Watermelon Jerky

Watermelon jerky is a real fruit snack that will have your taste buds singing! Learn how easy it is to make in a dehydrator and oven.

A plate of watermelon jerky

What made me want to make watermelon jerky?

I’ve been trying to show folks ways they can save money to combat rapidly rising grocery costs and one of those is, of course, buying food at today’s prices and preserving it. With that in mind, I’ve done a lot of dehydrating videos lately. I really feel the dehydrator is an often overlooked appliance that can save every household money and freezer space! I’ve shown you how to dehydrate frozen vegetables, make your own instant rice (for pennies a serving instead of $1 a serving), and even how to make shelf-stable ground beef.  

And now, for a real fruit snack that will have your taste buds singing… dried watermelon jerky!

I didn’t realize how well received the videos about the dehydrator would be, how many emails I’d get asking for more, and how many of y’all would actually go out and buy a dehydrator! Links to the dehydrators I have are at the bottom of this post. I do feel like this is a wonderful investment and an easy way for every household to preserve food with the lowest maintenance possible.

Although I can-preserve foods (click here for my tutorial), dehydrating and making things like watermelon jerky takes far less hands-on time and allows me to preserve things I wouldn’t be able to with traditional canning methods.

Why would you want to dehydrate watermelon?

Well, sometimes we may have a bumper crop! Sometimes we may find a good deal and want to preserve it. Sometimes we may just want to taste what dried watermelon tastes like. I highly recommend any of the above, especially growing your own. This watermelon jerky recipe isn’t even really a recipe, it’s that easy to make. Just cut up your watermelon, place the strips in the dehydrator, and walk away to let it work its magic (like you would a crockpot meal).

It is so worth the wait. The watermelon is so sweet and tastes like a watermelon Jolly Rancher, only better! It is slightly chewy like an easy-to-chew taffy and all of that wonderful watermelon flavor is concentrated in a way that you’ve never tried before. Trust me, the real fruit flavor and texture of the dehydrated watermelon make this such an addictive snack… you’ll be making it again and again!


Recipe Ingredients

  • Watermelon

How to Make Watermelon Jerky

Remove rind from watermelon.

To start you need to cut up your watermelon however you feel like cutting up your watermelon.

I slice mine in big wedges and then cut it apart from the watermelon rind.

The rind removed.


Slice wedge into thin slices.

Then I slice that wedge into thinner slices.

The thinner the better.

Cut into smaller slices.

Cut those up into smaller pieces still.

Lay pieces out on lined dehydrator trays.

Lay them out on your dehydrator trays that have been lined with parchment paper or fruit leather sheets.

Place sheets in dehydrator.

Load up your dehydrator.

Watermelon in dehydrator.

Put the door on.

Set temperature to fruit.

Set your temperature for fruit (about 135 degrees) and your timer for Ten Forevers.

I’m not kidding. That is how long this will take. Most likely 18 to 24 hours.

Plate of watermelon jerky.

Then… ENJOY!


When stored in an airtight container in a cool dry place like your kitchen pantry, the dehydrated watermelon will last up to 3 months.

Recipe Notes

Want to add some flavoring? For zesty jerky, brush the watermelon strips with lime juice before dehydrating. For spicy jerky, toss them in a dash of paprika. 

Recipe FAQs

How do you make watermelon jerky in the oven?

You want to prep the watermelon as above and then arrange the watermelon slices on 2 wire racks on 2 baking sheets. Bake at 250 until almost dried (about 3 hours). Then lower the temperature to 200 and continue baking until the fruit is completely dried (3 to 4 hours). You’ll want to flip the slices every 2 hours and rotate the pans to ensure even cooking.

Can I get watermelon year-round?

Watermelon is not only available in the summer. It is a refreshing and nutritious fruit that can be available all year round! The US produces watermelon typically from April through November. If you are buying at other times it is likely imported.

How can I tell if a watermelon is good?

While we’re here, let me show you how you can tell if a watermelon is good. You want a bright yellow underbelly. That means that the watermelon was ripened in the field. It should also be very heavy (so you know it is fresh and juicy) and has a dull thud sound when you thump it.

But be nice. Watermelons don’t like to be thumped anymore than you do!

Check out these other recipes…

For Dehydrating

Dehydrating Peaches

Tomato Chips

Using a Dehydrator to Make Shelf Stable Ground Beef

With Watermelon


Watermelon Jerky

Watermelon jerky is a real fruit snack that will have your taste buds singing! Learn how easy it is to make in a dehydrator and oven.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 18 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 5 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: jerky, watermelon
Calories: 135kcal


  • 1 watermelon


  • Cut watermelon and remove flesh from the rind. Cut the flesh into pieces as close to 1/4" thickness as you can. Remove seeds if possible.
    1 watermelon
  • Place on lined dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 135 degrees for ten forevers (18-24 hours) or until watermelon jerky is sufficiently dry and breaks when you bend it.
  • Store in an airtight container.


Calories: 135kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!


To see the Excalibur dehydrator I currently use, click here. For a complete collection of dehydrators offered by Amazon, click here.

Similar Posts


  1. Wow Christy, thanks for doing this post. I am currently growing 3 types of watermelon and some cantaloupe. I am excited to try this. I don’t have as big a dehydrator as you, I have a Presto that I just bought 4 days ago at Wal~Mart. You inspired me to get one after I watched your ground beef video. I already do a lot of canning and will now be doing a lot of dehydrating as well; especially since I have a garden full of things that can be dehydrated.

    Now, having said that, I have a question for you…do you think cucumbers can be dehydrated ? I can a lot of pickles, and make a lot of refrigerator pickles with my home grown cucumbers, but I wanted to know if I could make some ‘dried Pickle Chips’ ??? In theory it sounds good, but just wondered if you have ever heard of it ? I was kind of thinking of soaking them in some vinegar, then placing them on the lined trays and sprinkle some salt and dill on them. What do you think ? Cucumbers are prolific producers and since you can’t freeze them, this sounds pretty good. I give some away, but would also like to be able to put some up for ‘later’.
    Well was just wonderin’…
    I love you and your stuff. Keep up the great work !!!
    God Bless you and your family.

  2. I have been dehydrating watermelon for quite a while now, but I don’t use the teflex sheets when doing so. I dry them on the mesh sheets, and I have no problem whatsoever. Now seeing your method has me curious. I will try soon…maybe this week, since I have a watermelon. The only thing with me though is that, for some reason, I can’t bring myself to dehydrate the sweetest, juiciest flesh of the melon. I eat that, and then the part closest to the rind, since it isn’t very sweet, I cut that up, and that is what makes it to the dehydrator=). Believe it or not, that part becomes sweet when dehydrated. Thanks for the ideas.

  3. I would like to know about how much dried fruit a large watermelon would yield. We’ve tried drying fruit but it is a very small amount after it has been in the dehydrator. Maybe I’m doing something wrong. Was it just the amount on the plate in the last picture? Thanks!

    1. You’re not doing anything wrong, you’re likely just drying high water content fruits. Watermelon is over 90% water so when you remove that you end up with significantly less volume and weight, which is one of the benefits of dehydrated food. I ended up with a quart jar filled with strips when I did this tutorial.

  4. I love your love for the dehydrator! I don’t own a dehydrator but have made some delicious fruit leathers in my oven at a low temp. I’m looking to buy a dehydrator, so I checked out the links you posted, but they look pretty fancy (and expensive!) for my needs.

    Can you recommend a good dehydrator to suit my needs? I’m a single gal (so don’t need to make huge batches), with no garden (!), don’t eat meat and would only be looking to dry fruits and veggies. I don’t want to spend tons but am also a firm believer in “you get what you pay for” so don’t mind spending money–especially for kitchen items–as long as it’s a quality item.

    Thanks for your help!

  5. I have dehydrated lots of things but it never once crossed my mind to dehydrate something with “water” in it’s name! Wow. This sounds delicious! And I am trying to grow watermelons for the first time ever this year, so…fingers crossed the plants will grow and produce so many watermelons I can try making watermelon jerky! 🙂

  6. Thank you for this word of hope and challenge! Reading your “soapbox” portion gave me chills and filled my eyes with tears. Needing to love someone (everyone?) more than oneself hits home! Thank you. Happy Easter, He is Alive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe or Post Rating