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It seems counterintuitive: Drying watermelon, a fruit that’s mostly water to begin with? Well, yes – but I gave it a try because I knew a young entrepreneur who was growing and selling watermelons last summer and he needed to get rid of them ASAP. I’d been curious about dried watermelon and thought it couldn’t hurt to try!

But will I dry watermelon again? Probably not. Keep reading to learn more. 😉

A dehydrator filled with slices of red watermelon with watermelon rinds in the background.

How to Dry Watermelon in a Dehydrator

So here’s the process I used…

Start by washing the watermelon. Next, remove the rind and slice flesh into thin pieces, removing seeds.

A red watermelon sliced in half with dehydrator trays in the background.

How thick to cut watermelon for dehydrating? I tried two batches–one of them was thinner and stuck to the trays more than the thicker slices, which took longer to dry. If you try it, I would recommend something like ⅛” thick or slightly thinner or so. But it does somewhat depend on the texture of the watermelon flesh as well. I used a very sharp knife, which did help.

Lay out the de-seeded watermelon slices on the dehydrator trays. Once the whole dehydrator is filled, put the lid on the dehydrator and start drying. Unfortunately, I didn’t jot down what temperature I actually used on my Presto dehydrator, but I probably used something like 145 degrees F. (The temperature of my dehydrator seems like it runs low, so I always bump it up. Your dehydrator may be different.)

A tray of dried watermelon on the dehydrator.

I let my dehydrator run all day–over 12 hours for one batch–until the pieces were dry and no longer moist at all. (Stickiness is normal; you just don’t want any moisture left in them.) You may need to check the trays several times before it’s actually finished.

Once dried, allow the dehydrator and dried watermelon slices to cool down completely before removing fruit from trays and storing in tightly sealed, glass canning jars.

What Does Dehydrated Watermelon Taste Like?

This is the biggest pro of dehydrating watermelon: The flavor is amazing. Something about drying concentrates the fruity flavor into a sweet, chewy delight. It’s basically like candy, but without any junk in it!

Unfortunately…it’s also very sticky.

A jar filled with dehydrated watermelon slices.

The Problem with Dried Watermelon…

The biggest issue I had with dehydrating watermelon is that it’s just so sticky, because of the natural sugar content. That means the dried slices stuck to my dehydrator trays like nothing else I’ve ever dehydrated. And not only that: It also stuck to the utensils I used to remove it from the dehydrator trays, and then it stuck to the bottom of the jar I stored it in. It sticks to EVERYTHING it touches.

When I last went to eat some dehydrated watermelon, I had to pry it out of the bottom of a glass jar, where it had settled on top of each other into one sticky glob.

Now, one thing that might solve this problem would be using some sort of dehydrator tray liner like these. This was very much a last-minute project and I don’t have any non-stick liners of any kind around, so I didn’t use it. I did try using my fine mesh liners and it helped a bit, but it was still very stuck to the trays. If you give the non-stick liners a try, let me know! I’d love to see your results.

All in all, it was a fun project to try. But I’m not sure I’ll bother doing it again. I think I’ll stick with drying something like apples instead. 😉

A Note on Dehydrating Cantaloupe & Muskmelon…

Before I tried dehydrating watermelon, I actually tried dehydrating cantaloupe first. If you think dried watermelon tastes amazing, you should try dried cantaloupe. It has a phenomenal flavor! And the texture of the flesh withstands drying a bit better than watermelon. It was still sticky, but not nearly as sticky as watermelon and more manageable overall. I’d definitely recommend giving the cantaloupe or muskmelon a try if you’re looking for an interesting project and don’t want to try watermelon first.

What do you think? Have you ever tried dehydrating watermelon? Maybe I’m missing something to make it easier? Let me know in the comments!

Recipe Card

A dehydrator filled with slices of red watermelon with watermelon rinds in the background.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Dehydrating Watermelon

Dehydrating watermelon is yummy…but also quite sticky!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time16 hours
Total Time16 hours 30 minutes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dehydrated watermelon, dried watermelon


  • Cutting board or tray
  • Sharp knife
  • Dehydrator
  • Canning jar with canning lid to close tightly
  • Non-stick dehydrator tray liners optional
  • Spatula or utensil to remove fruit from trays


  • 1 small Watermelon


  • Wash watermelon. Remove rind and seeds.
  • Slice watermelon into thin slices, about 1/8" thick or so.
  • Lay out slices on dehydrator trays.
  • Dehydrate at ~145 degrees F until completely dry. (Will be sticky, just not moist.)
  • Allow dehydrator to cool down completely before putting dehydrated watermelon into a glass canning jar with a tight lid to keep out moisture. It will stick together in storage!


This dehydrator temperature is approximate. Check your dehydrator for the temperature you should use!
How to Dehydrate Watermelon Pros and Cons

One Reply to “Dehydrating Watermelon”

  1. 5 stars
    Thanks for the heads up. I may try the muskmelon but I’ll keep my watermelon fresh.

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