Best Watermelon Rind Pickles

Spicy Watermelon Rind Pickles recipe

If you've ever wondered what to do with leftover watermelon rind, why not make this easy watermelon pickle recipe?

I first tried watermelon pickles when we first moved to Georgia. We spent the day in Atlanta and ended up at Pitty Pat’s Porch, a touristy restaurant that served classic Southern fair like greens, black eyed peas, grits, and fried green tomatoes.

One thing that stood out were the watermelon rind pickles. I had no idea you could make pickles from watermelon rinds, something I’d normally throw out! I went back to the salad bar for several helpings, and vowed that I would make them some day.

Wondering what to do with leftover watermelon rinds? Make this Best Watermelon Rind Pickles recipe! Click to get this easy spicy watermelon pickles recipe.

Making a watermelon rind pickles recipe is a easy way to preserve summer, especially since this recipe is so easy since it’s not a traditional canning recipe. You’re just boiling the rinds to “pickle” them. No need for fancy equipment except for a few Mason jars to store the pickles in fridge.

Chop up the spicy watermelon pickles to make relish for burgers, hot dogs, and egg salad sandwiches. Or turn the best watermelon pickles you’ve ever tried into a chutney for grilled chicken and Crock Pot Ham with Gluten Free Beer and Chutney Glaze.

A warning when making the best watermelon rind pickles recipe

I’ve found that many watermelon pickles recipes, including those that feature spicy ingredients like peppers and ginger, include pink peppercorns (or rainbow medley peppercorns which may have pink peppercorns in the mix).

If you are allergic to nuts or have a nut allergic child, you should avoid pink peppercorns. Pink peppercorns are related to cashews and pistachios and can cause an anaphylactic reaction in those who are allergic to these nuts. You can read about this in a synopsis of the paper, A Rare Case of Food-induced Anaphylaxis to Pink Peppercorns, here.

Since my daughter has a nut allergy, I only used black peppercorns.

Best Watermelon Rind Pickles recipe

This Mama’s tips to make spicy watermelon pickles

When peeling watermelon, I found that it’s easiest to do it before cutting up the watermelon. In addition, you may find that your vegetable peeler won’t work depending on how it’s shaped, the length of the blade, and how big your watermelon is.

The swivel peeler I normally use for carrots didn’t work at all. Luckily, I this Y-shaped vegetable peeler I found in the back of a drawer worked great.

Make the best watermelon rind pickles recipe with OXO Good Grips Pro Y-PeelerOXO Good Grips Pro Y-Peeler

Of all the watermelon rind pickles recipes out there, the National Watermelon Promotion Board’s method was the easiest to follow. I simplified it further, used less sugar, and cooled the watermelon rind pickles on the counter top before placing it refrigerator to prevent crystallization.

Finally, when handling habanero peppers, be careful not to touch the seeds, and make sure wash the cutting board, knife and your hands thoroughly after handling the peppers!

Spicy Watermelon Rind Pickles recipe

Best Watermelon Rind Pickles

Method borrowed from the National Watermelon Promotion Board

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a large pot over high heat, bring water and pickling salt to a boil. Add watermelon rind and boil for 5 minutes until tender.
  2. Strain in a colander. Keep watermelon rind pieces in the colander so any remaining salt water will drain off.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, rice vinegar, black peppercorns, cloves, pickling spice, sliced ginger, and habanero pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 15 minutes, until slightly reduced.
  4. Place watermelon rinds in a large mason jar (or two smaller mason jars if that’s all you have). Pour liquid over rinds and let cool on counter top until liquid is at room temperature. (If you stick the hot pickles in the refrigerator, the sugar in the liquid may crystalize.)
  5. After the liquid has cooled, screw on the lids and refrigerate. Pickles can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Servings: Makes about 4 cups
  • Serving size: As many pickles as you’d like to eat!

Originally posted on September 15, 2014. Updated with new pictures and information.

Wondering what to do with leftover watermelon rinds? Make this Best Watermelon Rind Pickles recipe! Click to get this easy spicy watermelon pickles recipe. This watermelon pickling recipe is easy to make. No special equipment needed.

One thought on “Best Watermelon Rind Pickles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating: 5 4 3 2 1