How long does carved pumpkin last?: Pumpkins have been an essential part of our culture for a long time. After all, who hasn’t heard of these giant fruits which are carved every Halloween for the sake of decorations? However, it has always piqued the curiosity of the people about how they are supposed to use these Jack-O-Lanterns after the Halloween season. Don’t worry, we got you covered. In this article, we will tell you about some killer tips to store carved pumpkins, extend their shelf lives and identify when they have gone bad.
- How Long Does A Carved Pumpkin Last?
- How To Store A Carved Pumpkin?
- Tips To Store The Carved Pumpkin
- How To Defrost A Pumpkin?
- How To Tell If The Pumpkin Has Gone Bad?
- How far in advance can you carve a pumpkin?
- How do you keep a decorative pumpkin from rotting?
- What to do with a pumpkin after carving?
How Long Does A Carved Pumpkin Last?
As the horticulturists suggest, the exact expiry dates for the carved pumpkins are dependent on a multitude of factors. These factors may include the room temperatures, the farming conditions, and most importantly, how you store these carved pumpkins. However, simply by tweaking your stacking procedure, you can extend these shelf lives. Some of the approximate shelf lives in different conditions are listed below.
Therefore, it is obvious that once the inner skin of a pumpkin is exposed to the outer atmosphere, it tends to deteriorate fast. So, you shall avoid carving your pumpkin any more than 3 days before Halloween for the sake of fresh Jack-O-Lanterns. The chefs believe that taking out the pumpkin seeds in advance doesn’t affect the shelf life in any tangible way.
|Type of Carved Pumpkin||Shelf Life|
|Carved Pumpkin (Outside the Freezer)||4-7 days|
|Carved Pumpkin (Inside the Freezer)||1 week|
|Cooked Pumpkin||2-3 days|
|Chopped Pumpkin||3-5 days|
See More: How Long Do Pumpkins Last
How To Store A Carved Pumpkin?
Given its giant size, it is easier to believe that storing the carved pumpkin will be a tedious task, But thankfully, that is not the case because we will be giving you some great storage tips which will retain the texture and flavor profile of the carved pumpkins for a very long time. However, it is important to remind yourself that the stocking techniques will vary depending on whether you want the pumpkin as food or a front yard decoration item.
For ornamental purposes – If you have spent a great amount of money to purchase plump and fresh pumpkins, it is better to store them properly before putting them up as decorative items. After all, no one wishes to decorate their houses with unkempt pumpkins.
- Take out the giant pumpkins from their packing.
- Carve them out with clean tools accordingly.
- Prepare a large water bath and add some bleaching powder to it. For every 0.25 liters of water, there shall be a spoonful of bleaching powder.
- Place the giant carved pumpkins inside the water bath for at least 20 minutes.
- Take them out and pat them dry with paper towels.
- Store away these pumpkins in a cool and non-humid place till the occasion.
- Spray the pumpkins with bleach water frequently.
For eating purposes – It will be a shame if the carved pumpkins are thrown out simply because they have withered. Therefore, many communities, especially the native ones, prefer to reuse the pumpkin in their dishes for a couple more days. If you are one of these considerate eaters, you may want to follow the below-mentioned tips to preserve your carved pumpkins for a longer time.
- Clean the carved pumpkins, both from the inside and the outside, with paper towels.
- Spray some bleached water over the skin of the pumpkin.
- Chop the pumpkin into smaller pieces
- Wrap up these pieces using wax paper or parchment paper.
- Store these wrapped pumpkins inside the freezer and use them for smoothies, soups, drinks, etc.
Tips To Store The Carved Pumpkin
Though you can slow down the natural decay of carved pumpkins, they still tend to go bad pretty quickly because of their perishability. However, if we can understand the reasons behind this natural decay, we can upgrade our pantry procedures and retain the yummy taste of pumpkins for a longer time. Some of these To-Do points are
- Wrap the carved pumpkin solely in wax paper instead of meager plastic as plastic exacerbates the decay in pumpkins.
- Spray the pumpkins regularly with bleach water or diluted vinegar
- Refrain from keeping the chopped pumpkin pieces along with other fruits like apples, bananas, etc. These fruits produce ethylene gas which is like a slow killer for a pumpkin.
- The seeds can be removed for a more hygienic and professional way of storing the carved pumpkin.
How To Defrost A Pumpkin?
Since carved pumpkin can be really difficult to handle, it makes things even worse when it is frozen. The knife won’t even budge inside the solid core. So, it is smarter to defrost a carved pumpkin which simply means retrieving its tenderness and flavor profile. Some of the cool tips that can come in handy for defrosting are
- Take out the carved and wrapped pumpkin from the freezer.
- Cover the carved pumpkin using fresh parchment paper or wax paper.
- Keep the wrapped pumpkin in the fridge for at least 10-12 hours i.e. overnight, if possible.
- Once the pieces become tender, you can take them out and use them accordingly.
- Keep the rest of the pumpkin back in the freezer.
However, if you wish to defrost the pumpkin sooner, then simply leave it outside the refrigerator for an hour. The room temperature is enough to soften up this giant fruit. Though the texture can be retrieved, the pumpkin may lose its flavor as the inner skin will be affected by the atmosphere.
How To Tell If The Pumpkin Has Gone Bad?
Despite your sincere efforts to preserve its shelf life, the pumpkins are bound to go bad eventually. Therefore, it is essential to identify the red flags surrounding a spoiled pumpkin before it brings down the other healthy pumpkins with it. Some of these signs may be subtle and take time to appear, others can be spotted right away with the naked eye.
- Moldy Appearance – If your chopped pumpkin appears to have weird spots, then it is better to discard it. These green/ brown/ black spots may indicate the invasion by fungi that spoils the pumpkin. However, fluctuating temperatures or excessive ethylene production can also cause these unusual spots.
- Bad Odor- One of the most definitive ways to differentiate between a healthy and spoiled pumpkin is through its smell. Obviously, the carved pumpkin with a foul smell is meant to be thrown away. It has long surpassed its expiry date a long time ago.
- Unnatural Taste – If your pumpkin smoothie tastes bitter or sour, it is probably due to the pumpkin’s bad state. Henceforth, it is better to get rid of such pumpkins.
- Squishy Texture – The pumpkins are known for their size and firmness. Therefore, it is natural to suspect that a carved pumpkin has gone bad once it turns soft or pulpy. However, you can cut off the soft portion to retain the healthy part of the pumpkin, as long as it tastes fine.
Though pumpkins can be consumed even after 2 days of their expiry dates, it is better to thoroughly check the fruit’s state before incorporating it into any dish. Fresh and organic pumpkins are always better than week-old ones. But if you insist on somehow using the expired pumpkin, try making soups out of it as they drastically alter the texture requirements.
FAQs on How Long Does Carved Pumpkin Last?
1. How far in advance can you carve a pumpkin?
It is advisable to not carve the pumpkin any more than 3 days. Excessive exposure to the outside environment can spoil the inner surface of a carved pumpkin. Even after you carve the pumpkin, spray it with bleach water occasionally to keep it fresh for a longer time.
2. How do you keep a decorative pumpkin from rotting?
If you are wondering how to preserve your Jack-O-Lanterns till Halloween, it is better to not leave them outside on the porch. Keep them in the freezer for time being and frequently spray them with bleach water. Also, keeping it in a cool place will increase its shelf life.
3. What to do with a pumpkin after carving?
After carving a pumpkin, you can use it for making baked pumpkin bread, roasting the pumpkin seeds, grinding the pumpkin layers for smoothies, or feeding the birds.
Pumpkins are loaded with fiber and essential macronutrients, therefore there is no reason to shy away from consuming them every day. Voila! You are aware of How Long Does Carved Pumpkin last, storage tips, and expiry dates of pumpkins now. So, go ahead and try out these scrumptious delicacies on different occasions. Hopefully, this article resolved all your dilemmas about pumpkins and their upkeep. Stay tuned for more articles about your beloved foods.