Taking the art of jack-o’-lantern design to a whole new level, Brooklyn-based Maniac Pumpkin Carvers have provided us with some great tips for pumpkin fun this Halloween season.
1. When picking a pumpkin, look for one that feels plump and is without blemishes, insect holes, or damage.
2. A pumpkin should have an intact stem. The stem is its lifeline, and a green one means the pumpkin is fresh off the vine.
3. Never lift or hold a pumpkin by its stem. The stem isn’t strong enough to support the weight of the pumpkin, and a pumpkin without a stem will deteriorate much faster.
4. Clean your pumpkin with soap and water prior to carving. This will help reduce dirt and bacteria that could cause your pumpkin to spoil faster.
5. Make a plan. Your sketch doesn’t need to be a masterpiece, but you should have a general idea or plan before you take out the knives.
6. Dull knives are dangerous! A sharp knife used carefully and with proper supervision is safer than a dull knife, which may slip off the pumpkin and cause injury.
7. Keep a clean and organized work space. If pumpkin guts are everywhere, you might not see a sharp tool hidden underneath.
8. When hollowing out your pumpkin, make sure to get out anything that seems wet, loose, or stringy. You can coat the cut surfaces of your pumpkin with a vegetable oil or Vaseline to help keep your pumpkin looking great.
9. Be patient. Take your time to carve and don’t rush.
10. Whether you’re lighting your jack-o’-lantern with candles or electric lights, never leave a lit pumpkin unattended.
11. Have fun!
To see Maniac Pumpkin Carvers in action, tune in to the season premier of “Halloween Wars” on October 7 at 9pm on Food Network. And to learn more about elaborate pumpkin art, visit maniacpumpkincarvers.com