As summer turns up the heat in the islands, it’s nice to see seasonal fruits returning to farmers markets and produce aisles. Few things are more refreshing in 90-degree weather than a slice of ice-cold watermelon.
A quick Google search for watermelon-slicing devices generated an array of images. Among them was a 13-inch stainless steel watermelon slicer for less than $10. The tool, sold under various brand names, looked interesting, with a plastic green cutter that resembled a pinwheel.
On first try I was surprised at how easily the gadget slid through the juicy red watermelon flesh. Using this tool, I had a bowl full of melon pieces within minutes. The chunks admittedly lacked uniformity — I was just “going for broke,” pushing the tool through the flesh and dumping the pieces into the bowl, not taking the time to use a guide situated near the “pinwheel.” I was more concerned with speed and efficacy, testing the limits of the tool to see whether it would smash the chunks during the cutting process — which it didn’t.
>> How it works: The pictorial instructions on the box showed a watermelon cut in half lengthwise and crosswise. Place the pinwheel cutter against the flesh of a melon quarter, using the measuring guide to cut pieces to the desired size, with 2 centimeters being the largest. Push the tool quickly and firmly into the flesh. For consistency, keep the device level as it cuts through the fruit.
>> Does it work: Yes! But after my testing I saw a video showing a watermelon with both ends cut off, rather than sliced crosswise. This second technique worked much better because the tool slides right through the watermelon instead of hitting the uncut end of the fruit.
>> Pros: Fast, easy to use, relatively safe.
>> Cons: A little messier than using a knife; best used on oblong-shaped watermelons; measurement guide is marked on only on one side of the device; depending on size and shape of fruit, there may be a lot of watermelon left along the rind, or the rind could be sliced with the flesh. (FYI, the rind is edible, according to healthline.com and prevention.com. The latter also provides recipes — watermelon rind relish, watermelon rind pickles — for that crunchy, white flesh). This gadget does not work with honeydew or cantaloupe melons, since the seeds create a concave in the center of the fruit.
>> Cost and availability: I picked up mine for $8.89 plus shipping on amazon.com. A recent search pulled up identical tools for even less, also on amazon.
>> Worth it?: Absolutely.
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