Watermelon Rind Pickles




About: Professional maker and eater of food. Donuts.. Cheese.. Chocolate.. Beer.. these are a few of my favourite things! @karakabangpow

Sweet and sour, crunchy, easy to make and finally uses up that mountain of watermelon rind you have been making this summer. Especially handy if you've just made this watermelon and beer sorbet... or are interesting in making this nice salad to accompany your summer BBQ's.

Watermelon Rind Pickles

Yield: Two 1 Litre Mason Jars

Time: 1 hour + 3 days

Cost: <$10


- a large knife

- bowl

- measuring cup

- cutting board

- vegetable peeler

* 2 large (1 litre) mason jars

* 1 large pot for sterilizing jars (>12 quart)

* 1 medium pot

* any canning equipment you have

* optional


- The rind from one large watermelon (approx 6 -8 cups, chopped)

- 4 cups sugar

- 2 1/2 cups white vinegar

- 2 tbsp salt

- 2 tbsp pickling spice mix

(or 4 cloves, 8 peppercorns, 1 cinnamon stick, 1/2 tsp allspice, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 bay leaf)


Cut away rind from watermelon, keeping as much white as possible. If you have some pink attached to your rind that is okay, it looks pretty.

Peel off any of the dark green skin. Discard.

Chop rind into desired sizes and shapes.

Sterilize jars according to standard water bath canning procedures. You can read a very thorough How To here.

Pack the jars quite tightly with your rind. Bring your sugar, vinegar, salt and pickling spices to a full boil and carely pour over rind in jars.

Cover with lids and rings, keeping the rings slightly loose and process in boiling pot of water for atleast 5 minutes. You may have to process longer depending on your altitude. Handy chart here!

Gently lift jars from the hot water and allow to cool. You should hear the lid make a loud pop, signifying you have achieved a proper seal on your jar. Well done! If you miss the pop you will see if it is sealed if the lid has become concave. Let sit for atleast 3 days before eating.

** You can make these pickles straight in jars and skip the hot water bath, or even make them in a bowl and leave covered in the fridge for 3 days. Consume within the week.

Step 1: Peel

Gather up your rind. Peel any dark green skin off, and keep the white rind.

Step 2: Chippity Chop

Using a sharp knife, cut the rind into your desired shapes. You can make long, thin rind pickles, or cubes, or cut out circles, or use cookie cutters to do awesome cool shapes!

Step 3: Sterilize!

Prepare yourself for canning.

Fill a large pot (>12 quarts / 11 litres) with enough water that will cover your jars when you add them but not so much that it will spill all over the place.

If you are using smaller jars, you can use a smaller pot. The pot must be large enough to fully surround and immerse the jars in water by 1 to 2 inches and allow for the water to boil rapidly with the lid on.

Place a metal canning rack, or clean cloth on the bottom to keep the jars from rattling around as they boil.

Boil jars along with lids and rings for 10-15 minutes.

Step 4: Pickle Mix

In a medium pot mix together your sugar, vinegar, salt and pickling spice.

Bring to a roiling boil.

Remove sterlized jars from your water bath, making sure to let all the water drip out.

Pack the jars very full of rind.

Pour hot pickling liquid over the rind, leaving a 1/2 inch gap for air at the top.

Clean the mouths of the jars with a very clean, damp cloth. If there is any food around the rim, you may not get a proper seal and it may result in horrible, awful spoilage and give you serious barfs.

Place lids on the jars and screw on rings, leaving them slightly loose (hand tight)

Place back into rapidly boiling pot of water. Let boil for at least 5 minutes.


Step 5: POP! Goes the Pickle.

Gently lift jars from the hot water and allow to cool.

You should hear the lid make a loud pop, signifying you have achieved a proper seal on your jar. Well done!

If you miss the pop you will see if it is sealed if the lid has become concave and tight. It will not yield to pressing on it with your finger.

If you dont get a proper seal, you may have to reprocess your pickles. Or just keep them in the fridge and eat them very soon!

Let sit for atleast 3 days before eating.

These make a really glorious cold salad with beans, onions, goat cheese etc.. CHERVIL, probably! If I had any, I would make it for you. Go wild!



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    26 Discussions

    Kink Jarfold

    9 months ago on Step 5

    Ah, memories. When I was a kid my grandma used to make pickled watermelon rind. I'm saving this recipe.



    4 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice. I have heard of them but never tasted...I have no excuse now that I can make 'em. Thanks!

    WOW! these look so awesome - I just bought a watermelon...can't wait to try this. I've never heard of these, but like cucumber pickles, the watermelon rind does have the same texture. Thank you for sharing

    2 replies

    Thanks! The hardest part of these is waiting for 3 days before you eat them, argggh. Patience is a virtue I suppose. Let me know how yours go, if you make them!

    I made em- What an interesting tasty pickle, nom, nom! - Now I'm going to try that zucchini post I read up above :D


    4 years ago

    thanx ben voted

    ms match

    4 years ago on Introduction

    A hint of pink is ok but the more flesh left results in a less crisp pickle even to the point of becoming mushy; I love crispy watermelon pickles!

    1 reply

    4 years ago on Introduction

    My grandmother did this. She said in the old days, people had to use everything they could.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I just finished making two quarts of watermelon rind pickles; one sweet, the other savory. But I do fermented (lactic acid) pickles instead of vinegar pickles. Glad to see this unusual pickle getting some attention! :)

    (The other jar in the background of the picture is sauerkraut that's about halfway done with its month of fermentation time.)

    2014.08.05 sauerkraut.png
    2 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Oh maka those are so beautiful! Man, my only regret is not making a sweet watermelon rind pickle, or at least a neutral flavour to make it more flexible for making salads with.. next time! How do you make your lactic acid pickles? Do you have an instructable on it?


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I don't yet, but I should be getting the kosher garlic dill pickles and the watermelon rind pickles up on my food blog in the next week or so - migraines allowing. Blech. My sauerkraut recipe is there, already, though.

    ms match

    4 years ago on Introduction

    sealing rings are NOT meant to be put on loose but fingertip tight! This according to the bible of canning, the Ball Blue book. Rings are to be removed after jars cool;, washed, dried and ready to be reused. Also, it is NOT ok to leave any pink flesh on the rind, all visible pink and green are to be removed. Be certain to process for correct amount of time.

    2 replies
    karalalalams match

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Hi Ms Match, thank you for your informative comment. Fingertip tight is what I would call slightly loose, I will clarify that in the instructions. Also I'm curious, why cant you leave any pink on it?


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah it's the only cookie cutter that survived the move without getting squished. If it were up to me it would be a jar full of stegosaurus pickles. Thanks for pinning it, thats so nice!