Cantaloupe split in half on a wooden cutting board.

How to Pick a Perfect Cantaloupe: One Quick Tip

How to Pick a Perfect Cantaloupe – This One Quick Tip will guarantee a sweet and ripe melon every time!

Cantaloupe split in half on a wooden cutting board.
How to Pick a Perfect Cantaloupe: One Quick Tip

Learn how to pick a perfect cantaloupe every time with this simple One Quick Tip!

Note: This post first appeared on August 2, 2016. The recipe has been updated from the archives with updated content and photographs, as well as improved kitchen notes. I hope you enjoy this favorite from my kitchen.

Cantaloupe split in half on a wooden cutting board.

The season is ripe for melons! I’ve encountered lots of methods for picking cantaloupes over the years, but I have one quick tip on how to pick a perfect cantaloupe that never fails, and I learned it from my mother.


To pick the perfect melon, there’s no need to worry about its weight or size or by tapping on the rind. My mother taught me that the way to make sure a cantaloupe is sweet and ripe is by examining the indentation left by the stem. The stem scar should look like an innie belly button – the deeper the indentation, the better!

Just remember: look for an innie!

Ripe cantaloupe on a wooden cutting board.

What’s your method for picking a perfect cantaloupe? Do you use the innie method? Or something else? I’d love to know!

Ripe cantaloupe on a wooden cutting board.

I hope you find this helpful! If you have any quick tips you would like to share, let me know – I’d be happy to spread the word in a future post!


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  1. Kay

    The innie should also be smooth showing it was ready to pick.

  2. Sam Smith

    I loved your tip and am so glad to read your post….i will apply this when i will purchasing a melon…Thanks for sharing…..!

  3. Keri

    By smell…. the more fragrant it is, the more it smells like Cantaloupe…. the sweeter it will be.
    I pick Strawberries by this method as well.

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    I havent any word to appreciate this post…..Really i am impressed from this post….the person who create this post it was a great human..thanks for shared this with us.

  5. Mary

    Hi, I was given a cantaloupe by a neighbor years ago. It was so messed up, I didn’t think I would eat it, but I opened it up and it was so good and sweet. Now I always pick them by the ugly ones on the outside, marks and brown, just ugly and I always get a good juicy and sweet cantaloupe. I will try the innie for sure, worth a try. thanks

    • Liren Baker

      It’s a great reminder to never judge a melon by it’s cover, haha! I’ll try your way (along with the innie!) next time! Thanks, Mary!

  6. Bita

    That’s really fascinating! I’m definitely going to be the girl at the grocery store looking for all the cantaloupe innies now! My trick isn’t really even a trick– I just smell them! :)
    Thanks for sharing, Liren!

  7. Mary

    So interesting Liren. Somewhere along the years I was taught, or maybe read, that the way to find a ripe cantaloupe was by pressing on the indentation where the stem had been. If it gives slightly, it’s ripe.

    I will give your tip a try! Any road to a ripe melon is a road worth taking. :)

  8. Keri

    even yellowish (not green) color, smooth surface (no dimples) and it smells like a cantaloupe

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