Grilled Watermelon Recipe

Once you’ve had your fill of cold, crisp watermelon in salads and aguas frescas, it’s time to turn your focus to the grill. Grilled watermelon may sound strange at first, but the grill caramelizes the melon’s sweetness and gives it a subtle, smoky flavor that makes it an intriguing side dish or a surprising dessert.

A mini watermelon (under five pounds) provides the ideal amount of watermelon for four to six people. Watermelon for grilling should be cut into triangles with the rind attached, as steaks of watermelon tend to fall apart when flipped and turned with tongs on the grill.

How To Grill Watermelon
  1. Make the honey lime mixture. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, lime zest, and honey.
  2. Cut the watermelon. Heat an outdoor or indoor grill to high. …
  3. Grill the watermelon. Cook each piece until grill marks form and the watermelon is slightly soft, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  4. Serve.

Grilled Watermelon (Watermelon Steak): Summer Grill Recipes

Grilled Watermelon 🔗

Here’s an easy, unexpected starter or BBQ side you’ll love—grilled watermelon! Serve it savory or sweet for a fun twist on everyone’s favorite summer fruit.

Prep: 5min

Total: 11min


  • Vegetable oil, for grilling
  • 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • Zest of one lime
  • 1/4 large watermelon (about 5 lbs), cut into 1-inch thick wedges
  • Fresh cilantro and lime wedges for serving


  1. Heat a gas or charcoal grill to high heat (about 450˚ to 500˚) and oil the grill grates with vegetable oil. 
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, salt, and lime zest. Pinch the mixture together with your fingertips to combine all of the ingredients.
  3. Lay the watermelon wedges in a single layer on a sheet tray. Reserve 1 teaspoon of the salt mixture; set aside. Sprinkle half of the remaining salt mixture all over the watermelon wedges. Flip and sprinkle the wedges with the other half of the salt mixture. Place on a cooling rack set over a sheet tray and let rest for 15 minutes. Using paper towels, press firmly on the slices to remove excess moisture.
  4. Place the wedges on the grill over direct heat and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until grill marks appear. Remove the watermelon from the grill and place on a sheet tray or serving platter. Sprinkle with the reserved salt mixture and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges, if desired. 


Why are people grilling watermelon?

We actually found that grilled watermelon tasted a bit squash-like, and it tasted best warm – not cool. Usually, when you add salt to a fruit, the sweetness is intensified, but because the watermelon will also be grilled, the sweetness becomes delightfully subtle compared to the smokey flavor.

How do you spice up watermelon?

The grill will help caramelize the sweetness of watermelon and give it a slightly smoky flavor in just a few minutes, in addition to giving you some lovely char marks!

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