What made me want to make watermelon jerky?
I’ve been trying to show folks ways they can save money to combat rapidly rising grocery costs and one of those is, of course, buying food at today’s prices and preserving it. With that in mind, I’ve done a lot of dehydrating videos lately. I really feel the dehydrator is an often overlooked appliance that can save every household money – and freezer space! I’ve shown you how to dehydrate frozen vegetables, make your own instant rice (for pennies a serving instead of $1 a serving), and even how to make shelf stable ground beef.
And now, for a real fruit snack that will have your taste buds singing… Dried Watermelon Jerky
I didn’t realize how well received the videos about the dehydrator would be or how many emails I’d get asking for more, and how many of y’all would actually go out and buy a dehydrator! Links to the dehydrators I have are at the bottom of this post. I do feel like this is a wonderful investment and an easy way for every household to preserve food with the lowest maintenance possible. If you do purchase it, it is an affiliate link so Southern Plate earns a small commission to help pay for all the free information I make for y’all.
Although I do can to preserve foods (click here for my tutorial), dehydrating and making things like Watermelon Jerky takes far less hands on time and allows me to preserve things I wouldn’t be able to with traditional canning methods.
Why would you want to dry watermelon?
Well, sometimes we may have a bumper crop! Sometimes we may find a good deal and want to preserve it. Sometimes we may just want to taste what dried watermelon tastes like – and I highly recommend any of the above – especially growing your own. It is so very important to grow something, even if just a small portion of your own food nowadays. Any little thing you do makes you that much more self sufficient and that much less dependent on corporations and transportation halfway across the country to put food on your table.
Can I Get Watermelon All Year Round?
Watermelon is not only available in the summer. It is a refreshing and nutritious fruit that can be available all year-round! The US produces watermelon typically from April through November. If you are buying at other times it is likely imported.
To start with, you need a watermelon. Imagine that! 🙂
How can I tell if A Watermelon is Good?
While we’re here, let me show you how you can tell if a watermelon is good, even if it is tiny :). You want a bright yellow underbelly. That means that the watermelon was ripened in the field. It should also be very heavy so you know it is fresh and juicy, and have a dull thud sound when you thump it.
But be nice. Watermelons don’t like to be thumped anymore than you do 🙂
- To start you need to cut up your watermelon however you feel like cutting up your watermelon. I slice mine in big wedges and then cut it apart from the rind.
- Then I slice that wedge into thinner slices. The thinner the better.
- Cut those up into smaller pieces still.
- And lay them out on your dehydrator trays that have been lined with parchment paper or fruit leather sheets.
- Load up your dehydrator..
- And set your temperature for fruit (about 135 degrees) and your timer for Ten Forevers.
I’m not kidding. That is how long this will take. Most likely 18-24 hours.
it is so worth it. The watermelon is so sweet and tastes like watermelon jolly ranchers, only better! It is slightly chewy like an easy to chew taffy, and all of that wonderful watermelon flavor is concentrated in a way that you’ve never tried before.
Link to the dehydrators I currently own:
Cut watermelon and remove flesh from rind. Cut flesh into pieces as close to 1/4″ thickness as you can. Remove seeds if possible.
Place on lined dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 135 degrees for ten forevers, or 18-24 hours, or until watermelon jerky is sufficiently dry and breaks when you bend it.
Store in airtight container.
To see the Excalibur dehydrator I currently use, click here. For a complete collection of dehydrators offered by Amazon, click here.
You may also like these recipes:
Dehydrating Peaches (and recipes!)
Dehydrating to Save Money & Freezer Space