Dehydrated Watermelon and Dehydrated Cantoloupe

There`s not a lot of mystery in how to dehydrate a melon:

  • Remove rind
  • Cut in even slices
  • Place in dehydrator at 135 until thin, dry and leathery (near brittle but not quite).

Dehydrated Watermelon and Dehydrated Cantoloupe Watermelon Preserving Recipes Cantaloupe

The process takes  12-18 hours – but is greatly dependant on the thickness of your slices (our quarter-inch slices were pretty close to 18 hours).

There is however some tricks to getting even slices.  Rather than describing the process of squaring-off a watermelon (we eat the rest fresh), it`s easier to show you:

Dehydrated Watermelon and Dehydrated Cantoloupe Watermelon Preserving Recipes Cantaloupe

It almost looks like a loaf of bread!

The bigger question for many will be – `What does it taste like?`  It`s definately not like chicken.  The flavor is nearly sickly sweet with a texture somewhere between fruit leather (or roll-ups), cotton candy and space food.  Many adore it – I`m not sure it`s my cup of tea.  But I`ll reserve my vote until the middle of winter where sweet flavors are less plentiful and this may make more sense in that context.  If I don`t love it, I`ll bet I can find a bunch of people (and kids) who will adore it!

Have you had dried melon before?  If not, would you try it?  If so, what do you think of it?


  1. atexastwist says:

    I dried some and I like it but I’m not a huge dried fruit fan. For a twist, add some thinly sliced peppers on top of the melon slices. I used jalapenos and it is crazy spicy but balances really well with the super sweetness of the dried melon.

    • Texas…

      awesome idea with the jalapenos. placing a twist like this was indeed my thought fornext time. I`m thinking a bit of smoked salt or even ginger could work as well. Something to put a bit more savory or umami in to balance the super sweet. Love your idea too!

  2. A couple years ago, I tried making spiced apple rings (you know, the candy red ones) from a recipe in one of the Ball books. I didn’t really care for how they came out, so I opened a jar and tossed the apple rings into the dehydrator. The result was pretty much as you described the watermelon. Very sweet like a commercial fruit roll-up but with a nice cinnamon spice.

    I think kids would probably love it. It was a little too sweet for me for daily consumption.

  3. I’d like to try it, only because it doesn’t make sense. Watermelon = juiciness in my brain.

  4. Great idea! im going to have to try this!

  5. I bet rehydrating that watermelon with some rum would be a lot of fun. I’m a fan of drunken watermelon, but I bet completely removing the water and replacing it with alcohol would be pretty intense. Looks like I have an experiment to do!

    We dehydrated some melon before, but the melon itself wasn’t all that great so it was kind of a bust. It was very … meh.

    High water-content fruits and vegetables are always kind of odd when dehydrated. I think I’ve seen on here that you’ve done this with cucumber before — if not, you should give it a try. Cut them thin and they come out of the dehydrator like chips! Just don’t leave them sitting out if you have pets. Ours disappeared, bag and all.

  6. Hey Joel – I know you’ve gone here before, but remind me what kind of dehydrator you have?

  7. I’ve only done cantaloupe, and I did it in long strips and find it delicious. I can only eat a little bit at a time though because the flavor is so intense (and sweet!). I treated it the same as the above recipe, but for a slightly shorter time so it was more soft and leathery, not brittle. Try it!

  8. Sounds amazing! how long would the dried watermelon last for? I just got a dehydrator so maybe this will be my first project. Is it safe to leave while at work? Thank you!

    • Hi Allison,

      It will last a long time – I imagine through to when we have watermelons again. We store them in airtight (mason) jars. We leave ours on while working but I`d check with the manufacturer to be safest – my experience may be different than others. Ours claims to use the same enrgy as a light bulb – but creates a lot more heat.

  9. Oh, PERFECT timing! I have about 5 sugar baby watermelons in my garden that are almost ready to harvest and I really wanted to do something with them other than just eat them plain. I’m plugging in my dehydrator as we speak. THANKS!

  10. Ooh, I picked up both melons from the CSA yesterday. I blended up some of the watermelon and froze it in ice cube trays for smoothies in the winter but dehydrating sounds wonderful. I might even salt it first.

    Or… maybe blend up the watermelon with something spicy and dry it like a fruit leather.

    I should try dehydrating cucumbers as Big Onion suggested.

    • Andrea, that’s a much better idea for freezing! I cut up cantaloupe and froze the chunks whole for smoothies, but they nearly killed my blender. Next time, I’ll blend first and put it into ice cube trays. Thanks!

      • You’re welcome. I have a Vitamix that could probably blend chunks of frozen melon but the frozen cubes occurred to me first.

      • I have a basic Oster blender and it blends up frozen cantaloupe fine for smoothies. Were you trying to do it without added liquid?

  11. My boys love dehydrated cantalope slices in their trail mix!

  12. Slices of watermelon and cantaloupe sprinkled liberally with Buster Rhino’s habanero salt are in my dehydrator now. Some sweet, some spicy, some salty. Fresh watermelon was tasty that way.

  13. I’ve dehydrated watermelon before and we loved it – better than candy. Thanks for the reminder, I need to do some more before the season’s out!

  14. Thanks for the advice! I love the idea of adding salt or pepper! Just picked up a watermelon today from the farmers market and will probably do make it tomorrow

  15. i wonder about juicing the melon, then using the pulp to make fruit leather? plus or minus other tastes like the jalepenos… should be very different texture. maybe more consistent?

  16. I dehydrated some watermelon a while back, and while I loved to texture, it is wayyyy to sweet for me. I think I’ll try it again with a liberal dose of lemon and/or lime juice spread on each slice.

  17. Could I dry them in the oven? I don’t have a dehydrator!

    • Laurie,

      It depends how low your oven goes – most don`t go below 200 which would cook them. You could prop the oven partially open you would go through a lot of energy and constant observation. It can be done, would just be very hands on and not so efficient…

    • Dehydrators can be found pretty cheap online. I think mine was maybe $50 six months ago.

  18. Thank you for the tips! I just put some slices in my dehydrator now.. can’t wait too see how they come out.. last time I tried this.. well.. things ended badly. I cut the pieces WAY too thick.

  19. Interesting comments about something to balance the sweetness. I like to salt my fresh watermelon and just had a bowl (on a whim) with… SOY SAUCE. YUM! I think I will try dehydrating some basted in soy sauce and some with some spice and salt too.

    • Karen,

      That’s a fascinating idea – never thought about that. We have a smoked salt that could be a lot of fun as well. I’m really curious about fresh watermelon and soya sauce now (it would also look oddly like sashimi). :)

      Thanks so much for sharing!


  20. Dried
    watermelon and cantaloupe chips
    taste good to me, but I agree
    that the sweetness of the watermelon chips can be overpowering. Adding
    various sauces
    can spice up zucchini chips
    to overcome their blandness. Now
    I’m curious to try hot pepper sauce, soy sauce, etc. on my next batch
    of watermelon chips.

  21. smithml1015 says:

    Just did some cantaloupe with fresh ground black pepper! The pepper balanced the sweetness perfectly! Just a suggestion.

  22. Charlotte says:

    Try sprinkling it with Tru Lemon or Tru Lime..then dry it. Bet it would be amazing.

  23. I dehydrate fresh pineapple to make chips. Make sure the fruit is very ripe. remove skin and core. Throw pieces in a blender. Pour onto fruit leather trays, shake until about 1/8th inch thick. Dry until brittle. Break into pieces. Delish. Vacuum seal in jars and lasts for years.


  1. [...] and coincidentally, Joel from Well Preserved chose to post about dehydrating cantaloupe and melon today. I know what I’ll be doing with some of the melon that I cut up! Into the dehydrator [...]

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