How can you tell if a cantaloupe is ripe? (5 tips)

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How can you tell if a cantaloupe is ripe?”, discuss the ways in detail to tell if a cantaloupe is ripe and also the ways to store the different forms of cantaloupe.

How can you tell if a cantaloupe is ripe?

There are several differences between an unripe and ripe cantaloupe that may help you tell if the cantaloupe is ripe or not. An unripe cantaloupe lacks flavor and moisture, and anemically pale orange color, and a texture that is unpleasantly hard to bite. Conversely, the fruit of ripe cantaloupe is so sweet, tender, drippingly juicy, and vibrantly orange.

While buying a cantaloupe, plan the time to eat it. If you intend to eat a cantaloupe the day you buy it, or even within a few days, select the one that is already ripe at the time of purchase. The cantaloupes will continue to ripen after harvesting, so if you get the unripe one that is not quite ready to be eaten, have a little patience and it will be ready-to-eat in a couple of days.

How to tell if a cantaloupe is ready to eat?

You can tell if a cantaloupe is ready to eat when you see a beige webbing pattern. The netting should have raised edges and the color of the cantaloupe should be cream-colored, sandy gold, yellow, or tan. If the cantaloupe is not ripe enough the rind will be grey or green.

5 ways to tell if a cantaloupe is ripe

There are a variety of ways you can tell if the cantaloupe under your inspection is ripe and juicy enough to buy right now or not. Keep in mind that you need to trust your senses first. Perform sensory evaluations at the grocery store and make sure that the cantaloupe that you are going to buy is of superior quality and worths spending money on.

Check the stem end

The first thing that needs to be verified is that there is no part of the actual stem on the cantaloupe. If it is, you should not buy that cantaloupe. Because it suggests that it was harvested before it was able to be fully mature on the vine. Also, check the rind around the stem end of the cantaloupe for any tears. These rinds suggest that the fruit was picked too early and it is unripe.

The rip cantaloupe has a stem end that is slightly intended and indicates that the fruit was easily plucked off the vine.

Look at the netting on the skin

The rind of a ripe cantaloupe is covered with a thick, coarse netting and appears to be well-defined over the entire surface of the melon. But it can also stand out in some areas. So, do not expect it to be smooth throughout the whole surface area of the fruit.

Note the color

A ripe cantaloupe should have a tinted gold, yellow, or tan criss-cross pattern on the rind. If the rind of the fruit is tinted green, it indicates that the fruit is unripe.

The pulp of the fruit should be pale yellow. 

Use your sense of touch

The ripe cantaloupe feels heavy for its size. On pressing the blossom end of the fruit, it should yield slightly. If it feels hard, this means you need to let it ripe at room temperature for a day or two.

Sniff the cantaloupe

The aroma and softening of the fruit develop at its blossom end, so the scent is strongest at this end. So, take a whiff of the blossom end, and you should be able to sense the familiar fragrance of a ripe cantaloupe when you breathe in.

How to store a cantaloupe?

Once the visual inspection is done and you bring the cantaloupe home, you may wonder that how long it is going to stay fresh. Under proper storage conditions, whole ripe cantaloupe can last for 5 days at room temperature and 7 days in the refrigerator.

So, let’s discuss how you can properly store the cantaloupe.

Unripe cantaloupes

The unripe cantaloupe should be stored at room temperature in a paper bag. The storage conditions will help the cantaloupe mature faster and soften the flesh. But the flavor of the fruit will not be changed.

Whole cantaloupes

Whole cantaloupes can be stored at room temperature for about 5 days. But if you want to store them much longer and keep them fresher, it is better to store them in the fridge. The refrigeration temperature for the storage of cantaloupes should range from 36 to 40 degrees. Under such conditions, the cantaloupe may last for about a week.

Sliced cantaloupes 

If you have sliced cantaloupe more than your need, you can refrigerate it to be used later. Place the cantaloupe slices in an air-tight container so that they do not absorb the aroma or flavor of any other thing that is stored along with it in the refrigerator. Try to consume the sliced cantaloupe within 2 days. Otherwise, they will dry up in the fridge.

Other FAQs about Cantaloupe that you may be interested in.

How to know if a cantaloupe is ripe? 

Can you eat an overripe cantaloupe?

Can you eat cantaloupe on a keto diet?


In this brief guide, we answered the question “How can you tell if a cantaloupe is ripe?”, discussed the ways in detail to tell if a cantaloupe is ripe and also the ways to store the different forms of cantaloupe.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.