Pumpkin Carving

Here are some tips and tricks for making the most of your pumpkin:

Start by getting the proper tools. Regular kitchen knives just won’t cut it. For carving a pumpkin, you will need a small, jagged knife that can easily cut through your pumpkin without making you feel like your arms got a major workout.

Cut as large a top as your planned design will allow for. Insert your carving knife at a 45 degree angle so the inside of the hole is smaller than the outside.

Use a regular steak knife to cut away the bottom of the top so nothing will be hanging down onto your light source.

After using a pumpkin scoop to remove the seeds, get out the remainder of the strings with a hand mixer (another reason to make the lid as large as possible).

You can also use scissors to remove stray bits of strings.

If the mouth you carve is low and wide enough, insert a meat carving knife through it to slice the bump off the bottom of the pumpkin. This will give you a level base for adding a candle.

Don’t forget fire safety! Only use electric candles for pumpkins that are outdoors/unattended.

Try using a hammer and metal cookie cutters to make shapes.

If the pumpkin is thicker than the cookie cutter, use the backside of the hammer to remove it and then continue carving the rest of the way through with the pumpkin carving knife.

Create a unique design by using an electric drill to make small holes along the lines in the pumpkin. Use the longest bit available.

To preserve your pumpkin and keep it from rotting too quickly, give it a bath of 10 parts water to 1 part vinegar. This keeps fungus away and is still safe for animals if you choose to donate your pumpkin to the forest table in November.

After your pumpkin has dried out again, sprinkle some cinnamon inside. Rub some onto the inside of the lid as well and let it soak in a bit before putting the lid back on. Not only will this make your pumpkin smell like pie, it will help it to stay fresh longer.

You can use drilled holes in your pumpkin to insert lollipop sticks as a clever way to hold candy.

Pumpkins can also be used as candy bowls for trick-or-treaters.