How to Dehydrate Watermelon in a Food Dehydrator

Watermelon slices with rind on
To dehydrate watermelon, slice it into thin slices, removing the rind and seeds. Arrange the watermelon slices on food dehydrator trays and dehydrate them at 135°F for 12 to 18 hours. Store the dehydrated watermelon strips in an airtight container for 3 to 6 months.

How to Dehydrate Watermelon at Home

If you frequently dehydrate fruit at home, give dehydrating watermelon a try. Watermelons are large fruits that can easily go to waste – preserve the shelf life of this sweet fruit by making watermelon jerky:

  1. Choose a fresh watermelon that is heavy and has a good color. It may have a brownish or yellow area, which shows it has had enough time to ripen.
  2. Wash your watermelon to remove dirt or grime.
  3. Using a sharp knife, cut the watermelon into ½-inch thick slices, removing the watermelon seeds and rind.
  4. Arrange the seedless watermelon slices on the dehydrator trays without overlapping them. Leave enough space between the watermelon pieces to ensure proper air circulation.
  5. Place the dehydrator trays in the dehydrator and dehydrate the slices at 135°F (or the lowest temperature) for 12 to 18 hours. The total time will vary depending on the thickness of the watermelon pieces and the humidity in your home.
  6. Check the drying slices regularly and rotate the dehydrator trays if need be.
  7. Once the pieces are fully dry, let them cool inside the food dehydrator.
  8. Once the watermelon strips are completely cooled, remove them from the dehydrator.
  9. Store your dehydrated watermelon in a Mylar bag or airtight container for three to six months.
Dehydrated watermelon slices on table
Dehydrated watermelon slices

What Equipment Do You Need to Dehydrate Watermelon?

Most dehydrated watermelon jerky recipes will require the following tools and equipment:

  • Airtight container: for storing your dehydrated watermelon strips. Place a desiccant packet in the storage container to absorb any remaining moisture.
  • Cutting board: Necessary for cutting or dicing the watermelon pieces.
  • Food dehydrator: A high-quality food dehydrator such as an Excalibur dehydrator is necessary for drying watermelon. If you don’t have one, you can find affordable options at
  • Parchment paper: This is used for lining the dehydrator trays and preventing sticking.
  • Sharp knife or mandolin: This is useful for separating the watermelon rind from the fruit and slicing the watermelon into thin pieces.

What Does Dehydrated Watermelon Taste Like?

Dehydrated watermelon is sweet and has a concentrated watermelon flavor. It tastes like dried watermelon candy or similar to a Jolly Rancher with the chewy texture of dried watermelon jerky or taffy.

Grocery store bin full of chocolate dipped dried watermelon pieces
Chocolate-coated dried watermelon

Is Watermelon Good to Dehydrate?

Yes – dehydrating watermelon is easy to dehydrate and results in a sweet, healthy snack. The dehydrating process concentrates the taste of fresh watermelon while preserving its shelf life.

How Long Does It Take to Dehydrate Watermelon?

It takes 12 to 18 hours to dehydrate watermelon in a food dehydrator. Drying times vary based on the thickness of the watermelon pieces, the humidity in the area, and the dehydrator temperature used. Dry watermelon slices at 135°F for around 8 hours and check periodically to see how they are drying. Once fully dehydrated, let them cool completely before storing them in airtight containers.

Watermelon cut in half and dried in the sun
Sun-dried watermelon

What are the Benefits of Dehydrated Watermelon?

Enjoy the following health benefits when you dehydrate watermelon:

  • Dried watermelon is high in powerful antioxidants such as beta-carotene and lycopene that can help prevent cell damage due to free radicals.
  • Dried watermelon is rich in vitamins A and C, as well as minerals such as calcium and potassium.
  • Studies suggest that dried watermelon may improve heart health and reduce inflammation.
  • Watermelon is low in calories and weight-loss friendly.

How Do You Rehydrate Dehydrated Watermelon?

You can rehydrate watermelon by soaking the dehydrated watermelon strips in cold water for three hours. Once fully rehydrated, your watermelon will once again have a fresh watermelon flavor and taste.

What is the Shelf Life of Dehydrated Watermelon?

If properly stored, dehydrated watermelon will last for three to six months. Its shelf life varies depending on the temperature and humidity levels in the storage area. Store dried watermelon slices in glass jars or airtight containers, preferably with a desiccant packet to absorb any remaining moisture and keep them away from direct sunlight.

Patrick Anampiu

Patrick has a farming background and is a full-time food writer and recipe creator. His goal is to help you discover how fantastic it is to dehydrate and preserve food by sharing his knowledge. Outside of the kitchen, Patrick enjoys outdoor activities and exploring nature in all its beauty.

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