You always want to have the best pumpkin in the neighborhood on Halloween. Even if it might not actually be the best, you want to at least think it’s the best when you proudly display it by your front door.
There really isn’t any “right” way to carve a pumpkin for Halloween, but there are a number of different tools you can use to make sure your jack-o’-lantern is the talk of the block. Here’s a look at a few options.
All-Inclusive Carving Kits
If you carve a lot of pumpkins at Halloween (or if you take Halloween very, very seriously), it might be wise to invest in a kit that includes a lot of tools. There are a number of different carving sets on the market, and what you choose depends on a number of factors: how fancy you want your pumpkin to be, how much money you’re willing to invest to master the art of pumpkin carving, etc. For those who want a quality set of carving tools at a reasonable price, a product like the Pumpkin Masters Deluxe Pumpkin Carving Kit or something similar to it is the way to go. A set that includes a carving knife, a scooper, a drill, and a few patterns (if you’re bad a freehand drawing) is all you need to to have an impressive jack-o’-lantern. For those out there who are serious about their pumpkins, there are much more intricate (read: expensive) pumpkin carving kits if you’re willing to spend the money. Kits like Grampa Bardeen’s Family Pumpkin Carving Set, which boasts a whopping 18 tools, may be worth the investment if you’re, say, having a pumpkin carving party or just want a quality tool set to to invest in rather than something made out of plastic.
Maybe you’re the type that only carves one pumpkin on Halloween and the thought of buying an elaborate carving kit that you’ll only use once a year gives you the shakes. Fear not, there are options for you! For a few bucks, you can score a pumpkin carving set that includes the traditional serrated pumpkin knife and plastic scooper. You can find these individually too, and they’ll both get the job done. If power tools are your thing, think about a battery operated pumpkin carver (like this one ) that can help you create intricate designs while saving yourself from carving-related hand cramps. Motorized pumpkin carvers are the way to go if you’re planning an intricate carving that might give you trouble if you do it by hand.
You might think it’s silly to spend money on carving tools when you can find what you need around the house. A serrated knife is best to use when cutting out your pattern, and a smaller knife will give you better control of your cuts. Instead of using a pumpkin scoop to clean out the insides, a large soup spoon will do the trick; or, if you really want to get the feel of Halloween, use your bare hands (bonus: if you’re carving with kids around, pull out the insides of the pumpkin and tell them it’s the pumpkin’s guts. That will get them in the spirit). And if you don’t feel like cutting at all, you can always decorate your pumpkin with paints or fabrics.
Candles are the traditional way of lighting a pumpkin, but be sure there’s ventilation at the top of your jack-o’-lantern or the rising heat will start cooking your pumpkin from the inside out. You can avoid this altogether by using battery-powered flameless candles, many of which can be set on a timer so you don’t have to bother with turning it on and off every night. You can also use different colored lights that give off red, green, purple, or other non-traditional colored glows to spruce your pumpkin up a bit.