Whether you plan to eat the ripened goodness of a pumpkin in a pie or plan to take a knife to it for the ideal Halloween haunted look, there is a right way to choose the best from the crop. Check out these easy tips for picking a winner every time!
Pumpkins can be a bit tricky, but when the vines start drying up and the fruit develops a deep orange color, they are typically good for picking. If you dive in too soon, be aware that the hue and texture of the pumpkin will not further progress post cutting, but these goodies are known to survive hard frosts for short periods. The key is getting to them before the ground becomes soggy, which can compromise the bottom and encourage progressive rotting.
Picking Pumpkins for Carving
If you want a real winner, go for the most fully mature pumpkins that will be able to withstand short-term storage that have a shell hard enough for carving perfection. Like a watermelon, thump on the exterior. Pumpkins are ideally hollow, so if you don’t hear a reverberating sound, it’s likely not ripe yet.
Any indications of mold, bruising, or mushiness on the bottom are signs that you need to move down the line. Finding a pumpkin with a smooth and solid surface (at least on one side!) will be the perfect one for carving your witchy images into. Pay attention to the stem as well, since you will want one sturdy enough and long enough to serve as a handle when taking the top on and off.
Quick Pro-Pumpkin Tips
Follow these quick tips from the experts for making sure that you get a great pumpkin:
- Pick a pumpkin with a solid stem. Avoid holding the fruit by its stem, however, as breaking it off can promote faster decay.
- If you are looking for a good carving pumpkin, try to avoid tall and obliged shapes that can make cuts more challenging. Keep in mind that these also tend to be a bit stringier than flat-bottomed, round selections.
- Small pumpkins are great carvers for young kids. Don’t select by size but be aware that smaller hands can better deal with varieties such as the “Baby Bear” and “Wee-B-Little” for those with smaller hands.
- While choosing a white pumpkin seems out of the norm, these make great jack-o-lanterns, and are quite tasty if you plan to use any parts of the pumpkin for cooking post-carving.
Are you ready to have a great and spooky Halloween? These pumpkin-choosing tips are sure to get you headed down the right path in the pumpkin patch!