Pumpkin Carving - Gutting and Preserving |Life With Lorelai

Gooey Guts and Preservation!

There is more to gutting & preserving your pumpkin than just getting the stringy goo and pumpkin seeds out of the pumpkin shell. Gutting your pumpkin is all about preparing the pumpkin for carving, and for that we need to use the right tools.

About two weeks ago, I shared with you my Pumpkin Gutter. The Pumpkin Gutter is a drill bit that is an amazing tool for pumpkin carving. We are going to use it today for…

Pumpkin Gutting Tools | Life With Lorelai Pumpkin Gutter doing its job | Life With Lorelai Gutted Pumpkin | Life With Lorelai

How To Gut Your Pumpkin Properly For Carving:

  1. If you haven’t washed the pumpkin and transferred the design yet, do it now. You can find some Design Transferring Tips & Tricks here.
  2. Gather your tools: Large Knife; Pumpkin Gutter; Drill; Large Bowl; Smooth-edged Scrapper (if you don’t have a Pumpkin Gutter, a jagged-edged scrapper would help).
  3. Use a bowl to help stabilize the pumpkin and Cut a Hole in the Bottom of the Pumpkin. Remove the cut piece. This will help you with lighting, and also will allow you to adjust the bottom of the pumpkin so it sits well for display.
  4. With your hands, pull out as much of the guts as you can easily. (I use rubber gloves for this part).
  5. Attach the Pumpkin Gutter to the Drill and work your way around the inside of the pumpkin. You will need to stop periodically to remove guts and clean off the Pumpkin Gutter. How many times depends on the size of your pumpkin and how much guts it has.
  6. Once you have removed all of the stringy guts and seeds, it’s time to put the pins back into the holes in the pumpkin from transferring your design pattern.
  7. Use the Pumpkin Gutter to thin your pumpkin shell to 1/2″ to 3/4″ (this is the length of your pins). Your pins will be you guide. Thin the pumpkin until you see the tips of your pins poking through. Your pumpkin will be easier to carve and more luminous all over for a more spectacular display.
  8. Remove the pins.
  9. Use the Smooth-edged Scrapper to smooth out the inside of the pumpkin.
  10. Clean the pumpkin out, and you are ready to Carve!

Pumpkin in Plastic Bag for Preservation | Life With Lorelai

How To Preserve Your Pumpkin After Carving:

  1. Pumpkins are 90% water, so you want to keep them moist.
  2. Refrigerate – Between displays, place the pumpkin in a plastic bag and put into the refrigerator. Your carved pumpkin will last 2-3 weeks!
  3. If you need to postpone carving mid design: Short Break – place a damp double layer of paper toweling over the carved area and leave pumpkin in a cool place. Long Break – place pumpkin in a tied plastic bag and refrigerator. Resume carving and pat pumpkin dry without wiping the transferred design.
  4. Cold-Water Bath – If the pumpkin begins to shrivel, you can soak it in a cold-water bath (cold tap water, not ice).
  5. Once the pumpkin is Re-Plumped, pat it dry (so it doesn’t mold) and either display or put back into the refrigerator.
  6. If a pumpkin develops a mold (green or white fuzzy), use Rubbing Alcohol with Q-tip, cotton ball, or paper towel to clean the mold. Also, before you throw away the molded pumpkin, check it to see if the mold is even visible in the dark with the pumpkin lit…you may be pleasantly surprised.

NOTE: Be sure your refrigerator isn’t so cold that it will freeze your pumpkin. Freezing will not make your pumpkin happy.

Now, your pumpkin is ready to Carve!

Next time, we’ll go over some Carving and Lighting Tips & Tricks!

Have you ever used a bowl to help stabilize your pumpkin?

Do you have any tips or tricks?

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