How to Clean Out a Pumpkin Like a Pro

It's that time of year when the leaves are falling and the temperatures are dropping. The great news is that we can buy beautiful orange pumpkins in the markets or from our local fruit and vegetable shops! Cleaning and preparing a pumpkin is always a task, but one seasonal job that can be great fun for all the family!

They say preparation is the key to success and it's so true for this job. Here is our guide to how to clean out a pumpkin like a pro! We'll take you through the process step by step so that you won't end up with a nightmare in your kitchen.

Steps for the perfect pumpkin:

  • Prepare for a mess
  • Tools for the perfect pumpkin
  • Cut a hole
  • Remove the guts

Prepare to Pumpkin!

So like all jobs around the house, let's try to reduce the mess by simply preparing correctly, it will save time later! One great piece of advice is to cover the table with an old newspaper before you start. Nobody wants sticky pumpkin seeds and guts all over the place (well on second thoughts your children might!)

Where you decide to do this is up to you, but if you can, why not take the project outside? If you choose to do it outside then you will reap the benefits of breathing a bit of fresh autumnal air and you will be closer to your outside bin! When you're done, simply roll up any mess and put it straight into the bin and then you can stand back and admire your handiwork.

Pumpkin Cutting Tools

One of the tips to consider is what tools you need to prepare the perfect pumpkin. Naturally, it depends on what you feel most comfortable with, but one suggestion is to use a serrated knife that will enable you to gently saw through the hard outside rind in a controlled way. Later, you will need something for scraping out the contents from the inside of this orange beast! Our advice would be something like a large soup spoon or similar to get most of the guts out and onto your newspaper-covered table. Finally, you will need a smaller knife if you are attempting to carve any intricate designs or a mouth full of teeth on your pumpkin head!

Bottom Not Top!

One of the trade secrets in the world of pumpkin cutting experts is that the key to the whole business starts at the bottom, not the top!

If you make a hole in the bottom just big enough to allow your hand inside the pumpkin, this will allow you to access and remove all the guts without damaging the beautiful visible top stem. Draw a circle on the bottom, cut with your serrated knife, and scoop out all the flesh and guts from the pumpkin. One expert tip when cutting a hole is to first cut the circle, then cut a triangle to allow easy removal. Think of it rather like a slice of cake, which will allow the entire circular cut to be removed.

Removing the Guts

Let's face it, getting your bare hands dirty can be fun, in a sticky kind of way! If you have kids, why not let them get a bit messy, especially if you can prepare your pumpkin on a terrace or in the garden. However, if you are not into squelchy, gooey guts and seeds, why not use your ice cream scoop or similar. One thing to remember is that to prevent any damage to your tools, use something metal and avoid plastic which may snap. The job's joy is to get physical with removing all the messy inners and not worry about anything breaking.

Scrape Away and Clean

After you have removed most of the stringy pumpkin guts with a scoop or similar, the fun begins! To really get everything cleaned out properly, you'll need something serrated to scrape away at the inner sides. One suggestion would be to use a small serrated fruit knife or if you haven't one, then a simple fork can be used if you are careful not to damage the inside too much. If you are doing this with children, then why not give them the challenge of making the cleanest pumpkin in the neighbourhood. The only reason to be so meticulous in this preparation is to ensure that the pumpkin will last a while without rotting.

Final Pumpkin Points and Tips!

Have fun, it is just a great project that ideally will be shared with family members, young and old. As we pointed out earlier, it's a great excuse to go outside and enjoy all those wonderful new autumn garden experiences. Also, don't forget that you can roast pumpkin seeds for a delicious nutritional snack!

Now, if you are satisfied with all your pro cleaning and preparations, it's maybe time to check out some designs for carving a Halloween lantern! Remember you can use stencils or just simply your imagination to produce something very special this season! Have a great time with your pro preparations with all those wonderful pumpkins!