A perfectly carved jack-o-lantern is the crown jewel of any Halloween themed porch. While carving a pumpkin is not rocket science, the wrong steps will leave you with a messy workspace and a misshapen pumpkin. In order to avoid that, we recommend that you follow the steps laid out below.
The Key to Prolific Pumpkin Picking
In order to get the best results, the first step is to pick the right type of pumpkin. Be sure to look for a pumpkin labeled “carving pumpkin” instead of “pie pumpkin”.Carving pumpkins have thinner walls without sacrificing sturdiness, making them ideal for carving. Carving pumpkins also have fewer seeds, which are grainier, making them easier to take out. Before making your final choice, give your pumpkin a couple of knocks on the outside, if it sounds hollow, you should be good to go.
Prepare for a Mess
It is time to set-up your workstation. Choose a place that you do not mind getting a bit messy. Whether you choose to work on a table or the ground, be sure to layer your area with newspaper that you can throw out later. This will reduce the clean-up work after you are done creating your masterpiece. The next step is to gather all the tools you need for the task. Make sure you have the following things readily available at your workstation.
Clean the Inside
Using a marker or sharpie, create a circle around the stem of the pumpkin while keeping 5-6 inches of diameter. Then, use a serrated knife or carving knife to cut along the outlined lid on the top. Be sure to maintain a 45-degree inward angle so that the lid does not fall inside.
Scoop out the seeds from inside the pumpkin using your hand and keep them in a bowl. Using a scraper or ladle clean out the pumpkin until there are no stringy bits left.
Craft Your Design
Prior to drawing your design, clean the outer surface of the pumpkin using a kitchen towel. Subsequently, using a marker or sharpie, draw whatever you want your pumpkin to look like
As you go, keep removing the pieces and place them in a separate bowl. Use the wire tool or an X-ACTO knife and go back inside the pumpkin to clean any jagged lines or stringy bits that may have appeared during the carving.
Once the carving is done, it is time to light up the pumpkin. Open the lid and place a light tea candle at the bottom of the pumpkin. Using a long match or lighter, light the candle and put the lid back on. If you have trouble placing the candle from the top, you can put it inside from the side depending on the design you decided.
The design of your jack-o-lantern depends on your preferences. But with the basic steps laid out above, you will be able to create any design perfectly. Additionally, don’t throw away the seeds; they can be quite useful. Clean the seeds and lightly toss them in oil along with your favorite seasonings, then roast them at 300℉ for 45 minutes, or until they turn golden brown.