It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!
- 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.
Storage & Shelf Life of Whole & Cut Watermelon
Store watermelon between 50-59°F, however 55°F is the ideal temperature. If watermelon are received refrigerated do not break the cold chain and store them in refrigeration. Watermelon will keep for 7-10 days at room temperature. 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°- 9°F.
As a part of the Cutting & Yield Research the NWPB tested watermelon shelf life, once cut. The 36-count watermelon was still edible at day 7 and had a 7-day shelf life. The 45- and 60-count watermelon sampling and microbial study showed that the watermelon was still edible at day 4 and had a 4-day shelf life. Food Innovation Center (a part of Oregon State University) researchers suggested further shelf life research due to the 36-count being received refrigerated and the 45- and 60-count received at ambient temperatures, which could explain the shelf life discrepancy. Additionally, researchers stressed the need for education about washing the outside of the watermelon before cutting the fruit.