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Tina Cornett Photo by: Tina Cornett

Mommy's Watermelon Rind Pickles

Make the most of summer watermelon by saving the rind and making these tangy spiced pickles.

Coastal Living JULY 2002

  • Yield: 3 pints


  • 1 large watermelon, quartered
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 1/2 quarts water, divided
  • 1 3/4 cups cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoons cracked allspice
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves


Cut pulp from watermelon rind, leaving a small amount of red pulp on rind. Reserve pulp for another use. Cut rind into 1-inch cubes, and place in a large bowl.

Stir together salt and 2 quarts water. Pour over rind. Cover and chill 8 hours. Drain; rinse well.

Combine rind with water to cover in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Combine remaining 2 cups water, vinegars, and next 5 ingredients in Dutch oven or very large saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture becomes a thin syrup. Add rind, and simmer 5 to 6 minutes or until rind becomes translucent.

Pack hot rind mixture into hot jars, distributing lemon and spices evenly and filling to 1/2 inch from top. Remove air bubbles; wipe jar rims. Cover at once with metal lids, and screw on bands. Process in boiling water bath 20 minutes.


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Mommy's Watermelon Rind Pickles recipe