Here's Why You Should Never Use A Kitchen Knife To Carve A Pumpkin

As the sun sets and the fog settles, the frights take over the night. Although the sights and sounds of Halloween certainly add to the ambiance, no one wants a real scream to pierce the air. When carving a pumpkin, the risk of injury could be more alarming than getting pencils in your sack instead of a Reese's when trick-or-treating.

For some, carving a pumpkin is part of Halloween traditions. While Food Network shows like "Outrageous Pumpkins" or "Halloween Wars" make the process seem effortless, the average person might throw their hands up and grab a paintbrush instead. And for some, it may prove to be the safer option. 

U.S. News reported the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's findings that "pumpkin carving is the leading cause of injuries associated with Halloween." While no one wants that fun experience to look like a scene from the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," the reality is that knives, inexperience, and lack of attention can lead to trauma. Although no one is suggesting that pumpkin carving should be discarded like a rotten gourd during the first week of November, the idea is to use care when inserting that first cut. Choosing the right tools is key, and a kitchen knife might need to stay in the block.

Avoid gouging the gourd with a kitchen knife

After picking the perfect pumpkin from the patch, many people await the opportunity to transform it into a visual masterpiece. While some people might pull their favorite chef's knife from the sheath, it might be best to leave it in the protected case. As seen on KCBD, Dr. Desirae McKee, a Texas Tech physician, has a different suggestion, and it might give new insight into those pumpkin carving kits.

According to Dr. McKee, "the number one rule in carving a pumpkin is never use a kitchen knife." She goes on to explain, "The pumpkin rind is so thick that even sharp knives get stuck so they push and they push it into their other hand or they pull it out and catch their other hand on the way out." A tiny knife with a serrated edge, similar to the ones often found in pumpkin carving kits, is her recommendation. 

Another option that could be less expensive is a small knife with some flexibility that can make easy work of the thick rind. While other suggestions, like do not drink and carve, will always apply, the better tool for the job can lead to a more successful outcome. Even though Michael Myers might use a kitchen knife as his Halloween tool of choice, you might want to leave it in the kitchen for Halloween pumpkin carving night.