Marc Evan, co-founder of Maniac Pumpkin Carvers has some tips about how to make better jack o’lantern for Halloween. His crew carves as many as 400 pumpkins a season, from corporate logos to replicas of Van Gogh paintings.
The Best Pumpkin is Pumpkin with a stem
Naturally, pumpkins rest on the ground, so its stem never meant to support the fruit’s weight. So, a pumpkin without a stem means it’s not fresh, look for one with a greenish stem to get the freshest pumpkin. When pumpkin have a big and thick stem, that is an indication that the walls of pumpkin will be thick as well. The thicker the stem, the heavier the pumpkin and the better for carving.
Carve as fast as you can
One thing about pumpkin, it can last really long time until you carve them. Maniac Pumpkin Carver’s crew usually create a pumpkin just 24 hours before an event. Because as soon as you cut into the pumpkin, it’s starting to decompose and it’s unpredictable. Some carved pumpkin can last for three weeks but the others only three days. So, don’t carve your jack o’lantern for Halloween in the beginning of October.
Compare to apple or avocado, pumpkins is slower to oxidize. But, if you leave it on room temperature for one day, it will change the structure of the pumpkin. It’s losing a lot of moisture, so while carving, constantly spraying it and trying to keep it wet. It helps to make it stay workable.
Make a hole on the back
Removing the bottom is bad idea, because it will give so much water and really make a mess. But, cutting off the top also messes with the structural integrity of the pumpkin. It will cuts off the vine, which supply all nutrients and moisture until it’s all dried out. So, the solution is cutting a hole in the back of pumpkin instead.
Put it in the fridge
Wrap it with really tight plastic wrap and keep it some place really cool like a refrigerator will make add a few days to jack o’lantern’s life.