To Make Perfect Slices of Watermelon, Use This Common Household Item

updated Jul 1, 2021
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Credit: Faith Durand

When I worked in a catering company, I always watched in awe as the kitchen staff neatly and beautifully sliced watermelon for fruit plates. No matter how hard I tried to emulate their cuts at home, I wound up with random, misshapen pieces. Meanwhile, my kids refuse to eat within an inch of the rind, wasting large amounts of each slice.

But an Instagram post recently reminded me of a slick trick that solves both of these problems and makes the watermelon an attractive centerpiece for a picnic or party. The trick uses a simple tool to slice the watermelon into even pieces and separate it from the rind, and it’s probably already in your house: dental floss.

To start, you’ll need to slice the watermelon into long wedges, but that’s pretty simple. Then, by tracing just inside the rind with the floss, you can easily slice the fruit from the outside. Finally, you just press the floss down at equal intervals to make easy, snackable, rindless watermelon triangles.

It’s a trick that Justin Chapple has previously demonstrated on Food & Wine’s YouTube Channel, which also shows how to make the watermelon rind double as a stylish platter. It’s a far simpler version of the hack that Alton Brown uses, which involves a wire cheese cutter — not necessarily something everyone has hanging around the house.

Dental floss is a surprisingly useful kitchen tool — especially for cutting crumbly or soft things (think: cheese, hard-boiled, eggs, or cake) or slipping under anything stuck onto a pan. And, of course, you can use it instead of culinary twine to truss poultry, tie herbs for soup, or secure a roast.

Whatever you do, if the dental floss is going to touch watermelon or any other food, please double-check that it’s unflavored and unwaxed.