Top quality watermelon is available 12 months out of the year in today's global market, and is especially plentiful during the peak season from April through October.
Wedges: The average 20 lb. watermelon yields about 53, 6-ounce wedges, each 3/4" thick.
Cups: There are approx. 3.2 cups per pound, so the yield is approximately 1½, 2-cup servings per pound.
Yield by Percentage of Weight: 100% whole watermelon = 70% edible watermelon + 30% rind. For example, the average 20-pound watermelon yields 14 pounds of edible fruit, leaving 6 pounds of rind.
Look the watermelon over. You are looking for a firm, symmetrical watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents.
Lift it up. The watermelon should be heavy for it's size. Watermelon is 92% water, most of the weight is water.
Turn it over. The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.
Store Watermelon on the Warm Side
Compared to most fruits, watermelons need a more "tropical" climate - a thermometer reading of 55° F is ideal. However, whole melons will keep for 7 to 10 days at room temperature. Store them too long, and they'll lose flavor and texture. After cutting, store watermelon in refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Lower Temperatures Cause Chill Injury
After two days at 32° F, watermelons develop an off-flavor, become pitted and lose color. Freezing causes rind to break down and produces a mealy, mushy texture. Once a melon is cut, it should be wrapped and stored at 36° - 39°F.
Safe Handling Practices
According to the FDA, you should wash all fruits and vegetables, including all melons, in clean, running water before eating them. This is true of all fruits and vegetables, rinds or not. You should also use clean knives and cutting surfaces. Additionally, persons preparing melons, fruits, vegetables or other foodstuffs should thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water prior to preparing the food for eating.
Removing Seeds Is A Breeze
Although a majority of watermelons available are seedless, these instructions will remove seeds quickly and easily: Wash and quarter a whole melon, then cut each quarter into three or four wedges. Cut lengthwise along the seed line with a paring knife, and lift off piece. Using a fork, scrape seeds both from the removed piece and the remaining flesh on the rind. Use for cubes or continue with recipe.