Here are eleven steps on how to make the best pumpkin around...
Below you will find out where to make your cuts, how to hold your pumpkin while you carve, the best ways to use your scraps and more!
Step 1. Start with the right pumpkin.
Choose one that's fresh, with a sturdy stem, no bruises, and a flat bottom so it won't roll while you carve.
Step 2. Cut from the bottom, not the top.
Now this right here has to be the best tip of them all! Michael Natiello, who is a pumpkin carving pro and creative director for The Great Jack-o'-Lantern Blaze, says if you cut your "lid" from the bottom of the pumpkin it will help prevent the sides from caving in later. Why didn't someone tell us all that a long time ago???
Step 3. If you do carve from the top, cut out the lid on an angle.
Some people don't like change so if you tend to be one of these people, don't worry here is a way to create a lid at the top and still have a cool pumpkin. Cut the lid at an angle, that way it won't drop inside the pumpkin when you put it back on top, like it would with a straight up-and-down cut. Try using a boning knife, it should work great for this.
Step 4. Scoop out all the pulp (and then some).
Use an ice cream scoop to get all the insides out. Thin the inner wall of the "face" area to 1¼-inch thick, so it will be easier to pierce the shell.
Step 5. Sketch out your design on paper first.
If you draw your jack-o'-lantern face to size, tape it to the front of your pumpkin and use a fork or pencil to poke holes along the lines you want to carve. Or you can always get a pumpkin carving kit to get ideas on what to create.
Step 6. Hold the pumpkin in your lap.
Natiello says using a serrated kitchen knife or an X-Acto knife for carving, will make things easier. Just don't cut on a slant.
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