Why You Should Leave The Rind On Watermelon When Grilling

When watermelon season rolls around there is certainly no shortage of ways to put the versatile fruit to use. A simple grilled watermelon salad is a refreshing way to satiate any watermelon craving and grilled chicken with watermelon salsa is perfect for a cookout on a steamy evening. There are plenty of recipes for using watermelon and its juice and you can even craft watermelon cocktails or make a non-alcoholic mocktail.

While the juicy fruit's sweetness and toothsome texture are enticing enough on their own to inspire indulging in some slices, there are an abundance of health benefits associated with consuming watermelon, too. According to Healthline, eating watermelon can contribute to improvement of heart health and reduction of inflammation. Additionally, it's been suggested that lycopene (present in watermelon) may help to fight cancer as well as lower blood pressure. The Mayo Clinic also notes that since water makes up about 92% of a watermelon, consuming the fruit helps to stay hydrated.

Grilling has become a popular way to prepare fruit from pineapples to grilled peaches or pears. And often, those grilled fruits are ultimately used to create decadent desserts or to concoct grilled cocktails.

One top tip for grilling watermelon is to leave the rind on. But why?

Reasons to leave the rind on

Whether you're grilling your watermelon for savory or sweet dishes, the trick to mouthwateringly perfect watermelon is to leave the rind on. AsĀ The Kitchn notes, when flipped on the grill, watermelon may have a tendency to fall apart. Keeping the fruit firmly attached to the rind prevents flimsy pieces of fruit from landing in the fire. As Kitchn also mentions, you may want to dip your grilled watermelon into the likes of Greek yogurt, in which case leaving the rind on will make it more manageable.

Just like the juice of the fruit, watermelon rinds also have benefits when consumed. According to Healthline, the fiber-rich rind can help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol as well as lower the risk of colon conditions. Additionally, at least one medical study suggests that the rinds' citrulline can help with the dilation of blood vessels which Healthline notes could improve your workouts.

If eating the grilled rind on its own isn't appealing, consider some other options. The National Watermelon Promotion Board suggests stir-frying (which could potentially use either raw or grilled rind). Meanwhile, mindbodygreen advises adding watermelon rinds to kabobs, salads, or salsas.

Clearly, watermelon rinds play a pivotal role in creating the perfect slice of the grilled fruit. However, for those times you choose not to grill watermelon, you can also consider making the fruit do double duty by preserving the rinds by pickling.