Pumpkins can be so intimidating! But let me help you by breaking it down in a simple step by step how to cut, dice and cook a pumpkin!
First make sure you actually have the right type of pumpkin, and that its actually a good one to use for what you need.
How to choose your pumpkin
1.Choose the right kind!
For cooking, you’ll want to use sugar pumpkins (also called pie or sweet pumpkins), which are small and round. Long Island Cheese pumpkins, which are more oblong and can look like a wheel of cheese, are also good to eat. Field types are larger; have watery, stringy flesh; and are best used for decorating.
2.Look for a healthy stem:
Find a pumpkin with a well-attached, brown, dry stem (a sign it’s mature enough to be harvested), but don’t use it as a carrying handle. The stem can break off, ripping the shell and leaving it more likely to rot.
3.Inspect it good!
Look for deep nicks, bruises, and soft spots—all signs that rot has set in. Don’t overlook the bottom of the pumpkin, which can sit for long periods of time in wet soil.
4.Don’t judge the color
A pumpkin’s hue will dull as it ages, but as long as the skin is unblemished and free of bruises, the flesh inside will still be sweet and edible.
Step by step on how to cut your pumpkin
1.Scrub your pumpkin clean. Stab it a couple times with a fork. Then place your pumpkin in the microwave and cook on high for 2 minutes. This will make the pumpkin much easier to cut in half!
2.Cut your pumpkin in half. From top to bottom, not side to side.
3.Scoop out all the insides, and either save the seeds to roast them, or toss everything!
Now, depending on what you want to do with your pumpkin decide how you want to cut it and cook it!
To make it even easier to cut the pumpkin, make sure you have the right knife! This big blade chef knife makes it so much easier! (to cut any squash or hard vegetable! (or even watermelon and cantaloupe)
How to cook a pumpkin
If you want to use just the pulp for a pumpkin puree, then place your pumpkin cut side down on a silpat mat on a cookie sheet (or even a sheet covered with parchment paper) and bake it at 350 degrees for approximately an hour. It totally depends on how big your pumpkin is.
Once the pumpkin is all the way cooked through, scoop out the pulp and mash with a fork, or a blender to make a pumpkin puree.
Need a super simple recipe for your pumpkin puree? Check out this one bowl pumpkin applesauce muffin recipe!
How do you skin a pumpkin?
If you want to have pumpkin chunks, or cubes pieces, lay your pumpkins cut side down on a cutting board, then cut the peels off going down and around until the shell or peel is all the way off.
Then cut the half into half again, and then again (depends a little on how big your pumpkin is) then into cubes.
Coat the pieces in a little olive oil, and place on a cookie sheet and bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes or until they are soft!
What do I do with the pumpkin seeds?
You can either throw them out (or put them in the compost. Or make roasted pumpkin seeds!
First clean the seeds and separate them from the stringy pulp. Then rinse them in a colander and dry them. Lay on a cookie sheet and roast for 30 minutes to dry them out.
I usually only do pumpkins the ‘lazy’ way and put the whole halves of the pumpkins in the oven and scoop out the pulp just because it’s easier and I usually only need pumpkin as a puree!