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.)
After slicing the watermelon into quarters, slice the skin and rind off in chunks.
Try to get as much of the rind off as possible.
Now, slice the watermelon into ¼ - ½ inch thick slices.
Then slice those slices in half.
And then cut them in half one last time.
Line the trays of your dehydrator with the watermelon chunks.
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.)
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...
And finally, ready to eat - its chewy but snaps if you bend it.
Serving Size/EatingYou 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!StorageStore 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 QuestionsWhat 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.)