pickled + preserved

dehydrated watermelon, sweet as candy

After a cool start to the summer, it has gotten hot here in Atlanta, though not has hot as what we experienced while vacationing in Florida last weekend. On top of that, the ants and mosquitoes have been running rampant. I seriously cringe with the thought of putting my laundry on the line or picking the latest produce from the garden. We’ll be taking you all back to the garden soon, but for now, I have to tell you about Ryan’s new favorite dehydrated snack.

Dehydrated watermelon, it’s almost as unheard of as pickled watermelon, which everyone loves by the way. I made a batch on a whim, just before a trip to Knoxville, and Ryan ate most of them all on the drive. Just like my long winded post that opened the door to my dehydrating curiosity, this recipe is as simple as they come. Slice it, place it, dry it.


Getting ready to head out of town, I didn’t want the leftover watermelon pieces to go bad while we were gone, so I decided to try and preserve them.

With the watermelon already cut up, I made the larger pieces small enough so that the trays would lay smooth together. I filled two trays, laying the watermelon somewhat close together. Pieces shrink considerably as they dry, so spacing isn’t an issue.

I set the dehydrator to 135 degrees and let them go for nearly 24 hours. When I dehydrate, I check after allotted time and judge from there how much longer something should go. Give the watermelon at least 18 hours and make the call from there. It’s hard to mess this stuff up.


I placed all the finished pieces in a seal-able jar, packed the car and got on the road. By the time we reached our destination, there was just enough dried watermelon left for my parents to each try a piece. The verdict- everyone loved it, everyone but myself. I don’t care much for watermelon, nor dehydrated watermelon, but I can make a dent in the pickled watermelon. They say it tastes like a fruity taffy or cotton candy.


I may not have the keenness for this fruit that everyone else seems to have, but with our gardens producing Sugar Baby and Hopi Yellow watermelons and future plans for planting different varieties, I am bound to find my match.


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