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Pickled Watermelon Rind

User Rating 2 Star Rating (1 Review)


Old-fashioned watermelon rind pickles, with spices, vinegar, and sugar. Scroll down to see more pickle recipes.


  • watermelon rind, 4 quarts of 1-inch chunks (see directions for preparation)
  • 3 quarts water
  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 1 quart white or cider vinegar
  • 8 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 10 to 12 3-inch cinnamon sticks, broken into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
  • red food coloring, optional


Peel green skin and cut off inner pink from watermelon rind; cut into 1-inch chunks and measure 4 quarts. Put in a non-metal bowl and add the water and salt. Add more water if necessary, to cover the rind chunks. Cover and soak overnight in refrigerator. Drain and cover with clear water; transfer to a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 30 minutes; drain. Pour vinegar into an 8-quart kettle; add sugar. Tie spices in a cheesecloth bag and add to vinegar mixture. Bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Add the drained watermelon rind. Boil gently until rind is transparent and syrup is slightly thickened, about 45 to 55 minutes. Remove spices 15 minutes before done and add the food coloring, if using, just to tint.

Spoon into hot sterilized 1-pint jars, leaving about 1/2-inch head space, and seal. Process jars in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. For altitudes from 1,001 to 6,000 feet, process for 15 minutes. For altitudes over 6,000 feet, process for 20 minutes.
Makes about 4 pints.

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User Reviews

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 2 out of 5
Makes a reasonably good food, but not a pickle!, Member magaidhbhan

I just finished making a big batch of these, and I have to say I'm disappointed. It would be more accurate to describe the end result as ""Candied Watermelon Rind"" or even ""Watermelon Rind Jam."" I grew up eating pickled watermelon rind, and I remember them as being tart and sweet and a little bit salty -- these are just tooth-achingly sweet, with undercurrents of vinegar. The spices are somehow not quite right, too -- they taste and smell like Christmas, rather than like a whiff of summer. I'm sure this is a fine recipe, and I wouldn't discourage anyone from making it -- but it's not at all what I would consider to be a watermelon pickle.

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