How to buy the perfect watermelon

There she was, beating on the watermelons like they were conga drums.

When she thought she found the one that sounded just right, she picked it up and placed it in her cart. She walked away certain that she found the perfect watermelon. Too bad she didn’t know that beating on watermelons yields no useful information about the sweetness, juiciness, or ripeness of the melon. Getting a good one that way is simply a matter of luck!

I know how to pick the perfect watermelon.

I have a system that never fails. When you have more than 25 years of weight loss maintenance under your belt – literally – you get good at choosing the foods that you can eat in great quantity and that you particularly enjoy. In general, that applies to most fruit and vegetables for me, but watermelon happens to sit on my favorite loser-friendly snacks and dessert top ten list. It happens to be a very “good-for-you” food, but that hasn’t spoiled my pleasure when eating watermelon!

Stop pounding your watermelons and start to give them my 5 point inspection. You’ll never get a disappointing watermelon again.

1. Symmetry

Choose a melon with overall symmetry. The symmetrical one may not be the biggest, but think about it this way. Size doesn’t matter as much as deliciousness!

2. Free from bruises

This melon shows signs of rough handling. That can make it mushy on the inside.

This melon shows signs of rough handling. That can make it mushy on the inside.

Avoid the watermelons that look as though they have been handled roughly. The insides will be mushy as a result of the beating it took.

3. Color

Pick a bright green melon. Don’t bother with the paler melons on display.

This one is too pale.

This one is too pale.

Here is the bright, green watermelon color you're seeking. It's nice and symmetrical too!

Here is the bright, green watermelon color you’re seeking. It’s nice and symmetrical too!

4. Buttery yellow spot

On the bottom of the melon should be a buttery yellow spot. This indicates your little beauty ripened in the sun.

5. Weight

This watermelon is going home with me!

This watermelon is going home with me!

A truly delicious, juicy watermelon is surprisingly heavy. If the melon has met the first  four requirements but can’t meet this final one, keep looking. You want the watermelon that is much heavier than you would expect it to be for its size.

Enjoying the perfect watermelon!

Enjoying the perfect watermelon!


A heavy watermelon is a ripe and juicy one. If you can’t find one that meets all of these requirements, I’d sacrifice symmetry. Some asymmetrical watermelons can be very good. When you give up the other qualities, however, you can be certain that enjoyment you’ll get when eating that watermelon will be compromised.


Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.