We all love going to the store, and seeing the bright colors and sweet aromas of the fresh produce. During the summer, there is nothing better than cutting open a sweet juicy cantaloupe and eating it on a hot day. Unfortunately, produce is hard to keep fresh, and the shelf life can leave much to be desired. Sometimes you might end up throwing away a good amount of fruit because you couldn’t get to it in time-and so you start wondering, how to store cantaloupe?
This post will show you the best way to minimize waste and keep your cantaloupe fresh longer.
How to Store Cantaloupe: Whole
When you pick up your cantaloupe from your local store, you don’t always have the time to eat it right away, or maybe you get it home and realize it isn’t ripe enough yet. Not a problem; there are ways you can store cantaloupe whole so that it doesn’t go bad before you’ve had time to enjoy it.
- If the cantaloupe you got still has a slight heugh of green to the rind, it means that it isn’t quite ripe yet. If this is the case, you can leave it out on the counter for a day or two. The temperature and humidity will cause it to ripen.
- If you want to speed up the process, here is a little trick, you can place the cantaloupe in a plain paper bag and then leave it out on the counter. The naturally released ethylene gas from the cantaloupe, which affects ripening, will be reabsorbed back into melon because it can’t escape through the bag, causing it to ripen quickly.
- Remember to check the cantaloupe left out on the counter periodically to make sure they don’t over-ripen. You can see this by the color of the rind. If there is no more green coloration to the rind, it might be time to put it in the fridge.
Another way to do this is to check the end of the melon, push the button-shaped indent lightly, and if you find that it has a little give, then it is ready to eat. You can also read up on more ways to tell if a cantaloupe is ripe.
- If the cantaloupe you picked up is already ripe, but you don’t have time to eat it that day, not a problem. It can last five to seven days on the counter.
How to Store Cantaloupe in the Refrigerator
Storing Cantaloupe Whole
- Experts disagree on exactly how long a whole cantaloupe can keep in the fridge. Some say two to three weeks, while this Washington Post article says seven to 10 days. Just remember to place it on a shelf where it can’t get wet, and use your best judgement-if you cut it open after having stored in the fridge, and find it mushy, rotten, and/or overwhelmingly smelly, don’t eat it!
Storing Cantaloupe Sliced
- Sometimes you cut into a cantaloupe, eat a little, and then don’t know what to do with the rest of it. If this is the case, go ahead and cut it into slices or cut it in half. A helpful hint is to remember to keep the seeds in as they help prolong shelf life.
- Wrap the slices or halves in plastic wrap or a plastic bag. You can store cantaloupe in the fridge like this for up to three days.
Storing Cantaloupe Cubed
If you are anything like me and love to have the fruit cut into mouth-sized cubes, the refrigerator is a great place to keep them, so you can snack on them off and on.
- In order to ensure they last as long as possible in the fridge, which is about one to two days after being cut. You will want to cut off the rind, then take the flesh off the melon and cut it into cubes of similar size.
- One trick that helps keep the cubes fresh is adding a little touch of lemon juice to them. Then take the container you plan on leaving them in, preferably an airtight one, and place a paper towel on the bottom of the container.
- Place the cubes of cantaloupe you have cut, in one layer on top of the paper towel. This is important, you’ll want to make sure to leave some room at the top to help prevent too much moisture, which causes spoilage to happen quicker.
Can You Dry Cantaloupe?
This might surprise you since, like watermelon, cantaloupe has a large percentage of water, but the answer is yes. However, since you are making the dried cantaloupe at home, they will not have any preservatives, so it is best to eat them within a couple of days of completing the drying process.
There are two different ways of drying your cantaloupe: with a dehydrator, or with an oven.
Here is how you can make the dried cantaloupe in your oven:
- Wash the cantaloupe with warm water, and scrub it with a brush to get rid of any bacteria that might be on it.
- Peel the cantaloupe; remove the rind, and then cut the melon in half.
- Once cut, scoop out all the seeds on each half of the cantaloupe.
- Take the halves of cantaloupe and cut each into four slices. Then take each of those four slices and cut them into half again, leaving you with eight slices total.
- If you find that you have an exceptionally large cantaloupe, go ahead and cut the slices again. You want them to be as thin as possible so that they’ll dry out.
- Take the slices and put them on some cheesecloth, then place them on the middle rack of your oven.
- The oven should be turned to 145 degrees. Remember to leave the oven door open just a tad so that the steam can escape.
- Let your cantaloupe slices bake in the oven for at least eight hours, and then you’ll have a yummy treat that you can store for a couple days.
Interested in purchasing a dehydrator? Take advantage of our suggestion.
Storing Cantaloupe in the Freezer
Freezing them is another way to store cantaloupe and a method that will preserve them for up to six months.
- Wash the outside of the melon.
- They can be frozen in cubes or slices, whatever you prefer.
- Flash freeze them on parchment paper.
- Then take them out and store them together in a container or plastic bag and place them back into the freezer, where they can be used whenever you need them.
If you want to know more about this process, check out this how-to freeze a cantaloupe article that will walk you through the steps to freeze and how to use your cantaloupe.
Now You Know All About How to Store Cantaloupe!
Now that you have a better idea of how to store cantaloupe, you’re probably wondering where to go from here. Did you know that cantaloupes are great for your health? Discover all the great health benefits of cantaloupe!
Excited for more cantaloupe content? Then check out my cantaloupe page for growing tips, info guides, recipes, and more!