Watermelon Keg

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  • In years past, I was the queen of summer entertaining. Our house was generally the gathering place for any cookout or random mid-afternoon happy hour.

    watermelon keg on a picnic table

    Because of this, I try to find fun new ways to entertain my guests and making a watermelon keg was one of those ways. Last time it was Hootie, my pineapple owl, so this one was a little more practical.

    Watermelon Keg

    What is a watermelon keg? A watermelon keg is nothing but a hollowed out watermelon. Scoop it out the same as you would a pumpkin. There are a couple of key points that make doing this a little simpler, but I will review those in the “how to” below.

    Watermelon and Table

    It is basically just a fun and festive beverage dispenser. You can put anything you’d like inside the vessel, but obviously some sort of watermelon drink is best complement.

    Watermelon Juice

    Fresh watermelon juice isn’t a widely used or mass produced juice, but it is surely delicious and easy to make. All you need is a good blender to pulverize it.

    Then you’ll strain it through a fine mesh sieve to remove any larger pieces or seeds. Pretty pink juice will remain. It can be served as-is, made into a watermelon smoothie or even shaken into a watermelon punch or cocktail.

    Watermelon and Vodka

    You can make it ahead of time, but it does seperate and need to be stirred ever so often to recombine. Keep this in mind if the beverage you decide to fill your watermelon keg with uses the juice.

    Watermelon Spigot

    The spigot is the only piece you’ll need that the grocery store probably won’t carry. You can grab one off Amazon or many beer and cheese stores carry them. If you opt for a plastic spigot, you might be able to find one at the local hardware store.

    fruit keg tools

    Metal Spigot– To me, the stainless steel ones look prettier. They are durable, reusable and can be placed into nearly any vessel your creative side decides to hollow.

    You can get just the spigot or a kit that comes with the perfect coring tool to fit the pipe and rubber and metal stoppers to prevent leaks on both the inside and outside of the fruit you are carving.

    They come like beer taps or with a handle. Both are good options, it is just personal perferance.

    Plastic Spigot – These are great if you are just doing one and then never plan to make one again. They are much cheaper and usually marketed as a replacement spigot for water coolers.

    They won’t come with the same stoppers and coring tool, but you can use an apple corer and just hope you don’t have any leaks.

    Watermelon and Keg

    How to Pick a Watermelon

    In general, you’d look for large watermelon with few blemishes and the spot where the watermelon was lying on the ground is yellow (opposed to cream or white). It should feel heavy and sound a hollow when thumped.

    Now when you are picking one for a watermelon keg, the shape is the most important aspect. In all the pictures you see online, it will look like the spigot is sitting perfectly upright and parrell to the ground. These are photoshoped.

    sliced watermelon on a silver plate

    Watermelons are rounded (unless you are lucky enough to find one of those special square watermelons). They have curves. The spigot needs to be placed relatively low on the melon so you can get out all of the beverage you decide to fill it with. If you place it up higher, on a flatter portion, then you’ll always need to keep the liquid above that level.

    But don’t worry or fret too much. Do the best you can do and then you can sit your keg dangling off a table or even on a stand to elevate the lower and angled spigot.

    PRO TIP: Turn over an elevated cake serving platter so the wider side is the base and set the waterlemon on the smaller (usual base side) for a stand.

    I also prefer to use a seedless watermelon, so I’m not spending all day picking out large black seeds. Seedless will still have smaller, tan seeds.

    You can also use a yellow watermelon or another unexpected surprise! They look the same on the outside, but have yellow flesh that tastes similar (if not identical) to red watermelon.

    How to Make a Watermelon Keg

    This isn’t a hard process, but I do suggest doing it outside or in a location you don’t mind being a little juicy and wearing clothes that can get dirty. You are going to be elbow deep in melon and that means you’ll be a little sticky.

    ONE. Decide which side will be the bottom and the top. On the top, cut off a small wedge so the watermelon sits flat. Even if you plan to put it on a stand, this helps it stay stable while you scoop.

    Watermelon and Keg

    TWO. Cut the top. You’ll want a sharp knife, but not too big. A larger knife actually makes it more difficult to turn and make a nice circle. I used a 6-inch chef’s knife.

    watermelon with the top cut off

    Also make sure to cut the top at an angle so the top will fit back on without falling into the watermelon. Having a top prevents debris and bugs from getting in.

    Watermelon and Keg

    THREE. Scoop it out! Get a large bowl to put all the innards in. These flesh will (hopefully) be used for something else, but it won’t come out all pretty in slices or cubes.

    hallowed out watermelon

    Use a large metal spoon or ice cream scoop and scoop it out leaving some on the sidewalls. Do this all the way to the bottom. Set the flesh aside.

    A little girl sitting at a table with a plate of food, with Watermelon and Keg

    FOUR. Use the coring tool that came with your metal spigot, an apple corer or a small paring knife to create the hole for the spigot. Make sure to place it low enough that the liquid doesn’t need to always be half full in order to flow.

    This usually means it is at a slight angle and will need to dangle off the table or be on a stand. That is normal.

    A close up of a fruit

    FIVE. Insert the spigot. If you are using a metal one, use the rubber stopper on the inside to prevent leaks. Secure in place.

    A close up of a bowl, with Watermelon and Keg

    SIX. Wait until you are ready to serve to fill with your favorite beverage. Unless, you are just filling it with vodka, then you want it to be able to sit for 3-4 hours to fully infuse.

    SEVEN. Keep your watermelon keg chilled until ready to serve. Like any fruit, they get a little soft and funky if out too long, especially in hotter temperatures.

    Watermelon Insides

    Now what do you do with all those insides? That is totally up to you. The watermelon flesh will be all irregularly shaped, but they are still tasty.

    A bowl of watermelon

    You can make them into a watermelon salad with fresh basil, crumbled feta cheese and balsamic drizzle or crush them into watermelon gazpacho. Making cocktails is also a good option. These cocktails can even be served in the watermelon keg!

    watermelon keg with glass of watermelon cocktail

    More Watermelon Recipes:

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    Watermelon keg on a picnic table
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    5 from 2 votes

    Watermelon Keg

    Easy instructions for how to make a watermelon keg with spigot.
    Prep Time20 mins
    Total Time20 mins
    Course: Technique
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: watermelon keg
    Author: Jessica Formicola
    Cost: $20

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    • Decide which side will be the bottom and the top. On the top, cut off a small wedge so the watermelon sits flat. Even if you plan to put it on a stand, this helps it stay stable while you scoop.
      Watermelon and Keg
    • Cut the top. You’ll want a sharp knife, but not too big. A larger knife actually makes it more difficult to turn and make a nice circle. I used a 6-inch chef’s knife. Also make sure to cut the top at an angle so the top will fit back on without falling into the watermelon. Having a top prevents debris and bugs from getting in.
      watermelon with the top cut off
    • Scoop it out! Get a large bowl to put all the innards in. These flesh will (hopefully) be used for something else, but it won’t come out all pretty in slices or cubes. Use a large metal spoon and scoop it out leaving some on the sidewalls. Do this all the way to the bottom. Set the flash aside.
    • Use the coring tool that came with your metal spigot, an apple corer or a small paring knife to create the hole for the spigot. Make sure to place it low enough that the liquid doesn’t need to always be half full in order to flow. This usually means it is at a slight angle and will need to dangle off the table or be on a stand. That is normal.
      A close up of a fruit
    • Insert the spigot. If you are using a metal one, use the rubber stopper on the inside to prevent leaks. Secure in place.
      A close up of a bowl, with Watermelon and Keg
    • Wait until you are ready to serve to fill with your favorite beverage. Unless, you are just filling it with vodka, then you want it to be able to sit for 3-4 hours to fully infuse.
    • Keep your watermelon keg chilled until ready to serve. Like any fruit, they get a little soft and funky if out too long, especially in hotter temperatures.
    • If you’ve tried this, come back and let us know how it went!
      Watermelon keg on a picnic table

    Notes

    *I prefer metal, but you can use plastic. See notes above regarding this choice.

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