Selecting and carving a pumpkin are two tasks that go hand and hand. You want to be sure you select a pumpkin that is ripe and will work well for carving.
Here are a few tips that will help you when it is time to select your Halloween pumpkins:
- It is easier to select pumpkins based on the shape and if you know what kind of faces you would like your jack-o-lanterns to have.
- You want to take into account when you are going to the local pumpkin patch or store to select your pumpkin. If you go too early and carve your pumpkin, it may not last until Halloween. But if you wait too long then the best pumpkins may be gone!
- When you are looking at pumpkins you will want to pick one that is fairly smooth so it will be easier to carve.
- In order to tell if a pumpkin is ripe, look at the stem. Don’t pick a pumpkin if the stem seems loose or looks like it is beginning to rot.
- You will also want to avoid pumpkins with a white mildew or worm holes.
- Finally knock on the pumpkin. A ripe pumpkin usually has a hollow sound to it.
Now that you have your Halloween pumpkin selected - learn how to carve a pumpkin and create a glowing jack-o-lantern in 5 simple steps:
1. Take a sharp knife and cut an opening at the top of the pumpkin. We used the Rada Cutlery Super Parer but the Stubby Butcher Knife would also work well. The opening needs to be large enough for your hand to fit.
2. Then remove the top and scrape off the seeds. (Click here for a roasted pumpkin seed recipe – a wonderful treat for the kids!)
3. Now take a spoon to remove the seeds. We used the Rada Cutlery Ice Cream scoop to make this process as simple as possible.
4. To add your pumpkin face, use a pen to outline your idea. Make sure the design is not too intricate or it can become difficult to carve.
5. Now cut out your design. For our pumpkin we used the Super Parer and the Serrated Regular Paring Knife for the smaller areas. Add a candle or light if you want your pumpkin to glow. Our 4 ounce soy wax candles fit nicely inside the pumpkin and give your jack-o-lantern the perfect amount of light.
For more information about pumpkins visit All About Pumpkins here.
If you are interested in using the products that the Rada Cutlery Test Kitchen used to carve our pumpkin you can visit the Rada Cutlery Kitchen store here.