just water bath that process them for 15 min.

    • 41

      Yea, I think so. Mom does it by heating the jars in the oven and the lids in a sauce pan with water. Then when she puts in the hot pickles, and everything cools down, they just seal on their own. We make enough to last until the following year, and they hold for that ling, so I’m sure they’d hold longer, even 3 years.

  21. 42

    I was always taught that rinds of melons are HEAVILY insecticided and shouldn’t be eaten. Do you use organic melons? Do those even exist? Is there something you know that I do not?

    • 43

      You have to wash melons really well, but that is more about the dirt on the outside being carried into the flesh as the knife cuts thru.

      If you notice, Step 2 has you peel off the green rind. You could peel a little deeper if you are really worried, but washing and peeling should remove most of your concern.

      And a home grown melon can be as organic as you want it to be. Find a friend with a garden, have them scoop out most of the melon and save you the rest. But definitely wash! If they are not using chemical fertilizers, they are probably using the old fashioned kinds which carry their own biological risks.

  22. 45
    Nonna Sue

    I made these yesterday and these are not your overly sweet pickles. These offer a kick! Looking forward to sharing them at an upcoming pig roast. I’m confident they are going to be well received! Thanks!

  23. 47

    The flavor combination with the anise and allspice was quite unexpected and really good. Only problem is 2 pounds of rind won’t stick around very long at the standard rate of consumption. Can the pickling brine be boiled and reused, once the fruit is finished?

  24. 48
    Kirk Justus

    The peeler did not work as well for me, but a sharp knife and I can clean off the green skin quite well. Also, my spice cabinet was a bit low on supplies so in place of the ginger and star anise i decided to jump cultures and added garam masala (and still the red pepper and less of the allspice). Yum. Thanks Alton!

  25. 49

    I peel the rind with a vegetable peeler. Works quite well. I usually use oil of clove and oil of cinnamon but I like this combination of docs.

  26. 50

    Love watermelon pickles. Prefer more spice when I make mine. I finely dice these Mellon peices and add to tuna salad. Gives a nice zing.

  27. 51

    A 5 pound watermelon makes a *lot* of rind; this recipe made more like 6-8 quarts, not just two.

    Also, peeling a watermelon is non-trivial. Just be forewarned going in that this task will take you some time. I did it by cutting the husk into “bands” and peeling those.

  28. 54

    Whenever we find a watermelon with crispy rind, my grandma used to cut it up into strips and fry them with fresh soy beans (with soy sauce), it’s one of my summer favorites when I was a kid.

  29. 55

    No much of a fan of watermelon rind pickles but I love watermelon rind preserves. My grandmother made jars and jars of them every summer. There was nothing better on a hot buttered biscuit anytime of day.

  30. 57

    Uh, small grammatical error in step 5. “This pickles must be refrigerated.” I think it should be These instead of This.

+ Leave a Comment