Can You Freeze Dry Watermelon?

Watermelon will freeze dry easily and thoroughly and makes for a fun snack that is much different than fresh watermelon. Freeze dried watermelon is crunchy sweeter than its fresh counterpart.

Preparation of Watermelon for Freeze Drying

To freeze dry watermelon, it is important to start with a ripe watermelon. A ripe watermelon will have a sweet fragrance and a yellow spot on the bottom where it sat on the ground to ripen.

I like to use the knock test to check for ripeness. Hold your ear to the watermelon and knock on it. If it sounds super dense it’s likely not ready. If you knock on it and it sounds less dense (the knocking will reverberate and be deeper sounding) then it’s probably ripe. This is a good rule of thumb and if it sounds super dense with no reverberation of the sound then it’s an easy call that it’s not ripe and to either wait a few days or buy a different watermelon if you’re at the store looking for one.

To prepare the watermelon for freeze drying, start by washing the outside of the watermelon with cool water and dish soap (dish soap is better at removing chemicals from the surface before cutting).

Then, cut the watermelon into bite size squares or use a melon baller to create small balls of watermelon. Freeze dried watermelon will shrink a lot so be sure to make your chunks fairly big.

If you are using a seeded watermelon, remove the seeds before freeze drying. Seedless watermelon can obviously be used as is.

Arrange the watermelon slices or balls in a single layer on your freeze dryer trays lined with parchment paper or silicone mats. Then, start up your freeze dryer (if you haven’t already) and begin the freeze drying process!

Storing Freeze Dried Watermelon

Once you’ve freeze dried your watermelon, you have a few options for storage.

1. Freezer

If you have extra freezer space, storing freeze dried watermelon in freezer containers is a cheap option. This will help to keep the watermelon fresh for a longer period of time. Make sure to label the containers with the date and content for easy identification.

2. Mylar Bags

As the undisputed champ of freeze dried-food storage, Mylar bags don’t even have a close second. While they can be more expensive than something truly reusable, there are a few things about them to keep in mind:

  1. Use Oxygen Absorbers
    • Oxygen absorbers will mop up any extra oxygen in the package and allow for max shelf life. It’s worth the added cost. A good rule of thumb is to use about 500cc for a 1 gallon Mylar Bag.
    • As of the time of writing, this package of 500cc absorbers was about $0.15/absorber. Well worth the cost in my opinion. Some packs of Mylar bags come with Absorbers too.
  2. Buy Reusable Mylar Bags
    • You can buy single use (not really single use) and reusable Mylar bags. I prefer reusable bags like these but the single use bags can be re-sealed too. For context, when I say reusable bags, I just mean I like to use the bags with the little Ziplock on them. I would still recommend that you heat seal the Ziplock type bags for long term storage.
  3. Think About Size
    • Don’t go too big or too small. The combo pack I recommended above will give you options. You’ll want to think about what you’re sealing, how much you’ll reasonable eat once you unseal the bag, and the volume of the bag. More air in the bag means more air that needs absorbed once it’s sealed.
  4. Don’t Buy Windowed Bags For Long Term Storage
    • Windowed bags (bags with a clear side) are fun to show off what’s inside and will be great if you’re planning to sell your freeze dried watermelon, but if you don’t store the bags somewhere dark then the light will break down the watermelon over time and the shelf life can be greatly reduced.
  5. No Plastic or Glass
    • We love Mylar bags because there’s no plastic whatsoever (we hate plastic that touches our food and avoid it as much as we can, even if it’s BPA free). It’s also nice to avoid glass for long term storage because glass is heavy and breaks easy. Neither is the case with a Mylar bag.

3. Pantry

If you don’t have extra freezer space and don’t want to use Mylar bags, storing freeze dried watermelon in your pantry is an option. Make sure to store them in an airtight container and keep them away from direct sunlight and moisture. You won’t get a long storage time out this way but we usually throw part of a batch into a tightly sealed Rubbermaid Brilliance container for eating within a short period of time.

Texture and Flavor of Freeze Dried Watermelon

The texture and flavor of freeze dried watermelon is quite different from fresh watermelon. The texture of freeze dried watermelon is crispy and crunchy.

As with most fruits, the finished, freeze dried watermelon is sweeter than fresh watermelon because the water has been removed and the sugar has been concentrated in the final product.

Freeze dried watermelon is not quite as sweet as freeze dried fruits that are higher in sugar, such as strawberries or mangoes. However, it is still tasty and is well worth your time.

Using Freeze Dried Watermelon

Freeze dried watermelon is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of ways. It can be enjoyed as a snack, added to smoothies, used as frozen fruit in desserts, or even used to make watermelon juice or lemonade. Here are a few ideas on how to use freeze dried watermelon:

  • Snack: Freeze dried watermelon can be eaten as a snack on its own, or mixed with other freeze dried fruits for a tasty and healthy snack mix.
  • Smoothies: Add freeze dried watermelon to your favorite smoothie recipe for a burst of watermelon flavor. It may also add some nice texture to the smoothie depending how it’s prepped.
  • Frozen Fruit: Freeze dried watermelon can be used as frozen fruit in desserts such as pies, popsicles, and ice pops. It’s a great way to add watermelon flavor to your favorite frozen treats.
  • Beverages: Freeze dried watermelon can be used to make watermelon juice or watermelon lemonade. Simply rehydrate the watermelon cubes in water and blend with water and lemon juice for a refreshing summer drink.
  • Margarita: Freeze dried watermelon can be used to make watermelon margaritas. Simply blend rehydrated watermelon cubes with tequila, lime juice, and ice for a delicious and refreshing cocktail.
  • Pie: Freeze dried watermelon can be used to make watermelon pie with sweetened condensed milk. Simply mix rehydrated watermelon cubes with sweetened condensed milk and pour into a graham cracker crust for a unique and delicious dessert.
  • Powder: Freeze dried watermelon can be ground into powder and used as a flavoring in various recipes.

Overall, freeze dried watermelon is a great ingredient to have on hand for summer inspired recipes any time of the year. It’s easy to use, has a long shelf life, and adds a delicious watermelon flavor to any dish.

Benefits of Freeze Drying Watermelon

Freeze drying watermelon has several benefits that make it a popular choice among food enthusiasts. Here are some of the advantages of freeze drying watermelon:

Retains Freshness

Freeze drying is a process that removes moisture from food items while retaining their nutrients and flavors. Freeze drying watermelon is a great way to preserve its freshness and taste for a long time. The process helps to lock in the natural sweetness and juiciness of the fruit, making it a delicious snack that can be enjoyed at any time.

Easy to Store

Freeze dried watermelon is easy to store and transport. Unlike fresh or frozen watermelon, it does not require refrigeration or any special storage conditions. Freeze dried watermelon can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several months without losing its flavor or texture.

Convenient to Use

Freeze dried watermelon can be used in a variety of ways. It can be eaten as a snack, added to smoothies, or used as a topping for desserts. It can also be rehydrated and used in recipes that call for fresh watermelon. Freeze dried watermelon is a versatile ingredient that can add flavor and nutrition to any dish.


Freeze dried watermelon retains most of its nutrients during the freeze drying process. It is a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and magnesium. Freeze dried watermelon is a healthy snack that can provide a boost of energy and hydration.


Freeze dried watermelon is a lot of fun. The process is easy because there’s no skin and the process doesn’t take as much time as with some other skinned fruits like blueberries.

You’ll want to experiment before running a large batch of watermelon. There’s a lot of water in fresh watermelon (hence “water” in watermelon) so the final freeze dried product is much different than fresh melon.

Run a tray with another batch sometime to see if you like it. If you do, run a full batch and enjoy the goodness of watermelon all year round!

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