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Pie pumpkins vs. carving pumpkins

Melissa is the assignment editor and contributing writer for SheKnows Home and Living. While other little girls were playing dress up with Barbie, Melissa was busy remodeling Barbie's house. She now lives out her dream covering design an...

Learn the differences between pie pumpkins and jack-o'-lantern pumpkins and see which one you should use if making a pumpkin pie from scratch.

Not all pumpkins are created equal. Learn the differences between pie pumpkins and carving, or jack-o'-lantern, pumpkins and see which one you should use if making a pumpkin pie from scratch.


Not all pumpkins are created equal. Learn the differences between pie pumpkins and carving, or jack-o'-lantern, pumpkins and see which one you should use if making a pumpkin pie from scratch.

Pie pumpkins
Pie pumpkins, also called sugar pumpkins, are smaller in shape than the monstrous pumpkins you'd find at your typical pumpkin patch. Pie pumpkins are commonly found in the grocery store in the produce section or at farm stands. This small round pumpkin is packed full of flesh that makes it a good choice for cooking. The pulp also has a better texture (less grainy) and is sweeter.

Carving pumpkins
In contrast to the flesh-packed pie pumpkin, carving pumpkins, commonly referred to as jack-o'-lantern pumpkins, were designed to make it easier to, well, carve. Jack-o'-lantern pumpkins have a thinner shell and typically have less flesh (or pumpkin guts) on the inside. The flesh is grainer and stringy. The inside of a carving pumpkin tends to contain more water than pie pumpkins.

To cook, or not to cook?
While many foodie enthusiasts tend to prefer cooking with a pie pumpkin over a carving pumpkin, you still can put your old jack-o'-lantern to use in recipes. The most common challenge with cooking a carving pumpkin is too much moisture. So after carving out the flesh, put it in a bowl and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours. This should allow for water to separate from the flesh, which you can then drain before using.

Tell us, which type of pumpkin do YOU like to use in recipes?
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