How to Skin a Pumpkin When Carving

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You can use carved pumpkins as lawn decorations.
You can use carved pumpkins as lawn decorations. (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Pumpkin carving is arguably an art form, with skilled artists creating elaborate, highly detailed sculptures from the vegetable's meaty flesh and dark orange skin. Though basic pumpkin carving often requires leaving the skin in place, more sophisticated patterns might use selective skin removal, which allows you to give your pumpkin carving a shaded or three-dimensional appearance. You can skin a pumpkin with nearly any sharp object, though some are easier to use than others.

Things You'll Need

  • Marker
  • Razor
  • Peeling tool

Place the pumpkin on a flat surface.

Wipe the pumpkin with a damp cloth to remove residual dirt, which could interfere with adequate skin removal.

Determine if you're skinning the entire pumpkin or just a small portion of its flesh. Look at the pattern if you're using one and note the areas that require skin removal. Shade those areas in on the pumpkin using a marker.

Cut a very shallow slice into the pumpkin's flesh with a razor along the edges of the area that requires skinning; this will prevent you from accidentally peeling skin from areas that require it. This step isn't necessary if you're skinning the entire pumpkin.

Scrape the pumpkin's flesh with a scraping or peeling tool, such as a thin wire, a sharp blade or even a high-quality vegetable peeler. Do not press very hard, or else you might remove the flesh in addition to the skin. If the skin is very thick, lift an piece of it using a razor, then grip it with your fingers and peel it away from the flesh the same way you do when peeling a banana. Repeat this process until all the necessary skin is removed.

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