If there’s one thing you have to get right for Halloween, it’s the pumpkin carving. The good news is if you’ve not done it before it’s dead simple (get it?!).
If you think you’ve already mastered the not-so-fine art of pumpkin carving, there are thousands of photos and videos online showing how to carve pumpkins in elaborate, impressive ways – live your nightmarish dreams and carve a pumpkin skeleton, tombstone, or any other spooky idea you can come up with! But it may well be worth checking out our back to basics guide below, just to make sure you’re not missing any tricks (like marker pen – it’s a game changer).
If you’re going to be carving your first pumpkin this Halloween, you’ve come to the right place. Watch this video or follow the simple steps below it to learn how to carve a pumpkin so that people know you’ve done it for Halloween, and not just had a fight with a vegetable:
1. Prepare to make a brain incision using a marker pen to draw a circle around the stem of the pumpkin. You’ll be following this line as you cut to separate the lid from the body
2. Lobotomise your pumpkin by cutting into it using a sharp knife (either serrated or bladed) along the line you’ve marked out, taking care not to go too deep and leave an exit wound! Warning: if kids are helping to carve, be careful on this step!
3. Scoop out the guts using a spoon. Scrape the inside walls of the pumpkin a little to make sure you’ve cleaned out most of it’s pith, as this becomes smelly pretty quickly if it’s going to be around for a few days
Tip: Save the seeds for roasting later – with a little seasoning they taste delicious!
4. Draw the face with marker pen, just as you did with when preparing to cut the lid. Be creative! We’ve kept it nice and simple in our video, but your carving can be as spooky, toothless, fanged or evil eyed as you want it to be!
5. Carve out your ghoulish design using a sharp knife, following the design you’ve marked out in the previous step. Be careful not to cut too deep – you don’t want your knife popping out of the other side of the pumpkin! Warning: if kids are helping to carve, be careful on this step!
6. Wipe off the remaining markings. If you’ve used a permanent marker then you might need to use fairy liquid or a little alcohol rub, but otherwise a wet wipe or cloth should be fine
7. Make your finishing touches using a smaller knife if available, and filing down any rougher edges so it looks a little better presented (no scruffy monster faces!)
8. Add a spooky candle! The shining makes it visible at night and gives your carving extra spookiness.
Share photos of your best pumpkin efforts in the comments below, and keep your eyes glued to the Gousto blog for other Halloween tricks and treats, and much more!
Want to put all that pumpkin flesh to good use? Take a look at our Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes recipe for a tasty treat that’ll put a smile on your face to match the one on your pumpkin’s!