How to Dehydrate Watermelon at Home – 5 Easy Ways

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Watermelon, a low-calorie vine-like plant, is consumed as a whole for its pulp. This fruit incorporates Vitamin C in abundance, helps hydrate instantly and also prevent cancer in numerous ways.

Watermelon jerky, also referred to as dehydrated watermelon is generally consumed as a healthy summer snack. Are you looking for easy ways to prepare dehydrated watermelon at home?

There are a multitude of ways for doing so, but how do you proceed with the most convenient alternative?

We’ve spent hours researching and experimenting to come up with these five simple methods for dehydrating watermelon at home.

How to Dehydrate Watermelon Using a Food Dehydrator

Time needed: 12 hours.

People use a food dehydrator for dehydrating watermelon at home with minimum effort. This is a quick, convenient process because it evenly dries your fresh watermelon with proper air circulation.

Optimum temperature: 135 degrees Fahrenheit

  1. What will you need?

    1. Fresh Watermelon
    2. A piece of cloth
    3. A sharp knife or a spoon
    4. Dehydrator trays

  2. Wash the Watermelon

    Wash the fruit before you proceed with dehydrating it. Rinse it under cold running water to ensure there is no dirt and pat it dry with a piece of cloth.

  3. Slice the Watermelon

    Many people think that slicing watermelon into small pieces for dehydrating is the right way.

    However, you should slice them into medium size chunks so that they can dry properly and you wouldn’t get a crumbled watermelon jerky.

    Don’t throw away the crust as you can use it for other purposes, such as pickling.

  4. Remove the Seeds

    With the aid of a knife or a spoon, remove the seeds. It is completely okay if you wish to leave them and proceed accordingly.

  5. Arrange the Watermelon Slices

    On the dehydrator tray, place the watermelon slices. Check that the fruit does not hold together and that there is enough room between the pieces.

    Properly distanced watermelon chunks will enable air to circulate nicely as they dehydrate. You can gain insights on how to do this here.

  6. Dehydrate the Watermelon Slices

    Set the food dehydrator’s timer to 12 hours and the temperature to 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep a check as your watermelon chunks dry to make sure they don’t get overheated and burn.

  7. Let them Cool

    Set your dehydrated watermelon chunks aside for a few hours to cool down before you proceed with consuming or storing them.

Dehydrated Watermelon Using Sun-drying

Time taken: 2 to 4 days

Optimum temperature: Good Sunlight

What will you need?

  • Fresh Watermelon
  • Parchment paper
  • Trays or racks
  • Small fan
  • Cheesecloth

Feel free to dehydrate your freshly chopped watermelon chunks under the sun directly if you don’t wish to include any appliances in this process.

Sun-drying watermelon is a natural process and it is the easiest technique available to dry watermelon at your home.

Wash the Watermelon

Wash the watermelon prior to proceeding with dehydrating it. Rinse it under cold running water to make sure there is no dirt. Pat it dry with a piece of cloth.

Line the Rack

You should use parchment paper to line the racks or trays. This will prevent the watermelon from sticking to the tray while they dry.

Slice the Watermelon

You should cut the watermelon into 1/4″ thick strips. Make sure they are thick so that you get proper watermelon jerky and not crumbled ones.

Remove the Seeds

With the aid of a knife or a spoon, remove the seeds. It is completely okay if you wish to leave them and proceed accordingly.

Arrange the Slices

Place the watermelon slices in a single layer. Make sure there is sufficient distance between each slice for proper air circulation.

Cover the Slices

To keep insects at bay, cover the rack with a fine net or cheesecloth. It would be best if you placed the racks on blocks rather than directly on the field.

Dry your Watermelons

Place a small fan near the rack for air circulation if possible. Sun-dry for 2 to 4 days to thoroughly extract the moisture.

Pasteurize the Watermelon

After the watermelon has been fully dehydrated, pasteurize it to kill any insects or eggs that may have landed on the fruit during the dehydration process.

Dehydrated Watermelon Using an Oven

Time taken: 12 to 24 hours

Optimum temperature: 135 degrees Fahrenheit.

What will you need?

  • Fresh Watermelon
  • Baking sheet
  • A piece of cloth
  • Cooling rack

Use an oven to dehydrate watermelon slices at home. This is amongst the speediest methods available and hardly requires any additional equipment.

However, a constant watch will be needed to prevent the watermelon chunks from burning.

Wash the Watermelon

Wash the fruit before you proceed with dehydrating it. Rinse it under cold running water to ensure there is no dirt. Pat dry with a piece of cloth.

Slice the Watermelon

Cut your watermelon into 14-inch thick strips that resemble bacon or jerky slices.

Slice them into medium size chunks so that they can dry properly and you wouldn’t get a crumbled watermelon jerky.

Remove the Seeds

With the aid of a knife or a spoon, remove the seeds. It is completely okay if you wish to leave them and proceed accordingly.

Arrange the Slices

Place the strips on a cooling rack with a baking sheet on top of them. It is recommended to use a cooling rack as it will prevent the water from pooling.

Set your Oven

Adjust the temperature to 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you leave the oven door ajar to let air inside and circulate properly.

Check the Watermelon Slices

Check every 30 mins or so and turn it over to ensure even drying. You will be able to prevent them from overcooking this way.

Based on the thickness of your watermelon slices, dehydration could take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours.

Let them Cool

Set your dehydrated watermelon slices aside for a few hours to cool down before you proceed with consuming or storing them.

Dehydrated Watermelon Using a Microwave

Time taken: About an hour

What will you need?

  • Fresh Watermelon
  • A knife or spoon
  • Microwave plate

Do you require dehydrated watermelon jerky instantly? Use a microwave as it will only consume an hour and provide you with the best home prepped watermelon jerky.

Wash the Watermelon

Wash the fruit before you proceed with dehydrating it. Rinse it under cold running water to ensure there is no dirt. Pat dry with a piece of cloth.

Remove the Seeds

With the aid of a knife or a spoon, remove the seeds. It is completely okay if you wish to leave them and proceed accordingly.

Slice the Watermelon

Using a knife, cut the watermelon into medium size strips. If you chop them too thin, they will be difficult to pry off the plate.

On the other side, a thicker cut will turn them into gummies.

Clean the Microwave Plate

The microwave spinning plate should be washed and dried. This is where you will put your watermelon slices.

Arrange the Watermelon Slices

On the watermelon tray, place the watermelon slices. Check that the fruit does not hold together and that there is enough room between the pieces.

Properly distanced watermelon slices will enable air to circulate nicely as they dehydrate.

Turn on the Defrost Setting

A crucial detail if you don’t want your watermelon to become charred – Use the defrost setting on your microwave. Set a 30 minute timer for yourself.

Check the Watermelon

Keep an eye on your watermelon slices and flip them as required. You should add a few more minutes if you think they need to be dehydrated for longer.

Let them Cool

Set your dehydrated watermelon slices aside for a few hours to cool down before you proceed with consuming or storing them.

Dehydrated Watermelon Using the Syrup Blanching Technique

Time taken: 8 to 12 hours

What will you need?

  • Fresh Watermelon
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Tray
  • Foil

You can blanch your fresh watermelon slices in a syrup and set them to dry. This is quite an effective technique to dehydrate watermelon at home without having to use any electronic appliance.

Wash the Watermelon

Wash the fruit before you proceed with dehydrating it. Rinse it under cold running water to ensure there is no dirt. Pat dry with a piece of cloth.

Make the Syrup

Begin with boiling water and gradually add sugar; stir occasionally. You can refer to how this is done here:


Remove the Seeds

With the aid of a knife or a spoon, remove the seeds. It is completely okay if you wish to leave them and proceed accordingly.

Slice the Watermelon

Using a knife, cut the watermelon into medium size strips. If you chop them too thin, they will be difficult to pry off the tray.

On the other side, a thicker cut will turn them into gummies.

Remove the Seeds

With the aid of a knife or a spoon, remove the seeds. It is completely okay if you wish to leave them and proceed accordingly.

Cook the Watermelons

Coat them with the boiling syrup evenly and cook it for a few minutes. Cook it for 7 to 15 minutes, then strain it to remove any excess syrup.

Flip the watermelon chunks every few minutes to make sure you don’t burn them.

Let the Watermelon Chunks Cool

Arrange the strained pieces in a foil tray. Leave them for a day to dry. Check on the chunks every 4 hours to ensure that they are drying properly. Flip them twice to make sure they have evenly dried.

The Perfect Watermelon to Pick for Dehydrating

Pick a watermelon that is heavier than it looks and has a deep, rich color. Expect to see a patchy region of yellow or brownish tint.

This is fine; it is where the fruit was left to ripen on the ground rather than being picked until it was ready. Be sure to use a naturally sweet watermelon.

Before you go to the trouble of dehydrating the whole thing, take a bite. You won’t have to pick out the black seeds if you use seedless watermelon.

The white seeds will shrivel up during the dehydrating process, so don’t worry about them.

The Perfect Watermelon Pieces for Dehydrating Evenly

When it comes to having decent cuts, cutting the watermelon into large chunks helps a lot. After drying, if you slice too thinly, you will end up with crumbling parts.

You also don’t want the slices to be too thick because once dehydrated, they can result in a chewy, leathery texture.

Fresh Watermelon Vs Dehydrated Watermelon: Primary Difference in Texture

Both fresh watermelon and dehydrated watermelon are consumed for their health benefits.

However, dehydrating watermelon will result in concentrating its sugar and its flavors even more. Dehydrated watermelon jerky tastes more sweet compared to fresh watermelon, more like healthy candy.

Keep in mind that dried watermelon retains all of its nutritional value. Many of the vitamins are still there and only the water disappears.

The Right Way to Condition your Dehydrated Watermelon Jerky Before Storing it Normally

It is important to condition your dehydrated watermelon jerky before storing them. In case you don’t condition them, molds will form inside the air-tight jars you have used.

It is crucial that the humidity level within your storage containers is at a balanced percentage. Firstly, you will need to condition your dehydrated watermelon chunks if you have sliced them in different sizes.

Start with ensuring the dehydrated watermelon chunks are dried. Make sure your batch is fully dry before allowing it to come to room temperature.

Store in a space-saving airtight container. This does not have to be the container you intend to use to store your food in your pantry.

You will need some extra room to shake the container and pass the dehydrated slices around a little. Jars are the most convenient, but any airtight container with enough room will suffice.

You don’t want a lot of space because more air will lead to much more moisture. For seven days, shake once. You want to shuffle the product around to avoid sticking areas and give all surfaces a chance to dry out.

Examine the slices and the glass for moisture beads. If you notice some moisture, return them to the food dehydrator to dry out more.

If mold is seen, you should throw out the entire jar. Any mold, even the tiniest bit, is simply the spores blooming to the point that one can see them.

You can use appropriate airtight containers for storage. Feel free to store your products as usual after your seven days.

The Proper Way to Store Dehydrated Watermelon

Keep dehydrated watermelon slices in a cool, dry place. It is safe to keep them somewhere below 60 degrees Fahrenheit as well.

The longer the dehydrated slices last, the cooler the storage conditions need to be. If you wish to store your dehydrated watermelon slices for a long time, place them in the freezer for two weeks.

Then, take them out and place them in vacuum packs, making sure to include oxygen absorbers in each container. Place these packs in a dark storage container away from light.

Our Take on Which Method is Best

People who live in tropical climates should use the sun-drying technique to dehydrate their watermelon. This is the most natural method available for doing so at home.

In case you urgently require dehydrated watermelon jerky, use a microwave as it will only consume an hour.

Food dehydrators along with ovens are used to dehydrate watermelon in bulk with proper circulation of air. However, you will need to keep a watch to ensure your watermelon doesn’t overheat.

Use the blanching watermelon in syrup technique if you want sweet dehydrated watermelon jerky without having to use any appliances and minimum equipment.

FAQs

Is it better to flip the watermelon slices while drying them?

During the dehydration process, you don’t need to flip the watermelon slices. Some people, however, believe it aids in achieving a fine, consistent texture while dehydrating.

After around 9 hours, flip the slices to expose each side for the same period for even drying.

Is blanching watermelon in syrup a lengthy process for dehydrating?

Yes, this is amongst the lengthiest method there is for dehydrating watermelon at home. You will also have to do numerous things when implementing this method.

Therefore, it is not as simple and easy as it seems.

Is it crucial to remove the watermelon’s white seeds before I dehydrate it?

There is no need to get rid of the white seeds of a watermelon before you proceed with dehydrating it. However, removing the black seeds is optional and it is suggested to do so in most cases.

Is there any method to dehydrate watermelon at home without any appliances?

You can simply dehydrate watermelon chunks under direct sunlight instead of having to use any appliance like an oven or microwave.

However, this is a lengthy process and will consume a few days before providing you with evenly sun-dried watermelon jerky.

Bottom Line

We’ve gone through five simple ways to dry watermelon for various situations. Hopefully, this guide has helped enhance your understanding of how to dry fruits like watermelon at home with minimum efforts.

If you did find this article helpful, kindly share it with your friends and family, and feel free to leave any questions you may have for us in the comments section below!

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About Karen Wilson

Karen is a foodie to the core. She loves any variety of food - spicy or junk! Her slender body and height are deceiving, as she enjoys eating hearty meals that would leave most people gasping for air. She has an appetite for life, and wants everyone around her to share in it too.

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