Sure, you know how to cut a watermelon. But do you know the best way to do it? Here are three easy steps to slice a watermelon, plus tips on picking one out.

Watermelon is the quintessential summer fruit. It’s delicious in sweet or savory dishes, as well as on its own. As much as most people love eating watermelon, it can be a pain to slice.

When faced with cutting watermelon, it can be hard to know where to start. They are round and hard to handle, not to mention they’re huge (most of the time). But don’t worry, you’re not stuck buying those overpriced pre-cut melons. Cutting watermelon into triangles is the classic way of cutting watermelon — and it’s easy to do once you know a few tricks.

Learn how to cut watermelon like a pro in three easy steps, plus how to turn it into cubes.

Here it is! In a few easy steps, you could be slicing your way to watermelon nirvana in no time.

You’ll need:

  • watermelon
  • cutting board
  • sharp-ass knife

Here’s how to chop that bad boy up.

1. Hold the watermelon steady with one hand

Cut off each end of the watermelon. You’ll need to cut off enough peel to expose the watermelon’s flesh underneath.

2. Flip the watermelon onto one of the flat sides

Removing the ends creates a stable base so the watermelon will stay still when you cut it. It also allows you to see where the watermelon rind ends and the fruit starts so you can judge the size of the slices.

Cut the watermelon in half lengthwise. Then, cut each side in half lengthwise.

You should have four quarter-sections of watermelon.

3. Lay one of the quarter pieces rind-side down

Slice the watermelon into slices that are 1- to 1.5-inches thick.

Serve the watermelon at room temperature or cover with plastic wrap and chill for a few hours before serving.

Pro tip: Don’t cut watermelon *all* the way up until you need it

Watermelons will keep better uncut. So, if you don’t plan to eat it all in a day or 2, wrap one half in plastic and refrigerate.

See a video demo of the slicing process below, and one delicious example of how to eat it — grilled!

The steps are essentially the same. Exceeeeeept…

  • Make a few additional lengthwise cuts in each watermelon quarter.
  • Slice crosswise to create cubes.
  • Slice along the rind to remove the flesh.

Start with a ripe watermelon that’s not super large. The larger the melon, the harder it will be to handle and cut. Although it’s hard to be sure watermelon is ripe, there are a few signs that will make it easier to tell.

Here are three questions you should ask yourself when picking a watermelon:

  • Is it heavy? Pick up the watermelon. No matter the size, it should feel heavy.
  • Does it have a yellow spot? Watermelons develop a yellowish spot where they rest on the ground. That spot will be a creamy yellow when it’s ripe.
  • Does it sound hollow? Give the watermelon a good thump. Ripe melons will have a deep hollow sound.

Always wash it first

Give the watermelon a good wash to remove any dirt and lingering bacteria on the rind. Once you cut the melon, you don’t want to worry about all that dirt getting onto the melon’s flesh. Pat it dry and lay it onto a cutting board.

Grab a heavy, sharp knife with a blade that’s almost as wide as the melon. It’s important to use a sharp knife. It makes the task safer and you won’t have to make several passes to get through the watermelon’s rind.

Check out our watermelon recipes for ideas on what to do with it besides straight-up snacking (including refreshing watermelon drinks). These might include:

And don’t throw away the outside. You can use watermelon rind in many ways besides pickles.

There’s a knack and process to cutting watermelon. Cut off two round ends to give the watermelon a base, then quarter the sucker. Then, place them rind-side down and cut them into your characteristic watermelon slices. If you’re choosing to cut cubes, slice along the rind.

Stick with smaller watermelons at first, as they’re easier to cut. A ripe watermelon should feel heavy and sound hollow when you knock on it.

Now, all you need is a tissue to mop up those chin juices. Prefer more spherical offerings? We’ve got some baller moves to show you.