Smoky Grilled Watermelon Steak In A Spicy Balsamic Glaze

Are you getting tired of the same old grilling routine? Then put those burgers and hot dogs away and get ready to try out something new! This recipe for a smoky grilled watermelon steak will bring all of the flavors and textures you love about grilling into a delicious, new, healthy dish. The watermelon gets dry rubbed, marinated overnight, slowly smoked on the grill, and topped off with a spicy balsamic glaze. Once you slice it up, it looks just like a juicy steak, but it's completely vegan and makes a great heart-healthy alternative to other grilled food. Meat-eaters and vegetarians alike are sure to love this recipe. It's one in a melon!

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 1½ hours
Cooking Time: 6 hours
Inactive Time: 12 hours
Difficulty Level: Moderate

You'll Need:

For the watermelon steak:

  • 1 watermelon, skinned

For the dry rub:

  • ⅓ cup salt
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp peppercorns
  • dried chili peppers
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 onion, diced

For the spicy balsamic glaze:

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1–2 chili peppers, diced
  • ¾ cup cola
  • ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • orange peels


  • wood smoking chips + water
  • mortar & pestel 
  • cast iron skillet

Here's How:

1. To prepare the watermelon, cut off its skin and make shallow cuts in a grid-like pattern on its surface.

2. For the dry rub, place the clove of garlic, salt, brown sugar, smoked paprika, peppercorns, dried chilis, whole cloves, and diced onion into a mortar and crush everything using a pestle. Once the dry rub is mixed together and takes on a grainy consistency, rub it into the surface of the entire watermelon. Once the watermelon is coated in dry rub, put it in a baking dish, transfer the baking dish to the refrigerator, and let the watermelon marinate overnight.

3. Place the wood smoking chips in a large mixing bowl, fill the bowl with water, and let the chips soak overnight.

4. The following day, turn on the grill and drain the water out of the wood smoking chips. After the grill heats up, place the wood smoking chips on the embers. Transfer the watermelon to the grill, close the lid, and let the watermelon smoke for about 6 hours.

5. Once the watermelon has smoked, place the cast iron skillet on the grill and heat up some vegetable oil. Add the minced ginger, minced garlic, and diced chilis to the skillet. Deglaze the bottom of the skillet with cola, then and add in the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, and salt and briefly let the glaze thicken.

6. Transfer the watermelon to the cast iron skillet and spoon the spicy balsamic glaze on top. Add the sprigs of rosemary and orange peel to the skillet. Continue to pour the balsamic glaze over the surface of the watermelon until it darkens significantly, then remove the skillet from the grill and slice into your juicy watermelon steak!

This grilled watermelon has the tender texture and delicious flavor that you're looking for whenever you light up the grill! Plus, the dry rub and spicy balsamic glaze give this delicious, healthy meat alternative a whole range of exciting flavors. There's nothing else quite like it!

Get the recipe for the Refreshing Watermelon Treats featured in the bonus video.


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