The Unexpected Summer Trick for Sweeter, Juicier Watermelon


There’s nothing quite like biting into a thick wedge of cool, crisp watermelon on a hot summer day. That sweet, explosive burst of flavor is sunshine in edible form. But what if I told you there’s a way to make watermelon even sweeter and juicier? A simple trick that brings out the absolute best in every bite? It’s a method passed down through generations in the South, and once you try it, you’ll never go back to plain watermelon again.

The secret? A sprinkle of salt.

I know, it sounds a bit blasphemous to season a fruit, especially such a naturally sweet one as watermelon. But stick with me here – salt has a unique way of enhancing and intensifying the flavors of all kinds of foods, watermelon included. The salt helps neutralize any bitter or tart undertones in underripe or less flavorful melon. With those harsh flavors muted, the true sunny sweetness gets a chance to take center stage.

There’s some fascinating food science at work too. Salting the ruby red flesh of a watermelon causes all those luscious juices to get drawn out to the surface. So with each bite, you get an aromatic burst of syrupy sweetness coating your tastebuds. Let the salted slices sit for 5-10 minutes to give the salt time to work its magic before digging in. Prepare to get juicy!

The key is to use just a light dusting of coarse flaky or crunchy salt over your watermelon wedges or cubes. You don’t need much at all. I prefer to use a larger-grained salt like fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt so you get that delightful salty crunch dispersed throughout the melon. But even just a sprinkle of basic kosher salt will do the trick.

Looking to liven things up even more? Try sprinkling your watermelon with flavored salts! A honey or vanilla salt leans into the melon’s inherent sweetness beautifully. Citrus or chili salts add a refreshing, zesty tang. You could even get adventurous with more unique flavors like ghost pepper or hickory smoked salt for a real kick of savory depth.

Sprinkling salt on watermelon is more than just a quirky Southern thing – it’s a time-tested technique used in many cultures to enhance produce’s full potential. Think of how a squeeze of lemon or lime brightens berries or stone fruits like peaches and plums. Those tart citrus juices taste bright and fresh, but they also highlight the fruit’s natural sugars in a beautifully balanced way. The salt works in a similar fashion to make every bite of melon sweeter and more flavorful.

So go ahead, give a light salting to your watermelon this summer and prepare to be wowed. Those crunchy, juicy bites will have you going back for seconds and thirds. For a bigger twist, try grilling your salted melon to add a hint of smoky char – it’s absolute summertime perfection.

However you enjoy it, salting your watermelon takes this summertime staple from refreshing to revelatory with just a flick of the wrist. It’s an easy trick that delivers maximum flavor every time you slice into one of summer’s sweetest pleasures.

Watermelon with Salt Recipe:


  • 1 small watermelon, chilled and cut into wedges or cubes
  • 1-2 tsp coarse sea salt, flaky salt, or kosher salt
  • Optional: honey, chili powder, citrus zest for added flavors


  1. Arrange watermelon on a platter or in a bowl.
  2. Lightly sprinkle salt over the top of the watermelon pieces, using about 1 tsp salt per 1 lb of watermelon.
  3. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to allow juices to be drawn out.
  4. Serve immediately for maximum juiciness and flavor. Add a drizzle of honey, pinch of chili powder or citrus zest if desired.

That’s it! The simple addition of salt enhances watermelon’s natural sweetness so every bite is the best it can be. Get ready for the juiciest, most flavorful watermelon of your life with this easy summertime trick.

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