It’s almost pumpkin carving time! There are so many different varieties of pumpkin to choose from, and the stand or store you visit might have five, six, or more types to choose from. How can you be sure to pick the best one for carving? Our friends at The Kitchn have put together some tips to make the pumpkin-picking decision easier.
Pie Vs. Carving
Sometimes you will find signs labeling pie pumpkins and carving pumpkins. This makes choosing the best one so much easier. Carving pumpkins have a thinner shell and fewer guts on the inside. These will be easier to cut into and carve. Pie pumpkins are typically smaller and rounder. These are best used for baking. Some pumpkin patches will advertise jack-o’-lantern pumpkins and have tons of shapes and sizes to choose from. The decision won’t be what kind, but what size.
If you want to look for a specific variety to carve, look for Hobbit or Autumn Gold pumpkins. Hobbits are a medium-size variety weighing in at 10 to 12 pounds. Autumn Golds are very manageable at 7 to 10 pounds and have a gorgeous golden-orange color. If you want something larger for a spooky jack-o’-lantern, look for Gold Rush or Wolf varieties. These come in at 15 to 35 pounds, but they aren’t always the easiest to carve.
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Picking the Best Pumpkin
- Tap It – It should feel sturdy and sound hollow.
- Check the Color – It should be consistent all over the pumpkin.
- Look for Bad Spots – It should not have any scratches, dark spots, or bruises.
- Apply Pressure – Turn the pumpkin upside down and apply pressure with your thumb to the bottom. If it isn’t firm, the pumpkin isn’t fresh and will rot faster.
- Set It Down – It should sit flat and stable.
- Carry It – Cradle it from the bottom or put it in a bag. Don’t carry it by the stem.
Once you’ve picked out the perfect pumpkin, the fun continues as you search for the perfect carving design!
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