Watermelon Rind Pickles


Quantity: 4 or 5 pints

Jar size: Pints


3 quarts (about 6 pounds) watermelon rind, unpared
¾ cup salt
3 quarts water
2 quarts (2 trays) ice cubes
9 cups sugar
3 cups 5% vinegar, white
3 cups water
1 tablespoon (about 48) whole cloves
6 cinnamon sticks, 1 inch pieces
1 lemon, thinly sliced, with seeds removed


  1. Wash and rinse canning jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer's directions.
  2. Trim the pink flesh and outer green skin from thick watermelon rind. Cut into 1 inch squares.
  3. Cover with brine made by mixing the salt with 3 quarts cold water. Add ice cubes. Let stand 3 to 4 hours.
  4. Drain; rinse in cold water.
  5. Cover with cold water and cook until fork tender, about 10 minutes (do not overcook). Drain.
  6. Combine sugar, vinegar, water, and spices (tied in a clean, thin, white cloth). Boil 5 minutes and pour over the watermelon; add lemon slices. Let stand overnight in the refrigerator.
  7. Heat watermelon in syrup to boiling and cook slowly 1 hour.
  8. Pack hot pickles loosely into clean, hot pint jars.
  9. To each jar add 1 piece of stick cinnamon from spice bag; cover with boiling syrup, leaving ½ inch headspace.
  10. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids.
  11. Process jars immediately in a boiling water or steam canner according to the chart. Let cool, undisturbed, 12-24 hours and check for seals.

Processing time:


Processing Times for Boiling Water Canner or Steam Canner



Process Times at Altitudes of:

Style of Pack

Jar Size

0-1000 ft

1001-6000 ft

Above 6000 ft



10 min

15 min

20 min


So Easy to Preserve, 6th ed, 2020