Alton Brown’s Time-Saving Trick for “Dealing” with a Watermelon

updated Jul 21, 2020
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Alton Brown
Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Alton Brown’s YouTube channel has become a must-watch for people who like to get creative in the kitchen, who received their culinary education in the form of his Good Eats series, or who simply want to learn the kind of smart but practical tips that made Alton famous. 

In the course of watching these last few months, we’ve learned about Alton’s favorite cocktail, the best way to make a burger, and how to use up leftover rice. And now he’s out with a new video that’s helping us to live our best fruit-filled lives: how to, as he calls it, “deal with” a watermelon.

By “deal with,” Alton means get the rind off in a simple, clean way. It does, however, require the use of an unusual tool (would you expect anything less from him?). You might have thought of those wire cheese cutters as a uni-tasker tool, one of Alton’s kitchen nemeses, but here he shows a second use for it: by removing the cross bar part (a few screws, he says casually), he can use it to take the peel off the watermelon.

Here’s what he does: First, he slices the watermelon into rounds with a gigantic knife, then he cuts a tiny slice into the watermelon rind, he inserts his now-barless cheese-cutting wire into that slice, and then pulls around the wheel of fruit to cut off the rind.

While this seems like considerably more work than simply cutting the wheel into wedges and letting people eat down to the rind, it does have a few advantages. First, this means that nobody’s mouth is on the watermelon rind, so if you’re planning to pickle them, that’s a bonus. Second, if you have small children who are not very good at figuring out where to stop eating, this is helpful. Finally, if you want to just pick up the entire giant wheel of watermelon and chow through it, as Alton does in the video, this is the only way to do so.

Try a recipe: The 20 Absolute Best Ways to Eat Watermelon This Summer