Tis the season for pumpkin carving and when it comes to picking the right pumpkin, there are steps you can take to make sure you pick a winner! For carving, Albert recommends a pumpkin that feels heavy for its size. Hold the pumpkin’s stem and make sure it is attached and solid. Pick it up and tap it. Avoid picking it up by the stem though, as it can break off and make the pumpkin rot faster. My wife usually does a few as well. Decorating it? Pick it up and tap it. The Valley's #1 Hit Music Station - Allentown, Easton, Bethlehem, The Valley's #1 Hit Music Station - Allentown, Easton, Bethlehem, B104 Bridal Showcase / Online Registration. To check for soft spots, feel around the pumpkin with your hands and press across the skin of the pumpkin with your fingers. They can have deep ribs, bumpy skin, and mottled patterns. If you’re not sure what size to go for, a football-sized pumpkin is a good place to start. Once that stem breaks off, the pumpkin will start to decay even faster. 5. Hold the pumpkin near your ear and tap on it to see if it sounds hollow. Have a Good Handle A pumpkin must have a hard, dark green or black stem. Check Out These Eco-Friendly Alternatives. A good pumpkin will have a slightly hollow sound when you tap it. It absolutely matters where you get your pumpkins! You'll be thankful for the nice, strong handle when you're lugging it back to the car. It’ll be a little harder to get a knife into it, but a thick rind makes a pumpkin last longer after it’s been carved,” he says. Make sure the pumpkin has smooth skin and a good stem. Grab your pumpkin scoop or spoon and start scraping the heck out of the inside of your pumpkin. First things first, you’ve got to pick the right pumpkin(s)! Plus, many of these places understand the value of composting and will simply compost their unused produce, rather than throw it away like most supermarkets. Pumpkin Carving Tips . Whether you get your gourds from a local farm stand, a nursery, or a supermarket, finding the perfect pumpkin is one of the most important parts of the fall ritual, even if you arenât "basic". Pick a Pumpkin and Print Your Template Any pumpkin that catches your eye is fair game for carving, regardless of size, shape or color. Jack O’Lantern Carving Tips. For eating and for carving. There are huge ones, tiny ones, tall ones, stumpy ones, and bumpy ones. Tap the pumpkin gently and listen for a slightly hollow sound. Avoid pumpkins with shells that … Fall means pumpkins! Bring a sharp knife or pruner. You’ll want to choose a pumpkin that feels … When you select a pumpkin, keep an eye out for gouges or blemishes. Pairing a wonderfully rhythmic read-aloud text with expressive retro illustrations, … If you pick up the pumpkin, and the stem bends and breaks, put it down. Carving pumpkins is a favorite Halloween tradition among all ages; however, with sharp knives and inexperienced carvers, this fun activity can quickly turn hazardous. An older pumpkin won’t last as long – but would be ideal if you’re carving it the day or two before Halloween. When picking a good pumpkin for carving, the trick is to find one that is sturdy, has a hollow sound to it, and a nice round base for displaying. Precision Pumpkin Carving: Every year I carve at least a half dozen pumpkins. Don't just pick any pumpkin. Start drawing out your design with simple lines. You want at least 12 inches tall if you plan to put a candle in it. Scrapes, on the other hand, aren't as bad as wounds or soft spots when it comes to carving a pumpkin. Submerge the pumpkin in the solution, or fill a spray bottle with a few teaspoons of bleach to a quart of water. While dings and dents may give a pumpkin character, they also invite pests and encourage rotting. Many farms grow different types of heirloom pumpkins which come in strange shapes, colors, sizes, and textures. Pumpkin Carving Stencils. Look for bad spots: Try to choose a pumpkin without any scratches, bruises, or dark spots. Exaggerate the features. Here are eight things you’ll want to have on hand to throw a great and successful Halloween pumpkin carving party. Are you carving it? Pick a pumpkin that you can carry back with you. Keep reading to find out what you should look for when you are searching at the pumpkin patch! A green stem indicates it was just harvested. Most of these pumpkins are also edible, though âSugar Pieâ pumpkins are usually the best for pumpkin pie, as the name implies. First, choose your pumpkin! The lighter the pumpkin's skin, the softer the pumpkin will be, thus the easier to carve. Make sure you pick a good pumpkin. First, you must determine why you need a pumpkin. Normally, having a pumpkin carving knife that is a multi-purpose is a good idea. Here’s how to make the perfect jack-o’-lantern. Check the Stem. The best way to check for this is to ask the farm stand employees. And never carry your pumpkin by just the stem! … A pumpkin with a green stem is more likely to last longer. There are many types of pumpkins out there, so how do you know which is right for you? Pick a pumpkin with a firm, green stem. Although it comes with a limited warranty, this will still get the job well done. Apply pressure: Flip the Recently, we've been getting other friends and family on board, teaching them how to carve their own fantastic-looking pumpkins, using stencils and basic tools. It should sound hollow and feel sturdy. 1. Bleach kills mold and bacteria and can prevent spoiling. Think about the kind of design you want for your pumpkin. Here is a list of what you should look for when picking out a good pumpkin: 1. When cutting out the lid, angle the knife at 45 degrees. If you've never used fresh pumpkin before, you might be a little confused about where to start. Itâs a fun fall activity, yes, but selecting one to suit your purposes is not as elementary as it appears. A good pumpkin is the first step into ensuring that your pumpkins not only last but will be good for carving. This last one only applies to people who choose to carve and/or display their pumpkins; those who plan to just eat them probably neednât worry. Never carry your pumpkin by the stem. This is arguably the easiest step of the entire process, but does take a little bit of elbow grease. Determining how you plan on using the pumpkin will help you decide what type or size of pumpkin to pick. They will usually be able to tell you which pumpkins are the best for carving and which will be best for cooking. However, lighter-skinned pumpkins may not last as long after carving. Use a large metal serving spoon or an ice cream scoop to scrape the insides. Peel the pumpkin’s skin off where you want to carve a face. Carve pumpkins too early (and … Dry with paper towels and … But basically, you have to choose a good pumpkin gourd. In fact, expert carvers recommend … Lifting the pumpkin will also give you … To carve your own pumpkin, you'll first need to purchase or pick one from a local farmer's market or pumpkin patch. Pumpkin picking isnât an exact science either. 5. The skin can help keep the carved pumpkin fresh for the holidays. Sketch it with a tool. Don’t always pick a picture-perfect pumpkin. Secondly, pick the right size: a larger one means … If itâs soft, bruised, or mushy anywhere, itâs beginning to rot, and itâs not going to make it to Halloween. Despite what youâve been told, pumpkins are not vegetables at all, but rather fruits. 11 Vegan Thanksgiving Sides That Will Impress Everyone — Plus, Advice for the Holiday From Longtime Vegans, What the U.K.'s $2.1 Billion Farm Subsidy Redistribution Means for the Planet, A Plant-Based Diet May Reduce the Effects of the Coronavirus, Studies Show, Is Gum Made of Plastic? First, knock on the pumpkin to see if itâs hollow; hollow means ripe. Pumpkin carving is a fun Halloween tradition that's popular among both children and adults. Some crossbreeds have even been bred in recent years to have a rind that makes them more suited to detailed carving. But there are some tricks you’ll need to know to get your carving just right. Pumpkin is also perfect for delicious, savory dishes: Pumpkin-and-Winter Squash Gratin, Slow-Cooker Chicken Stew with Pumpkin and Wild Rice, and Pumpkin Beer-Cheese Soup. Armed with a piping-hot cup of pumpkin coffee or a latte, it’s a great way to get into the spirit with family and friends. There are as many shapes and sizes of pumpkin as you can imagine and thus, your jack-oâ-lantern can be any weird shape or size you want. … Our pumpkin patch features 60 varieties of pumpkins for you and your kiddos to choose from. 2. Pick a pumpkin from the patch. Check for consistent coloring around the whole … Check the coloring: Choose one that has consistent coloring throughout. Once carved give it a bleach bath. "You need to make sure that your pumpkin doesn't have any open holes," says Rufener. Some are sweeter than others and make for better things like pies or pasties, others are more hearty and are better for stews or bakes. Try to select a fresh pumpkin and one that is free from blemishes so that it lasts as long as possible. You don’t want a wobbly one. Many Halloween and Thanksgiving traditions involve the carving of jack-o'-lanterns, and some pumpkins are sturdier and work better when hollowed out for carving. When you tap it, you should hear a hollow sound. Tall and lean or short and fat. These are often blue-green pumpkins, with deep sutures and a lovely, somewhat bumpy, texture. Luckily, you will realize that this knife can also perform other tasks in your kitchen. Go choose and get a pumpkin Well hello, Captain Obvious! This pumpkin is excellent for pies and very attractive as well, though not good for carving. Consider these tips to help you pick a carving pumpkin: The ideal carving pumpkin should have a shell that is hard enough to protect the pumpkin but still allows you to get a knife through it. If it’s hollow, it’s ripe. Make sure to let it dry before carving. He also shares a trick he once gleaned from a customer. Here are tips and tricks to pick the best pumpkin for carving. A staple activity of the spooky season is pumpkin carving. How to Pick a Good Pumpkin. Of course, you want to pick a pumpkin that’s free from blemishes and soft spots, but that doesn’t mean your gourd of choice needs to be flawless. Choose a pumpkin with a smooth, flat face, with shallow ridges and few of them. You could just grab whatever's at the grocery store, but you will find the selection at a pumpkin farm or a nursery far more robust than the junk pumpkins youâll find sitting outside the Stop & Shop. Pick it up and tap it: It should feel sturdy. Most of these pumpkins are also edible, though “Sugar Pie” pumpkins are usually the best for pumpkin pie, as the name implies. The ones you find at a farm will also likely be in better shape than those that have been piled on top of one another weeks before autumn even arrived. “That means the rind is good and thick. 2. Use a bleach solution (about 2 to 3 tablespoons of bleach to 3 gallons of cold water) to thoroughly clean the pumpkin. Finally, check to be sure the bottom is flat, so that it doesnât roll. The best carving pumpkins will sound hollow inside, so tapping on the outside of your pumpkin will help you determine if the one you’re looking at is a good carving pumpkin. This gives the lid a place to rest when you replace it so it won't fall through. From pumpkin patch to smiling jack-o’-lantern, check out our favorite tips for keeping your carving sessions safe for all. "You can free hand a very simple face — eyes, nose, mouth — especially if you're good at drawing. The greener the stem is, the longer it will last as well. They will usually be able to tell you which pumpkins are the best for carving and which will be best for cooking. You're going to want the walls of your pumpkin to be approximately 1"-3/4" thick. Peel off that surface just as you would peel a carrot. Either way though, they are a type of produce, and like all produce, there are a few things to look for to determine if your pumpkin is fresh. It’s always best to pick a healthy one: it should be free of cuts & bruises, has a consistent color all around, and ripe (if you knock on it, you should hear a hollow sound). The Halloween holiday inches ever more closely, and you might be looking for a way to supercharge the season with a classic activity that’s fun for all ages. Sometimes the taller ones will work better for carving instead of the traditional wider pumpkins. When you pick up the pumpkin and tap on it listen for a hollow sound, that is the sound you want when you are looking for the best carving pumpkin. Buying them from a farm also helps to support your local farmers, many of whom rely on this season to sell the bulk of their harvested crops. Clean the surface and the interior with a spray bottle of bleach solution (one teaspoon of bleach per one quart of water). Get in the spinetingling spirit with a spot of pumpkin carving and whip up … You should submerge your pumpkin in a bucket filled with water and around 2/3 cup of bleach for around 24 hours. Want to know more about Josh Wolff? If it's heavy, that’s a good sign. Odd-shaped pumpkins can have extra character which can make carving fun. Check that the stem is firm and secure, but never pick it up directly from the stem. The best way to check for this is to ask the farm stand employees. those little arms will get tired, long before reaching the car. Vivid orange, ghostly white, or speckled green, might be just right. Make a clean workspace to do the carving in, and trace or draft your design on the side of the pumpkin before … BUY NOW Lakeland pumpkin carving kit, £9.99. Larger pumpkins tend to give you more visual impact and are easier to carve details onto, so you may want to choose one that’s at least 10-15 pounds. Pumpkins come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Pick it up and feel the weight. Another excellent pumpkin to consider for fall cooking and decorating is Cucurbita maxima. With Halloween around the corner, you want a good pumpkin for carving. Get their official bio, social pages & articles. Carving tools Stencil ideas Pick a pumpkin How to carve Carve like a pro Pumpkin recipes Like an eerie mist, the spooky season is descending. The pumpkin carving rookie might not realise that a lot of designs you see have been done using stencils, so put the Sharpie down Picasso. Next, check out the pumpkin. Follow the lines, carving beneath the line, digging out the feature. If youâre currently wearing your Ugg boots whilst sporting a comfy scarf and sipping from a Starbucks cup, you might be aware that it is, in fact, pumpkin season. If smaller children will be carrying the pumpkins, pick smaller one. For example, cut a line for a mouth. Do you plan to cook and eat the pumpkin?