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watermelon rind pickles in pint jar

Home Canning Watermelon Pickles Recipe

  • Author: Alex
  • Total Time: 13 hours, 35 minutes


Water bath canning watermelon pickles is easy, even if you are canning for the first time. Here’s a beginner-friendly canning recipe to try!


  • 16 cups fresh watermelon rind cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 16 cups water
  • 1 cup canning salt
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 2 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1 lemon, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 12 maraschino cherries, halved


  1. Pick fresh watermelons with hard rinds and no broken skins or dark spots.
  2. Wash the melons under cool running water and scrub them with a vegetable brush to remove soil and debris.
  3. Cut the melons and scoop out the flesh to make canned watermelon jelly. Use a sharp, freshly cleaned knife to peel the outer green skin from the rind and trim the pink or red flesh. Cut the trimmed rind into 1-inch square cubes or long spears, depending on your preference.
  4. Make a brine with canning salt and water in a large pot. Stir until the salt dissolves. Add the watermelon rind pieces and cover the pot with a lid or plastic wrap. Let them sit for 12 hours to pickle. For faster results, add ice cubes after adding the rind and let sit for 3-4 hours.
  5. After the pickling time lapses, drain the rinds and rinse them in cold water.
  6. Combine 16 cups water and the drained, pickled watermelon rind in a large stock pot. Heat the contents to a boil. Adjust the heat to a medium-low simmer and cook the rind for 45-60 minutes until fork-tender. Drain and keep aside.
  7. As the rind cooks in the syrup, prepare your canning supplies. Wash six pint-sized jars and their canning lids and screw bands. Wash these in warm water with soap before rinsing them with warm water.
  8. Put the clean canning jars in a large pot, add fresh water, and heat them to a simmer. Let the jars remain hot until filled.
  9. Place a canning rack into your hot water bath canner and fill it halfway with fresh water. Heat the canner on medium-high heat and maintain it at a temperature of 180°F.
  10. Put half the cloves, allspice, and half the cinnamon sticks in a spice bag or cheesecloth. Combine the lemon slices, spice bag, white sugar, maraschino cherries, and vinegar in a large stock pot. Stir to dissolve all the sugar.
  11. Add the pickled watermelon to the stock pot and bring the contents to a boil. Adjust the heat to a medium-low simmer and cook for 5-10 until the rind turns transparent. Remove the spice bag.
  12. Put one cinnamon stick and one whole clove in each dried, hot canning jar.
  13. Ladle the hot acidified pickled watermelon rind and cooking liquid into the hot jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Use a thin wooden stir stick inside the jars to remove air bubbles.
  14. Wipe the jar rims with moist paper towels. Top the jars with new lids and fasten the rings to fingertip tightness.
  15. Use a jar lifter to lower the jars into the canner without turning or tilting them. The tops of the jars should be 1-2 inches under the water.
  16. Raise the heat to high and heat the canner to a rolling boil. Place a lid on the canner and process the jars for 10-20 minutes, adjusting for elevation:

Water Bath Processing for Watermelon Rind Pickles

  • 0 – 1,000ft: 10 minutes
  • 1,001 – 6,000ft: 15 minutes
  • Above 6,001ft: 20 minutes

Post Processing

  1. Take the canner off the heat, open the lid, and let the jars sit in the hot water for 5 minutes before removing the jars individually with canning tongs.
  2. Place the jars unturned and untilted on warm towels laid on a flat countertop. Let the jars cool undisturbed without re-tightening the lids for 12-24 hours.
  3. Take the ring bands off and check the seals for indentation and flexing. Save any jars with flexing lids in the refrigerator and consume the pickles within one month.
  4. Wash the exterior of all sealed jars and wipe them dry for labeling and storage in a cool, dry place.
  • Prep Time: 12 hours, 15 minutes
  • Canning Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes


  • Serving Size: 1/4 pint
  • Calories: 136kcal
  • Sugar: 25g
  • Sodium: 4624mg
  • Fat: 1g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 34g
  • Protein: 1g