Grilled Watermelon

A quick kiss from the grill works wonders on watermelon wedges.

Grilled Watermelon
Photo: Caitlin Bensel
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins
Serves 10 (serving size: about 2 slices)

There's nothing quite like biting into a crisp, cold slice of watermelon on a summer afternoon—that is until you've tried watermelon fresh off the grill. Sure, if it's your first grilled fruit it may sound a bit strange. But, like grilled peaches, a quick kiss from the grill works wonders, changing the texture and adding a slight smoky flavor to the naturally sweet fruit.

Set yourself up for success by cutting the melon into one-inch triangle wedges or quarter slices before grilling. Full steaks often break when flipped. Be sure to sprinkle both sides of the fruit with the sugar and salt mixture. Without it, the juicy melon won't char.

If your watermelon is much larger than four pounds, you may need a bit more of the sugar and salt coating. Serve topped with lime zest, Tajin, chili powder, or any final touches of your choosing.


  • 1 small (about 4 lb.) seedless watermelon

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Optional toppings: lime zest, Tajín, and/or chili powder


  1. Trim 1/2 inch from both ends of watermelon. Stand up watermelon on 1 cut end; cut lengthwise into quarters. Cut each quarter into 1-inch slices. Sprinkle slices evenly on both sides with sugar and salt.

  2. Preheat a gas grill to high (450ºF to 500°F). Place watermelon slices on oiled grates; grill, uncovered, until grill marks appear, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with desired toppings.

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