How to Prepare & Cook Fresh Pumpkin

Updated on May 9, 2017

Once You Go Fresh, You Won't Go Back

A lot of recipes call for canned pumpkin, but you will find recipes that call for fresh pumpkin. You can also replace canned pumpkin for fresh even if a recipe calls for canned.

Pumpkins are easy to handle and cook once you know how. Here are some methods that I've found helpful. A lot of these are tips that have been passed on to me from friends and family.

Once the pumpkin is cooked, simply use a food processor or blender to whip it into a puree.

You can store unused portions of the puree in the refrigerator or freeze in ziplock bags until you are ready to use it.

If you compare the fresh version to the canned (sight, smell, and taste), you will definitely choose fresh every time. When it is so easy to make, why wouldn't you?

Option #1: The Oven

  1. Cut pumpkin open and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Place pumpkin halves facedown in a baking dish.
  3. Add 1/2" of water to pan (this helps keep the pumpkin flesh moist).
  4. Bake at 450ยบ until you can pierce the skin with a fork (about 45 minutes to an hour).
  5. Scoop flesh out of shell with a spoon.

Step-By -Step Pictures of Option #1

Click thumbnail to view full-size
First of all, pick your pumpkin!Use a sawing motion to carefully cut your pumpkin in half.Scoop out the pulpy strands and seeds (save the seeds for a baked snack).  I find using a metal spoon to scrape the insides helps remove a lot of the stringy pieces.Place the two halves, face down, in a baking dish.  Fill dish with 1/2" of water.After it has baked and the pumpkin is tender, remove from oven.Separate the pumpkin flesh from the skin.Look at those beautiful pumpkin chunks.I use a hand wand to puree, but you can use a regular blender or food processor.Blend the pumpkin until it is creamy.Use your fresh pumpkin puree in all of your pumpkin recipes.
First of all, pick your pumpkin!
First of all, pick your pumpkin!
Use a sawing motion to carefully cut your pumpkin in half.
Use a sawing motion to carefully cut your pumpkin in half.
Scoop out the pulpy strands and seeds (save the seeds for a baked snack).  I find using a metal spoon to scrape the insides helps remove a lot of the stringy pieces.
Scoop out the pulpy strands and seeds (save the seeds for a baked snack). I find using a metal spoon to scrape the insides helps remove a lot of the stringy pieces.
Place the two halves, face down, in a baking dish.  Fill dish with 1/2" of water.
Place the two halves, face down, in a baking dish. Fill dish with 1/2" of water.
After it has baked and the pumpkin is tender, remove from oven.
After it has baked and the pumpkin is tender, remove from oven.
Separate the pumpkin flesh from the skin.
Separate the pumpkin flesh from the skin.
Look at those beautiful pumpkin chunks.
Look at those beautiful pumpkin chunks.
I use a hand wand to puree, but you can use a regular blender or food processor.
I use a hand wand to puree, but you can use a regular blender or food processor.
Blend the pumpkin until it is creamy.
Blend the pumpkin until it is creamy.
Use your fresh pumpkin puree in all of your pumpkin recipes.
Use your fresh pumpkin puree in all of your pumpkin recipes.

Option #2: The Microwave

  1. Cut pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Cut the pumpkin into large chunks (so it will fit in microwave), leaving skin on.
  3. Place pumpkin chunks in a shallow, microwave-safe dish with a lid (or cover with plastic wrap).
  4. Spray the cut pumpkin surfaces with cooking spray, and cover. Cook on high for 15 minutes, or until tender (feels soft and cooked).
  5. Alternately, you can add water to the dish, eliminating the spray, to keep the pumpkin from drying out.

Option #3: The Stovetop

  1. Cut pumpkin in half, scooping out the seeds.
  2. Then, cut pumpkin into large chunks, but leave the skin on.
  3. Place chunks in a large steamer basket (or a colander placed inside a dutch oven with water on the bottom).
  4. Steam for 20 minutes, or until pumpkin is tender.

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        KATE MALDONADO 

        6 weeks ago

        Okay, so I carved my first pumpkin in over 23 years. Great! The last time I did, I never saw how my grandmother turned our pumpkin meat into the puree. I see everyone is telling me to roast in the oven with the shell. I threw out the shell after and now all I have is the meat. So instead of the shell, would foil over the pumpkin work? I only have half the meat left because I tried using another recipe and it turned out she was using canned and now its mush!

      • Thelma Alberts profile image

        Thelma Alberts 

        5 years ago from Germany and Philippines

        I have not made this, yet. I´ll try soon. Thank you for sharing how to do it. Happy weekend!

      • profile image

        mamasmith 

        5 years ago

        there are many many pumpkins you can use to make pumpkin recipes with including:Fairytale, New England cheese, long necks or crookneck, sugar pumpkin, peanut pumpkin/squash, banana squash, just to name a few - fairytale is the darkest and richest pumpkin and looks great when cooked in anything and especially in pies and pumpkin roll and is generally sweeter in taste in anything you make. I have been freezing fresh pumpkin for 40 years and it doesn't get any better than a FRESH pumpkin dessert!

      • profile image

        janet 

        5 years ago

        Hi your pumpkin recipe looks yummy and I'm going to make Pumpkin Cheesecake right now thx!!!

      • profile image

        Tatyana 

        5 years ago

        At last, sonomee who comes to the heart of it all

      • profile image

        Ken 

        6 years ago

        Great recipe...my mom in the late 40's baked our fresh punkins, that's the only way to eat it and if you want put a little sugar on top of the half's or quarters.

      • profile image

        Peg 

        6 years ago

        After I purée in processor I put the pumpkin purée in a very fine gauge strainer until it is nice and thick (a lot of liquid comes off) I like the purée thick - like it is in canned pumpkin. I freeze in 2 cup portions and use the pin hole trick while the purée defrosts. I like my purée very thick and my grandchildren love the pies and breads. Been doing it like this for 18 years. And the pies have great flavor.

      • profile image

        GloMekaTal 

        6 years ago

        I have pumpkins that are larger than that? Will this still work to cook them?

      • profile image

        Don 

        7 years ago

        Just a comment on types of pumpkins, as a lad I worked on a farm that grew banana squash which get from 4 to 6 feet long and up to 16" around and they were marketed to Libby's and they used them for their canned pumkin stock. So, I beleive you could use any large type squash as pumpkin. Might be a color issue but spiced up it should be just as good. thanks

      • profile image

        Beverly 

        7 years ago

        Fantastic information on your site! I am a grandmother and have two whole pumpkins which I didn't want to waste so I'll be cooking them up and baking with the pumpkin puree very soon. Thanks so much!!

      • profile image

        KarrieH 

        7 years ago

        @Stacie Naczelnik, Thanks for the great instructions.

        @roybambi, yes you can can your pumpkin. The acidity level is what determines if you can use a water bath or a pressure canner. Go to National Center for Home Food Preservation, it tells how to do it safely.

        @Laura, Please do not tell people that it is safe to put hot pumpkin in a jar, put on hot lids and when the seal goes down it is done. It is not safe. You also should go to National Center for Food Preservation. Please, canning is wonderful, but lets do it safely.

      • profile image

        mikem 

        7 years ago

        I've prepared fresh pumpkin for many years, initially in the oven, but now in the crockpot. Either way the cooked pumpkin has more liquid than the canned product.

        After removing the skin, I mash and run thru the blender, then back into the UNCOVERED crockpot to cook off the excess liquid. Then freeze in 2-cup containers.

        I've noticed that the liquid that separates after thawing is oily, so I try to keep it. If the thawed pumpkin seems to watery for the recipe, I add a little flour.

      • profile image

        Nadomom 

        7 years ago

        @JM: Yes, you can! After I bake two or three medium-sized pumpkins, I freeze most of it and use it throughout the spring, as desired. Fresh pumpkin muffins in the spring are a tasty treat!!

      • profile image

        JM 

        7 years ago

        Can you freeze the pumpkin?

      • profile image

        roybambi 

        7 years ago

        I canned pumpkin years ago, won 1st place at state fair, now I'm seeing "dont can due to not enough acid" I'm confused, it worked for me before, any reason I shouldn't do it again?

      • profile image

        BeccaBeepBeep 

        7 years ago

        I'm glad I found your instructions!! My Mom told me I needed to peel the pumpkin...

      • profile image

        Stacy 

        7 years ago

        Great idea! I usually just cook the seeds and carve the pumpkin then throw it out. I have 2 pumpkins I'm breaking down for soup and a cheesecake. Thanks.

      • profile image

        Laura 

        7 years ago

        You can also can your pumpkin puree rather than freeze it, if you would like it to last longer. Last night I found a jar in my cold room that was 2 1/2 years old and it was perfect- I made a pumpkin loaf. All you need to do is prepare hot sterilized jars (boil for 5 minutes in hot water) with their seal and pour the hot puree (you will have to heat the pumpkin again once you have pureed it) into the sterilized jars, place a seal on it and screw a band around the top. Once the puree and jar begin to cool the seal will be sucked down (vacuumed sealed) and you are good to go.

      • profile image

        chris 

        7 years ago

        we grew sugar pumpkins this year and ended up with around 50 10"-16" pumpkins...quite the bsincere patch we figure a visit from the great pumpkin will happen this year

      • profile image

        Helcia 

        7 years ago

        I started out with a small-ish pumpkin for decorating, then thought: I could cook it for pumpkin pie. It turned out delicious. Then at the local farmer's market, the vendor turned me on to the sugar pumpkin and they make the best pies. I will never use canned pumpkin again.

      • profile image

        ccindy720 

        7 years ago

        Now do you know when a pumkin is ripe?

      • profile image

        Natasha 

        7 years ago

        I did this for the first time MANY years ago for my then boyfriend who loved pumpkin bars, & I used a regular Jack O Lantern pumpkin & it was fantastic. At the time I don't think I knew there was a difference in what pumpkins to use, so I used what we had. The bars were yummy! Plus I froze the leftovers for later.

      • profile image

        carrie 

        8 years ago

        I just cooked my first pumpkin and it is really stringy?! How do I get it like smooth pumpkin you buy in a can?

      • emohealer profile image

        Sioux Ramos 

        8 years ago from South Carolina

        This is soooooo awesome! I just googled cooking pumpkins and here I am, back home at one of my favorite places hubpages. Maybe next time I can learn my lesson and just search directly on hubpages. Fantabulous article, just what I was looking for!

      • profile image

        pink princess 

        8 years ago

        Going to try the oven method tomorrow. Thank you so much

      • profile image

        Kate 

        8 years ago

        Thanks so much for the detailed pictures. I just baked my first long-neck pumpkin, the type the locals in Lancaster, PA swear by. It was very easy. Now I'm going to bake pies. Happy Thanksgiving!

      • profile image

        Bea 

        8 years ago

        I know that jack-o-lantern pumpkins aren't as sweet, but you get more seeds to cook up if you use them! To me, adding the extra sugar (use about 25% more than the recipe calls for) is worth it so I can make pumpkin seeds.

      • profile image

        Mary 

        8 years ago

        I bake my pumpkin and my butternut squash this way. I use either one for making pie, bars, cake, & casseroles. I freeze 2 cups at a time for later use. The butternut squash was fantastic this year. We got 80+ squash from 3 plants!!

      • profile image

        Deb 

        8 years ago

        Steaming pumpkin now but wished I had done it in the oven earlier after baking bread. Fresh is really tastier.

      • profile image

        Patty 

        8 years ago

        I've been cooking my own pumpkin for years. I cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. Then peel it and cut into small chunks. In a pot on the stove I put the chunks and 1/2 cup of water, then spinkle some cinn. on the top and slowly cook. Keep mixing so it doesn't stick. when its almost cooked use a potato masher and mash it till smooth. Then put in a stainer to drain. Use in recipe or I put in freezer bags and freeze. I like it like applesause consistancy because the pies have more texure than just puree. Everyone loves my pies. p.s. I use my holloween pumpkins and when you add the spices they are just as good.

      • profile image

        Mainemoose77 

        8 years ago

        was born a farmer and have grown many pumpkins (under the corn to keep down the weeds). The large Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins are known as "Cow Pumpkins" because they were fed to the cows in the early winter, often seen on Christmas cards in front of barns. They have yellow pulp and are very stringy (the cows love them, but are best used as animal feed). The pie pumpkins are much smaller and have orange pulp and much smoother. We run the cooked pumpkins through a screw type food strainer for the smoothest pulp. Pie pumpkins make a much better pie than cow pumpkins, you will find the cow pumpkin grainy and needing a lot of spices to help its weak flavor. Squash can be used for pumpkin pie but has a distinct non-pumpkin taste (better to use a good smooth high quality squash than a cow pumpkin); but it is a good substitute if enough brown sugar, and spices are used (the commercial pumpkin in the can is more of a squash and is not a pie pumpkin).

      • profile image

        Connie 

        8 years ago

        The reason for using smaller pumpkins is that they're less stringy. The pie pumpkins are less stringy and actually produce a sweeter meat. However, by the time you've added all the spices, sugar, etc. it's hard to tell if you've spent the extra money on the pie pumpkin or used a big jack-o-lantern pumpkin. (of course, this assumes you have really pureed pumpkin meat on both--applesauce consistency) I usually put my baked pumpkin through my kitchen aid mixer with the puree attachment. Works great, super fast, easy and wonderful results all the time!

      • profile image

        Dianne 

        8 years ago

        I just boiled a cut-up pumpkin in a large pan with about 2 inches of water in it. I think I may have overcooked it because it seems real mushy. I've got it draining in the refrigerator overnight. But I'm wondering if I should throw it out, or if you think it would still be good for pies, breads, and/or stews.

      • profile image

        Sereena Church 

        8 years ago

        I just used your oven method and it worked wonderfully! I will never cook pumpkin another way! Thanks for the tips.

      • profile image

        Kimberly 

        8 years ago

        I make a really good pumpkin soup that my friends love for me to make. I usually use canned pumpkin. I am going to try making it from fresh (which is always my preference any way). Can't wait to see how this turns out. I'm going to try the oven method and the stop top method since I have so much and it all wont fit in the oven. Wish me luck!

      • MonicaRobinson profile image

        MonicaRobinson 

        8 years ago

        I steamed the pumpkins and now I can't wait to use it! First up pumpkin cheesecake.

      • profile image

        yevjeny 

        8 years ago

        Option # 4!!! CrOcKpOt!! The crockpot is the most energy efficient way to cook your pumpkin. Just prepare it the same way as above, leave skin on...cook on low for 3 hours or so, check it and cook until the skin is tender. Remove skins, puree, and use or freeze! Yummy!

      • profile image

        Corner Girl 

        8 years ago

        I just cut up my first pumpkin of the year! It turned out great and I'm ready to cook it.

        For the users who wanted some creative recipes using pumpkin, please take a visit to my blog post http://thecornergirl.blogspot.com/2010/10/pumpkin-...

        My post on Fall Pumpkin Recipes features 10 tried and true recipes (both savory and sweet) for using pumpkin!

        Hope this helps. :)

      • profile image

        raysmom 

        8 years ago

        TT- it is supposed to be more like applesauce and less like canned pumpkin- you didn't do anything wrong. That is why there are hints for getting rid of some of the moisture- the one with the pinhole in the baggie of frozen puree, straining in cheesecloth, etc. I do one extra step before freezing if it is for pie. I add a little salt (just 1/2 tsp.) and a little sugar (1 tsp.) and I slowly cook it down for about 1/2 hr. This is for two small sugar pumpkins, about 6 cups of puree. Stir frequently to avoid burning. Let cool completely, then bag and freeze or use.

      • happy_trev profile image

        happy_trev 

        8 years ago

        another tip for finding a nice pumpkin to eat is to look at the bottom of the pumpkin at the ring. generaly speaking the bigger the ring the sweeter the pumpkin is.

      • profile image

        The one who knows all 

        8 years ago

        It's PUMPKIN.... not Pumpking!!

      • profile image

        Shelley 

        8 years ago

        THANK YOU!! My mom's suggestion was to scoop out the seeds AND the flesh through the top of the pumpkin. This is WAY easier and faster and not so hard on the wrists!

      • profile image

        Martine Schepers 

        8 years ago

        When living in the US, I always used canned pumpkins when baking muffins or pumpkin bread, but now that we are back in Europe, it's impossible to find canned pumpkin.

        I was so relieved to find an easy recipe to make my own "pumpkin meat" to use for these recipes.... thanks a lot.

        I baked it last night ans will puree it tomorrow - Can I add water to it while doing so - I think it might be a bit dry otherwise?

      • profile image

        tt 

        8 years ago

        I was wondering if any one could tell me why or what i did wrong that when i blended the pumpkin it like applesauce? This is the first time in my life that i cooked fresh pumpkin.I did every step in order.

      • profile image

        Anna from Indiana 

        8 years ago

        The absolute EASIEST way to cook pumpkin has to be, cut it in half, clean out the stringy core and the seeds, cut the outer shell into quarters and pop into the CROCK POT with half a cup of water. Let it slow cook for 4-6 hours. Pay no attention to it. When it is done cooking, the rind will easily come off the soft pumpkin. Stick it in your blender (without the rind/shell) and puree it. So very simple!!!

      • profile image

        Lallie 

        8 years ago

        I love oven baked pumpkin as it is not watet- logged like when its staemed or boiled.

      • profile image

        Mo 

        8 years ago

        We accidently grew a ton of pumpkins in our garden from seeds that sprouted from our compost - but they were ready in July. I am going to try to bake some of them so I can make pumpkin pie and try to freeze some of the mush for the fall. Thanks for the ideas.

      • profile image

        mrs curry 

        8 years ago

        oven roasted pumpkin tastes like underground roasted ulu (breadfruit) from a Hawaiian luau. hits the spot when i'm far from home especially as i've learned pumpkins keep well right through winter! we've had five month old pumpkins get lost behind a bushy houseplant and bake them with delicious results, it's no wonder they were a staple to the Native Americans

      • scaffolding tower profile image

        scaffolding tower 

        8 years ago from United Kingdom

        Your recipe has me thinking... pumpkin.

      • profile image

        Monica 

        8 years ago

        The oven cooking is extremely easy! It worked great. Thx a lot for teh tip, and yes your photo instructions are the best!

      • profile image

        Lucy 

        8 years ago

        I have a white colored pumpkin is it good for baking or making soup?

      • profile image

        Carrie Correll 

        8 years ago

        I love using fresh pumpkin, but when I have cooked it, sometimes comes out striny. Am I not cooking it long enough? Does elevatin have anything to do with it?

      • profile image

        Sigrid Price, Napa, CA 

        9 years ago

        This is a lovely site and just what I was looking for to cook the two pumpkins that I grew this year ~ had hoped for more but will move the site next year. I have read several cookbooks but found none so enlightening as these instructions. Thanks very much!

      • profile image

        Tony 

        9 years ago

        Bigger pumpkins I have found to have stringy flesh; so puree is definitly called for when cooking. Also, I have always cut my pumpkins into chunks when baking; this year I'll give the 'half n half' a shot. Happy Thanksgiving all.

      • profile image

        Tammy 

        9 years ago

        I have always cooked fresh pumpkins. Even the kind for jack o lanterns. I place the COOKED pureed pumpkin in freezer baggies. (2 cups per baggy) Cooked pumpkin can be frozen up to 16 months or canned.

      • profile image

        Rebecca 

        9 years ago

        WE have 2 large pumpkins that I got from a local pumpkin patch. I had planned on carving them into jack-o-lanterns, but the week of Halloween was just too busy. So, I thought since I have them, I could cook them! I've never done it before. What I don't understand is why only the smaller ones are for cooking? Can I cook my bigger pumpkins?

      • ziplockbags profile image

        ziplockbags 

        9 years ago from Dallas, TX

        Yum! I've never made anything with real, fresh pumpkin before but now I think I will. We have roasted pumpkin seeds before though - a good snack, especially around Halloween.

      • profile image

        C-lo 

        9 years ago

        My mom has a great trick for the frozen puree. Often times it is a bit more watery than the puree from a can which can effect the consistancy of what ever pumpkin delight you are preparing. She used to freeze the puree in ziplock freezer bags. While defrosting the bags she would cut the tiniest corner off the bag (we're talking a tiny pinhole here)and let that corner hang over the sink. Either in the freezing process or defrosting process (maybe both?) much of the water gets seperated from the puree and will run out the small hole in the corner of the bag while thawing. Remember not to cut the whole till thawing time. This will help firm up the puree without an hour(s) of simmering. Hope this is helpful, now where do i get those recipes for pumpkin soup, raviolis, pumpkin bars, cheescake, risotto, pasta etc..?

      • profile image

        Lila 

        9 years ago

        I have been baking pumpkins for several years now and I use the large jack pumpkins (the carving type) and they have always turned out great.

      • websites profile image

        websites 

        9 years ago

        Microwave Pumpkin Pie, I'm in heaven now.

      • profile image

        Grace in Elmont NY 

        9 years ago

        I have cooked pumkin for years, I now have several other ways to try I am going to bake it this year Thank You

      • profile image

        Cynthia  

        9 years ago

        i have never cooked a pumkin before because i always was a little nervous about it blowing up in my oven but when i read this it sounded way to good so i will try this a get back to you later

      • profile image

        cynthia greer 

        9 years ago

        i have never cooked a pumkin before and when i did what this said it made a really good pumkin

      • profile image

        Diane 

        9 years ago

        Kristie, you don't use the inside filling from the pumpkin...you use the outer part...the shell of the pumpkin....you cook it down until it is soft, peel off the skin and puree it. then it can be used in place of canned pumpkin in recipes. I always make pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting.

      • profile image

        Kristie 

        9 years ago

        I carved my Halloween pumpkins last night - the pumpkins are now at the front door and the filling is in the fridge - how long can I keep it the fridge, and how do I cook it so that I can make it into a pumpkin pie tomorrow or the day after..? Can it stay in the fridge for a couple days or should I cook it first, and then keep it in the fridge..?

      • profile image

        KarenX 

        9 years ago

        Oh, Penny...

        Pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie are standards, and a cook more skilled than I am could try something like pumpkin ravioli. Pumpkin soup is my favorite, especially with cumin and coriander in it. Just start looking up recipes.

        The only time I've ever tried cooking with fresh pumpkin I boiled it in chunks and it was a disaster. I hated it and swore never to do it again. But I bake squash all the time! I have two pumpkins in the oven right now. Wish me luck!

      • profile image

        penny 

        9 years ago

        just like to know what you can cook with a pumpkin,never had it but just been to the farm to get one

      • majehe09 profile image

        majehe09 

        9 years ago

        I've done option #3 for many years, but option #1 sounds so much easier! Great tip!

      • Tigermadstanley profile image

        Amanda Davey 

        9 years ago from Canterbury, Kent, UK

        Never cooked pumpkin but can't wait to try now I've read this hub. Thank you.

      • profile image

        KIMBERLY 

        9 years ago

        these cooking instructions are great.they were so easy to follow n the pictures are a great addition.ive always wanted to make pumpkin pie from real pumpkins but was scared but im really excited that its that easy.thanks so much

      • profile image

        Tanya 

        9 years ago

        Thank you so much for posting this. I tried a different couple of methods for cooking pumpkin and this one (one for the over) is the best one yet!! Thanks again!! Great illustration

      • profile image

        Cora 

        9 years ago

        Prepare pumpkin as for carving, hollowing out seeds and place top back on. Pierce a few steam release holes in sides & bake at 350 until sides begin to cave in and forks for doneness. Cool slightly; remove skin and puree in blender. Put in freezer bags in 1-1/2Cup amts. & the job is done. That is how I am doing it right now and have for many years.

      • Hendrika profile image

        Hendrika 

        9 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

        Hi, I'm from South Africa and for us it is always strange that people are not completely aware of all the wonders of pumpkin. For us, fresh pumpkin is almost a staple. We mostly eat it as a sweet dish with our customary meat, rice, potatoes and green bean "stew," I suppose that is what you will call our way of cooking grean beans. Loved your Hub!

      • profile image

        lonecow 

        10 years ago

        Question - I read earlier that you cannot use jack-o-lantern pumpkins - we grew pumpkins in our sad little garden and luckily (unlike everything else) we had one pumpkin - we cannot remember what kind it is, but it is about 8-10 inches tall and round... how can I tell if this is a pumpking okay to use for baking? Thanks!

      • RGraf profile image

        Rebecca Graf 

        10 years ago from Wisconsin

        I admit that I've never used fresh pumpkins. Always wanted to try it, but was a little nervous. I'll take your tips here and actually give it a try.

        Thanks.

      • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

        Stacie Naczelnik 

        10 years ago from Seattle

        Lorine, if baking it at a lower temp work for you, then that is great. Perhaps you bake smaller pumpkins?

        Also, you cover yours, so it isn't necessary to cook yours skin up. However, if you do not cover it, it is better to cook it skin up.

      • profile image

        Lorine in Arizona 

        10 years ago

        Hi

        Ive always cooked my pumpkin at a lower temp of 350F for about an hour, cut in large chunks, skin down covered with foil in a glass dish with about 1/3 inch water in the bottom with good results.

        So after reading you cook yours skin up, I was wondering if there is a reason for cooking the pumpkin so hot, and skin up as opposed to skin down?

        Thanks!

      • profile image

        Joyce 

        10 years ago

        How do you know if a pumpkin can be cooked? I am reading about pie pumpkins-I bought some a little bigger at a benefit auction and put them in front of my house and am wondering if they would be good cooked. Any hints to figure out if it is a cooking pumpkin?

      • profile image

        Rrene128 

        10 years ago

        I have read a few other sites and I have learned that baking with the skin on produces a much better flavor; however, your instructions have been the easiest to follow. Thank you so much for the precise instructions and pictures. Over the past few years, I have always cubbed and boiled my pumpkins. It is time consuming and messy (especially draining the water logged meat). I am excited to say that I will be baking my first pumpkin this year.

      • profile image

        Lang 

        10 years ago

        Thanks for the cooking instructions of the lil pie pumpkins... everyplace i went to online would not post how to cook them...

      • profile image

        l. d. 

        10 years ago

        thanks for the instutions i've been looking for instructions all day i hope it works for me!

      • profile image

        Matt Holton 

        10 years ago

        Thanks for the simple instructions.

      • profile image

        sherlynavia 

        10 years ago from United States

        Great tip!

      • profile image

        JustMe 

        10 years ago

        I like to use my cheese slicer to peel the pumpkin first. But it sounds easier to cook it first!

      • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

        Stacie Naczelnik 

        10 years ago from Seattle

        Great tip Marilynne--thanks!

      • profile image

        Marilynne 

        10 years ago

        Thanks for the excellent tips -- I'm baking pumpkins like crazy today and accidentally discovered that leaving them in 5-10 minutes past their "done" time results in the skin blistering a bit. This allows you to peel the skin off quickly and easily without scooping out the insides. It speeds up the process and results in perfectly done pumpkin.

      • profile image

        jess 

        10 years ago

        I Just want to thank you for posting it on the web I have never cooked pumkin before So I just hope it turns out right so I can use it to make pies this thanks giving

      • miss christina profile image

        miss christina 

        10 years ago

        Oh my goodness. I'm obsessed with pumpkin recipes so I am favoriting you right now. I make some delicious pumpkin pasta, and I'll be posting the recipe soon enough. I know pumpkins are usually used for dessert-y dishes, but they are really delicious in dinners too- like soup, risotto, and pasta (believe it or not!). Yum! I'm hungry now.

      • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

        Stacie Naczelnik 

        11 years ago from Seattle

        Cook as is. When you use it in recipes, the recipe often calls for spices.

      • profile image

        sharon 

        11 years ago

        do you add anything to the pumpkin puree? or just cook as is?

      • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

        Stacie Naczelnik 

        11 years ago from Seattle

        Generally, the pumpkins you buy for decoration or jackolanterns are not for cooking. Sugar pumpkins, and other pumpkins typically sold in the produce area of your grocery store are for cooking. I've never done it, but I know people who have successfully cooked white and yellow pumpkins.

      • profile image

        Chris 

        11 years ago

        My Pumpkin is hudge - are all pumpkins good for cooking?

      • profile image

        Gabi 

        11 years ago

        Your instructions were the best yet! I have my pumpkin in the oven now! Can't wait to make my pumpkin cheesecake!! Happy Thanksgiving to all!

      • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

        Stacie Naczelnik 

        11 years ago from Seattle

        It stays good, in the fridge, for about 5 days.

      • profile image

        Di 

        11 years ago

        How long does it last once it is cooked? I would like to cook em up tomorrow but wait until Tuesday to use em.

        Thanks!!!

      • MrMarmalade profile image

        MrMarmalade 

        11 years ago from Sydney

        This sounds good I will try it and let you know.

        Incidentally I think your photos are terrific

      • profile image

        juana b good 

        11 years ago

        Thank you for this hub! It's hard to find info about cooking fresh pumpkin. I did it once and it worked out great. The next year something went wrong and it was too watery! I'll try to follow your instructions this year. THANKS.

      • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

        Stacie Naczelnik 

        11 years ago from Seattle

        I do most of my own pictures, so thank you. Let me know how the pumpkin goes!

      • profile image

        Just Surfed In 

        11 years ago

        I have a pumpkin sitting on the front steps of the hosue as décor. I'll try your recipe. Do you do all your own pictures - they are very good?

      • Princessa profile image

        Wendy Iturrizaga 

        11 years ago from France

        Canned pumpking???? Never heard of such a thing! Guess it is much easier to open a tin than cut open and peel a pumking. Bet you are right though, the difference in flavours must be abysmal.

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