Cutting a Watermelon

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Slicing in two pieces

So, I found out that my wife hates cutting watermelon. The reason? I can eat it about as fast as she can cut it.  So when I offered to start cutting the watermelon. She let me.  I stepped up to the watermelon with my knives and cutting board in hand and had an immediate revelation.  I had absolutely no idea how to cut a watermelon.

Now, my Shun knives are pretty sharp, and I have no desire to make a trip to the emergency room. So, I had to stop and think about this.  Here is the method that I came up with. (If someone knows a better way, please share)

  1. Wash the watermelon to get off any gunk on the outside
  2. Dry the melon so that it isn’t slippery
  3. Slice the melon in half. Careful with this one. I use a 8″ Chef’s knife, but wish I had a 10″ Chef’s knife.  This is just an awkward cut. Moving the melon as well as the knife causes the knife to work at its best.
  4. Once you have 2 halves, it gets a little easier.  Now that the melon is not as tall, you can section it with a slicing motion. Start by putting the tip of the knife on the board, and pull right through the melon.
  5. Once there are sections, it is time to remove the rind. I use a modified slice.  I put the section of watermelon on the board and I carefully slice in two separate arcs.
  6. Once the rind is removed, the meat can be sliced into pieces. (Be sure to use good technique. This part is easy, but good slicing practice)
  7. At the end there are those pesky end pieces. I slice triangular pieces, and then I grab my favorite spoon and finish them off. Yum.
    Sectioning the Watermelon

    Sectioning the Watermelon: I use a slicing motion

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    Removing th Rind: A modified slice

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    Slicing the Meat: Remember to use your slicing skills

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    Cutting Corners: A slice again

My New Shun Knife

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9" Shun Slicing Knife

For my birthday my wife gave me the gift of adding another knife to my collection.  Ah… my set of Shun knives.  How wonderful they are.  I never knew what I was missing until I cut something with my very first Shun knife.  You see, Shun knives are made special. The are sharpened to a 16 degree angle rather than the standard 20 degree angle– which makes them extremely sharp.  Shun knives are made from a special alloy of steel (VG-10) that allow it to retain that 16 degree edge.  A traditional knife edge would become blunt very quickly. So, to give it a bit more stability, traditional knives are sharpened to a more oblique angle. (Which makes them not as sharp). I first learned about Shun knives from a promotional piece put out by Alton Brown. To start down the path of being a ‘Blade Head’ yourself, watch the following video.