Dehydrated Watermelon is one of the best dried fruits. It is sweet and a little chewy, with the texture of watermelon jerky and the taste of watermelon candy.

Dried watermelon is a great snack because it tastes like candy but is still fruit! It is easy to bring hiking, camping, or to send in a school lunch. This dried watermelon is a little thicker than the watermelon jerky that you can get at Trader Joe’s, but the taste is the same because it is just watermelon!

A white bowl of dehydrated watermelon with a dish towel and a pink flower on a wooden background.

🥘 Ingredient Notes

Here you go – watermelon jerky is made from one ingredient only – watermelon. Seedless is easier to you don’t have to pick out seeds 😉

A whole watermelon on a white cutting board.

Try to choose a watermelon with a yellow circle on the end – that is a sign that it is ripe enough to eat and should be nice and sweet.

🍽 Equipment Needed

  • A dehydrator – I like to use my big Excalibur Dehydrator or my smaller, cheaper dehydrator. (You can also make this in the oven.)
  • A cutting board and a sharp knife.

🥣 How to Make It

Dehydrating a perfect summer watermelon and making it into sweet, chewy, watermelon jerky is so easy.

You can cut the watermelon up however you find to be the easiest – I like to cut it in half and then from there into quarters. (I like to put a layer of dish towels under my cutting board because watermelon juice makes a huge, sticky mess.) (Picture 1 – 2)

After slicing the watermelon into quarters, slice the skin and rind off in chunks, trying to get as much of it as possible. (Picture 3) I like to then save the rind to make candied watermelon rind, watermelon rind preserves, or watermelon rind pickles. (These are an acquired taste.)

Now, slice the watermelon into half inch slices, then in half again. (Pictures 4 – 5)

A collage of images showing the process of making dehydrated watermelon, steps 1 - 5.

I like to cut these slices one more time so the pieces are not too big. (Picture 6)

Now, line the trays of your dehydrator with the watermelon chunks. (Picture 7) Cover the dehydrator and then let it do all the work. It has a lot of water in it (water-melon…) so it will take time to dry out. (Pictures 9 – 10)

On a dehydrator without a temperature setting, it will take 8 – 12 hours. If you can set the temperature of your dehydrator, set it to 135°F for 18 – 24 hours. It will take longer but the watermelon tastes sweeter and has a better flavor if it dries slower.

A collage of images showing the process of making dehydrated watermelon, steps 6 - 10.

If you check on the watermelon throughout the dehydration process, there will be three main stages: still normal watermelon, dried out and a little puffy, and ready to eat – chewy but snaps if you bend it.

Three images showing the progression of watermelon as it is dehydrating.

🙋‍♀️ Frequently Asked Questions

What can you do with watermelon rind?

You can make candied watermelon rind, watermelon rind pickles, and watermelon rind preserves. Watermelon pickles and candied rind in small amounts are pretty good – they are not everyone’s cup of tea though.

Can you dehydrate watermelon in the oven?

You can – it will just take a LONG time. Set your oven to the lowest setting (200°F or lower if possible) and dehydrate for 10 – 12 hours, flipping the watermelon over halfway through.

How do you know if a watermelon is ripe?

When a watermelon is ripe it will have a yellow patch on the bottom. It will also seem pretty heavy for its size (full of water!) but also sound like a drum if you tap on it. (You want a hollow thunk sound instead of a shallow tap/knock.)

Button linking to the Pinterest page for Southern Bytes.
an excalibur dehydrator

🍲 Serving Size

You can eat a lot of dried watermelon really easily and not realize it and end up with a pretty upset stomach – so just be cautious!

A clear bowl of dehydrated watermelon with a dish towel and a pink flower.

🥫 Storage/Shelf Life/Reheating

Store dried watermelon in a glass mason jar, ideally with a desiccant packet. The packet will absorb extra moisture so that the watermelon jerky stays perfectly fresh.

What is a Desiccant Pack/Packet?

Desiccant packets are those little silica gel packets you find in your new shoes that say “DO NOT EAT!!” all over them. The idea is that they should actively absorb any moisture in the container that they are stored in so that whatever they are stored with does not; so dehydrated foods, leather goods, etc. Be sure that you use a food-safe brand and that you use the right size for your storage. (You don’t need a 50 gram pack in a small mason jar!)

I like to use Wisedry 5 gram Packs for most of my food storage. They are small enough for a jar, and the beads change color to a dark green when saturated with moisture so you know to change out the pack. (Once you take out a pack, you can “recharge it” by drying it back out and reusing it, which is also really cool.)

a bag of desiccant packs

✏️ Helpful Tips

  • Watermelon jerky is also really good with a sprinkle of Tajin Seasoning on top (Chili Lime Watermelon Jerky!) Add the Tajin after a few hours of cooking so that it stays near the outside of the watermelon as it dries and you can really taste it.
  • I recommend storing dried fruit in glass containers as opposed to plastic so that it does not absorb the taste of the plastic.

Other Fresh Garden Recipes

Have You Tried This Recipe?
Please rate it and leave a comment below. I would love to hear what you think!

A zoomed in image of a white bowl of dehydrate watermelon.

Sweet Dehydrated Watermelon Jerky – No Sugar Added

5 from 1 vote
Dehydrated Watermelon is one of the best dried fruits. It is sweet and a little chewy, with the texture of watermelon jerky and the taste of watermelon candy.
Author: Kari
Servings: 24 handfuls
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 5 mins

Ingredients  

  • 1 ripe watermelon seedless recommended

Optional

Instructions 

  • You can cut the watermelon up however you find to be the easiest – I like to cut it in half and then from there into quarters. (I like to put a layer of dish towels under my cutting board because watermelon juice makes a huge, sticky mess.)
    A watermelon cut in half on a white cutting board.
  • After slicing the watermelon into quarters, slice the skin and rind off in chunks.
    A quarter of a watermelon with the skin being cut off.
  • Try to get as much of the rind off as possible.
    A quarter of a watermelon on a white cutting board without the skin.
  • Now, slice the watermelon into 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick slices.
    Thick slices of watermelon on a white cutting board.
  • Then slice those slices in half.
    Large cut up slices of watermelon on a white cutting board.
  • And then cut them in half one last time.
    Cut up slices of watermelon on a white cutting board.
  • Line the trays of your dehydrator with the watermelon chunks.
    A dehydrator with slices of watermelon in it before dehydrating.
  • Cover the dehydrator and let it do all the work. It has a lot of water in it (water-melon…) so it will take time to dry out.
    On a dehydrator without a temperature setting, it will take 8 – 12 hours. If you can set the temperature of your dehydrator, set it to 135°F for 18 – 24 hours. (It will take longer but the watermelon tastes sweeter and has a better flavor if it dries slower.)
    a dehydrator with watermelon drying in it and the cover on.
  • If you check on the watermelon throughout the dehydration process, there will be three main stages: still normal watermelon, then dried out and a little puffy…
    a dehydrator with slices of partially dried watermelon in it.
  • And finally, ready to eat – its chewy but snaps if you bend it. 
    a dehydrator with slices of dried watermelon in it.

Notes

Serving Size/Eating
You can eat a lot of dried watermelon really easily and not realize it and end up with a pretty upset stomach – so just be cautious!
Storage
Store dried watermelon in a glass mason jar, ideally with a desiccant packet. The packet will absorb extra moisture so that the watermelon jerky stays perfectly fresh.
Tips
  • Watermelon jerky is also really good with a sprinkle of Tajin Seasoning on top (Chili Lime Watermelon Jerky!) Add the Tajin after a few hours of cooking so that it stays near the outside of the watermelon as it dries and you can really taste it.
  • I recommend storing dried fruit in glass containers as opposed to plastic so that it does not absorb the taste of the plastic.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can you do with watermelon rind?
You can make candied watermelon rind, watermelon rind pickles, and watermelon rind preserves. Watermelon pickles and candied rind in small amounts are pretty good – they are not everyone’s cup of tea though.
Can you dehydrate watermelon in the oven?
You can – it will just take a LONG time. Set your oven to the lowest setting (200°F or lower if possible) and dehydrate for 10 – 12 hours, flipping the watermelon over halfway through.
How do you know if a watermelon is ripe?
When a watermelon is ripe it will have a yellow patch on the bottom. It will also seem pretty heavy for its size (full of water!) but also sound like a drum if you tap on it. (You want a hollow thunk sound instead of a shallow tap/knock.)

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 56kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 210mgFiber: 1gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 1067IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.

Course: Snack
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: dehydrated watermelon, dried watermelon, watermelon jerky
Did you make this recipe?Mention @southernbytes or tag #southernbytes!

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Hi, I’m Kari!

I am a newlywed, food blogger, health coach, and mama to a hot mess of a border collie. I love to put a new spin on old family recipes and I try to make as many meals as possible with an Instant Pot.

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