Tip: Peel Summer Melons Like Winter Squash

I've put away the winter squash until autumn returns, and I'm turning to the summer melons. If I pick up something big and heavy with a thick rind, this time of year, it better be a cantaloupe — not a butternut! But winter squash has a trick to teach summer melons: An easier, faster way of peeling. Here's how I peel my cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon these days.

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We all have our preferred ways of peeling difficult vegetables, like winter squash and melons, but my favorite method with squash is to cut it in half, then stand it on one end and whittle the rind off with my chef's knife. (See more on this here.) I have found that it is much faster and easier than peeling with a vegetable peeler, or cutting it into chunks, then slicing off the peel.

I realized, however, that this is of course a super way to peel melons as well. When cutting up a big watermelon for a week of snacking, or cantaloupe for a party, I would cut the melon in half and scoop out the seeds. Then I would slice it into strips and laboriously cut the rind off each piece.

Then my sister pointed out that you can cut the melon in half and slice off the rind — just like I do with squash. And she was right; this is so much easier! It was so obvious I felt silly I hadn't tried it before!

Now I don't peel melon any other way; it's even faster and easier to apply this technique to melons. I peeled and sliced up three melons last weekend for a big party — and I did it in record time, thanks to this tip! I also found that I really didn't waste any more of the melon this way. In fact, it was easier to make sure I was slicing all of the tough, chewy rind away.

Do you have any favorite tricks for peeling or slicing melon?

Related: Faith Durand)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.

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