Monday, August 27

Try Grilled Watermelon for Your Labor Day Weekend Barbecue

I figure I’ve eaten about 20 pounds of watermelon this summer. Fortunately, it’s 92% water and 0% fat, so my clothes still fit fine.

Even as a kid, I ate a lot of watermelon. Everyone in my family did. I can remember my Dad, his face beet-red from the heat, coming through our back door beaming as he was carrying a colossal watermelon. He always did the same thing: set it down on the kitchen counter and proudly announced its weight -- 19 and 1/2 pounds! 23 pounds! Like his lobsta, the bigger it was, the better he liked it.

My brother Chris was always the one to cut the watermelon (seeing as none of the rest of us had his patience). With skills of a surgeon, he extracted every last seed while keeping the melon’s flesh intact. Come to think of it, I don't remember ever seeing seedless watermelons when I was a kid. Did they exist back then?

I do remember, however, that on a stiflingly humid New England day there was little else that could bring as much pure pleasure as a crisp cold piece of watermelon saturated with sweet juice that dripped down your arms and chin as you slurped your way along.

Indeed, my grandmother, Nan, who avoided the sun and heat at all costs, would stay cool in large part by eating chilled watermelon. And she always said the same thing to me when she wanted some: “Susan, I’m so dry. Would you get me another slice of that watermelon?” Then she’d say to me that I "look dry,” and insist I eat more watermelon. I always did and still do.

Even though it’s just the two of us now, I buy watermelon every week and announce the weight to Jeff when he comes home. 15 pounds! 18 pounds! (I told you I've eaten a lot of it). I only buy seedless now; Chris still lives in Rhode Island, and I still don’t have the patience to remove the seeds.

I've made many watermelon dishes this summer, and this grilled watermelon is one of my favorites. If you're planning a Labor Day Weekend Barbecue, then it's a simple and healthy dessert to make.

Wondering how to grill a watermelon? It couldn't be easier. Simply rub some honey on watermelon slices and place on a hot grill for about 2 minutes per side until marks form and they become caramelized. You could eat it just like that or top it with my tangy honey-lime syrup. It contrasts surprisingly well with the slightly smoky flavor of the grilled watermelon.

Grilled Watermelon Slices with a Honey-Lime Syrup
Print recipe only here.

Several slices watermelon
Some honey for brushing watermelon slices

Juice of 2 limes
the zest of half a lime
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons water
A few dashes of cayenne pepper
A couple of pinches of salt

Preheat grill to high. Cut watermelon into 1-inch thick slices. Brush each side lightly with some honey and place on grill. Grill until just browned, about 2 minutes per side. Place watermelon slices on a plate and drizzle with the honey-lime syrup.

You might also like:
Warm Citrus and Banana Cups
Watermelon and Green Olive Salad
Grilled Lamb Kebabs
Grilled Lamb Sandwiches
Jumbo Grilled Lobsta

You might also like to check out:
Jyothsna's recipe for a refreshing Watermelon Ice Cream.
Christine's recipe for a lovely Melon and Capriole Goat Cheese Salad.

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Linda said...

susan! this looks amazing. i too have completely over-endulged in watermelon this summer and frankly i'm not done! i can't wait to try it grilled. and with honey!? yum.

KellytheCulinarian said...

I have never tried that! Unfortunately, I will be driving 26 hours this weekend from Tucson back to Illinois, but I hope to try this soon.

foodette said...

That looks so refreshing and wonderful! What a great idea for a BBQ - simple, healthly, and sweet.

Anonymous said...

I am totally intrigued -- can't wait to try this. What made you think of it?

Anonymous said...

Love the idea of brushing with honey before grilling . . . brilliant! Here are two more from my own cache:

Cucumber and Melon Salad with Watercress, Herbs and Feta


Melon Salad with Prosciutto and Goat Cheese


(PS . . . hi foodette!)

Alanna Kellogg said...

Love the simplicity - and yet the 'out of the ordinary' too!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

This summer I've been grilling all kinds of fruit, but I haven't grilled watermelon yet. Time to rectify that oversight -- your recipe looks wonderful. And it's been hot hot hot here in Rhode Island.

Amy said...

I've never tried grilled watermelon before. Watermelon holds a lot of childhood memories for me.

Mishmash ! said...

2 minute rule , isn't it ?:)

I liked ur new header :)


Lisa Johnson said...

Yum! I've never grilled fruit before.

Abby said...

That is such a cool idea! We bought a new grill, which we've yet to take out of the box and put together, and it would be great to try this out. I better hurry, however, Fall's almost here!

Anh said...

Susan, this is so interesting! But I bet it tastes good. I love watermelon, and will try grilling it in summer.

sra said...

This is a first- grilled watermelon! I've seen a lot of seedless fruit, never a watermelon!

Pille said...

Who would have thought that you can grill watermelon!?! Sounds like a great idea, and very interesting indeed. Thanks!!

Wendy said...

You remove the seeds?! They're the best bit! :)
It's been ages since I had watermelon. You've made me seriously crave it..

Katie Zeller said...

When I was growing up part of the fun of watermelon was how far we could spit the seeds.... We were always sent outside with our melon, for obvious reasons!
Wish we could get it here... I miss it!

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! Never would have thought about bbqing watermelon...

Jeanne said...

Wow! What a great idea. Although I have grilled all kinds of vegetables and the occasional fruit, I have never thought to grill watermelon. But the way you describe it, it makes perfect sense! Love the idea of the tangy syrup with it as well. What an inspirational contribution to this month's WTSIM - thanks :)

Susan Voisin said...

I've eaten a lot of watermelon, and I've thrown a lot of stuff on the grill, but never have I thought to grill watermelon. Thanks for this creative idea!

Anonymous said...

I got to show this to the hubby! He will be thrilled. He is a watermelon fiend. He eats it for breakfast with some feta cheese.

Almost Vegetarian said...

well, if you can grill a peach and grill a pineapple ... okay ... bring it on.


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

This is genius Susan! I go back a long way with watermelon. My aunt & I would have contest to see who could spit the seeds the farthest and then who could eat a whole one at once!

Matt said...

Ha! What an awesome idea! I have got to think that the grill caramelizes the watermelon and it tastes even sweeter!

Thomas Andrew said...

I saw something about grilled watermelon on some cooking show recently on TV. The idea seemed strange to me at first... But I think I must try this for myself. Your Honey Lime syrup sounds really tasty!

almond said...

Oh, we definitely will try that with a touch of chili spice!

I'm glad your clothes still fit fine, but just be careful of sugar intake!

Happy Summer!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Wow! What a beautiful sight! You'd think it would completely evaporate, but no, huh? The idea of the honey, the lime juice and the smokiness from the grill just makes my mouth water!

Overwhelmed! said...

I would've never thought to grill watermelon but I really must try this...that and the Watermelon Ice Cream! :)

Thanks for sharing your recipes.

Every Friday I do a recipe exchange. Feel free to stop by this Friday and take a peek. :)

Brilynn said...

I am DEFINITELY making this, those grill marks are wonderful!

I like freezing watermelon too, it's like a popsicle.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Linda-Glad I'm not alone!

Kelly-Drive safely!

Foodette-Thanks so much!

Christine-I've been on a grilling frenzy lately and did it on a whim; I've been making the sauce for a long time to use with lots of fruit and thought it would go well.

Swirlingnotions-Glad you like it!

Alanna-That's what neat about it!

Lydia-Give it a try; the flavor is unique.

Amy-It's worth trying!

Shn-Thanks, glad you like it!

Anali-All kinds of grilled fruit are delicious, especially pineapple and peaches.


Anh-It really is!

Sra-Oh, seedless is so much easier; wish I could send you one!

Pille-I know! This is my first time, and I love it!

Wendy-You like the seeds?

Katiez-Now, there's a reason to buy one with seeds!

Linda-It's makes a bbq more fun!

Jeanne-I love the sauce on all kinds of fruit!

SusanV-Thanks a lot!

Veronica-Yeh, another watermelon lover! Hope he likes it!

Almost vegetarian-I love peaches and pineapple, and the watermelon didn't disappoint.

Tanna-Now, that's one cool aunt!

Suburbangourmet-It does caramelize it beautifully.

Chef Tom-The syrup really contrasts nicely with the sweet melon.

Almond-The chili is wonderful with the sweet honey and tart lime.

TW-I was afraid of that too, but I only cooked it about 2 minutes per side. I wouldn't cook it much longer though.

Overwhelmed-You're quite welcome! Thanks for mentioning the exchange.

Brilynn-Mmm I'll have to freeze it too!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Thank heavens for something delicious and without fat! :)

I have never seen grilled watermelon, Susan, you've got me curious!

Chubbypanda said...

Hee. I love watermelon. My family used to buy it by the shopping cart in the summer. Now that it's just my wife and I, we get the smaller "single serving" watermelons. =)

bazu said...

Mmmm... yet another thing on my "must try" list. You are so creative, Susan!

Anonymous said...

I don't eat nearly enough watermelon, Susan, and this delightful post has me wondering why. I certainly grew up eating plenty of it--although not as much as you, of course. This grilled version sounds delicious! I'm also thinking watermelon would be good the way lots of fresh fruit is sold on the streets in LA, with a squeeze of lime juice and a healthy sprinkle of chili powder. Maybe a little cayenne pepper thrown in for good measure.

Anonymous said...

How utterly intruiging!! I've always just wanted to bury my face in a fresh, ripe, summer watermelon - so much so that I've never considered doing anything creative with them! I can't wait for summer to arrive as I'll have to give this a try with the first watermelon I buy!

Anonymous said...

Susan,I cant wait to make your grilled watermelon with honey. Sounds yummy.

Deb said...

I have had grilled watermelon and loved it. Did you know watermelon is not a fruit but a vegie? Cousin to the gourd. I never knew! ...

Nora B. said...

That looks so delicious. I never thought of grilling watermelons - you are very clever! It makes so much sense. I used to eat a lot of watermelon as a kid in Singapore, but now that I live in Sydney, I don't buy watermelons. Maybe because my fridge is smaller here :-)

Chris said...

I have never grilled watermelon - yum! Fabulous!

Scribbit said...

How wild--who would have thought watermelon would stand up to a grill? It's my daughter's favorite thing, and she always begs for "watermelon juice" at the store when I'm shopping and I have to explain (again) that there's no such thing. I wonder why not, you'd think it's so juicy it would be a natural for juicing. I'd buy it.

Sara said...

I don't know why, but we've hardly eaten any watermelon this year. Your idea for grilling it is so clever! I will be trying this soon.

J said...

I've never seen a seedless watermelon. Like this idea, simple yet different! And oh, I have a huge watermelon sitting in the kitchen right now!

Rachael said...

Mmmm, what a lovely idea. My dad loved watermelon too, though I grew up in Arizona and we were always lamenting the mostly dusty, gummy watermelons available there. Now that I live on the east coast, I live by fresh produce in the summer

Anonymous said...

Good idea for Labor Day weekend...I wish I had seen this post earlier! Grilled watermelon sounds fantastic. And I agree, there's something about announcing the weight of watermelons that is oh so...necessary!

s'kat said...


...on a- a grill??

...with HONEY?

This is the bestest thing I've heard all day!

Anonymous said...

I love grilled peaches, grilled figs, grilled bananas, grilled apples, grilled pineapple, and grilled.....anything! Just a touch of honey, maybe a sprinkle of fresh ground nutmeg....yum.

Never done watermelon before. I guess I am too busy mowing my way through it to even think about eating it any other way.

Anonymous said...

Susan, I've never tried grilling watermelon but I love every other fruit I've ever put on the grill! Thanks for the great idea!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Patricia-No fat, just some sugar. :)

Chubbypanda-Where's the fun in that? Go on, buy a 20 pounder next time!

Bazu-Thanks so much!

Terry-Yup, they sell it like that at our farmers' markets. It's delicious.

Ellie-After eating about 10 pounds of it plain, you crave something a little more creative. ;)

Mimi-Thanks! Hope you like it!

Deb-Nope, I didn't know that. Thanks!

Nora-I couldn't survive with an apartment sized fridge!

Chris-Well, hope you give it a try!

Michelle-Hmm, I've got to look for it now, too. It would seem to be a natural for juice since it's over 90% water.

Sara-Ooh, hurry before it's too late! :)

Jyothsna-Glad you like it.

Rachael-There's nothing like fresh summer produce, is there?

Hillary-You're a weight announcer too? ;)

S'kat-And yours is the bestest comment! ;)

Kate-Then I promise, you'll love watermelon!

Nicole-You're welcome!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hey FoodBlogga,

I included a link to your grilled watermelon post, in my watermelon post at

Thanks for your post.

Trenting said...

I had no idea in the world you could grill watermelon.. This is awesome..!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Lawrence-Very cool! Thanks so much! I enjoyed your article.

Trenting-Yup! It's great fun to make and to eat.

Andrea Meyers said...

During my last (really, the LAST) pregnancy, I lived on watermelon that summer. Man, if I had only thought to grill it...OMG!

whitneyingram said...

I just copied your idea for the honey-lime syrup and made a salad with watermelon, nectarine and strawberries. SO GOOOOOOOOOD! Just posted it on my food blog. Thanks for the idea!

Unknown said...

I made this on Saturday for a work party at the lake, HUGE HIT, I had to make it again on Sunday, had so many requests for it again

Susan from Food Blogga said...


unurban said...

never tried grilled watermelon before, but me and a buddy grilled some watermelon pieces on low heat in the oven until the watermelon shrunk down to what looks like grilled red-bell peppers and was so so sweet.

Anonymous said...

This sounds so good. I can't wait to try it this summer.