Pickled Watermelon Rinds

Pickled Watermelon Rinds


"My mother never threw anything away and when it came to summer, watermelons were no exception. Seeds went in the ground for growing and the rinds were pickled!"

Ingredients 9 h 45 m {{adjustedServings}} servings

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Original recipe yields 24 servings


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  1. In a glass bowl, stir together the water and salt until the salt has dissolved. Add the watermelon rinds and any additional water needed to cover them. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Drain the watermelon rinds from the salted water, and place into a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Cover with fresh water, then place over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil rinds for 30 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, tie the cloves, mustard seed, and cinnamon sticks in a piece of cheesecloth. Place into a large saucepan or Dutch oven along with the vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, then remove from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Stir in the drained watermelon rind, then return to the stove over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until the rind is transparent and the syrup is slightly thickened, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove and discard the spices after 40 minutes. Stir in the food coloring if desired.
  4. Ladle into hot sterilized 1 pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Seal jars with new lids and rings, making sure you have cleaned the jar's rims of any residue. Process jars under 1 inch of water in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Let cool overnight, then press down on the lids to make sure they are sealed before storing. Store any unsealed jars in the refrigerator and enjoy those first.
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Reviews 19

  1. 24 Ratings

A Krieg

This recipe is a very very OLD one... it's from the days of the depression and before. My family is Polish though I'd never be able to accurately say this is a Polish recipe. I could comfortably refer to it as an Old World recipe. *** People certainly saved most everything and pickled many things the average person wouldn't understand or even think appetizing. *** My Grandmother made these every Summer and they were a big hit and a standard item on the dinner table. It's certainly an acquired taste and you NEED to let them pickle for a duration of time to get the full taste. Most people try them and are surprised to learn they are watermelon rinds. They are flavorful, sweet and tangy. *** This recipe is rather close to our family's recipe. *** I am pretty sure, my Grandma stuffed the jars with the rinds, cinnamon sticks and the other spices then poured the brine into the jars, then properly followed her typical canning procedure. As a child, I seem to remember the rinds being raw or blanched (they were firm) when they went into the jars. I would have to confirm with other family members about this.. but can assure you these rinds were cut in longer 3-4 inch lengths. I don't believe she colored her brine too often, but seem to remember seeing a few green Watermelon Pickles on extended family member's tables. *** This recipe isn't for everybody.. but for those who enjoy Watermelon Pickles, this would be a great recipe to try! Just don't limit the spices when boi


I grew up canning and eating watermelon pickles at my grandmother's and great-grandmother's. They have always been my favorite pickles. When we make them though, we never brine them overnight or pre-boil them in water. Just put the vinegar, spices and rind in a stock pot and boil until translucent, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Then put in about six pint jars and seal. This a lot faster and easier.

Barb T.

Tried this recipe because my Husband had eaten it as a child, tho I'd never heard of it. What a pleasant surprise!! If you enjoy Sweet Pickles, you'll like this, as did all my family & co-workers!! My first batch was with 1 rind as per the recipe, but after increased demand, my next batch I used 2 rinds. I increased the cider vinger to 2 quarts & the suger to 3 cups, also over mesured the spices slighty. Tasted just like the first batch!!! Note: My Husband used the discarded spice bag in his garage for a week! What a wonderful smell!