Knife Skills: How to Prepare a Pumpkin for Carving


The first step to great food is great knife skills. Check out more Knife Skills this way!

This video is for you unlucky souls who never got to carve a real pumpkin as a kid (hello jack-o-lantern face stickers!), but are now too old to admit to their friends that they don't really know how it's done. Watch this video in the privacy of your own home, then head out to that pumpkin carving party with confidence!

Shopping and Storage

As far as shopping for and storing a pumpkin goes, here's the summary:

Look for pumpkins with:

  • Firm, smooth skin
  • At least one even face to make carving easier
  • A green stem, not a brown or rotting one (and never lift it by the stem)
  • A heavy feel for its size
  • No bruises, soft spots, or lacerations on the skin—it will rot from those spots

If your carved pumpkin starts to shrivel, you can revive it by giving it a bath in ice water for an hour or so (a cooler or bathtub both work fine for this). Lightly spray the cut surface of your pumpkin with vegetable oil to prevent moisture loss.