The Pumpkin Roasting Tip Everyone Should Know

Many home cooks have grappled with the idea of whether they should be roasting their own pumpkins for recipes, rather than relying on the canned puree. However, the idea of wrangling and roasting a massive pumpkin can be a bit intimidating. Do you cut it up into small pieces or just slice it in half? Should you scoop out the insides or not? With so many uncertainties, you may have found yourself walking right past the pile of fresh pumpkins and just grabbing a can of pumpkin puree from the baking aisle instead. However, roasting pumpkins actually isn't all that difficult — you just need to keep this one tip in mind.

You may be inclined to treat pumpkin similar to the many other varieties of winter squash that you should really peel before eating, as the skins can be quite tough. However, if you're roasting the pumpkin and will be removing that skin before eating anyway, as Well + Good recommends, you don't want to bother with peeling the pumpkin in its raw state. Instead, simply remove all those innards and roast the pumpkin until it's soft and scoop-able. Once your pumpkin is roasted, you can remove all the flesh, as it'll be much easier than when it's raw. Then, if you're using the roasted pumpkin to make homemade pumpkin puree, simply take the skinless, roasted pumpkin and blend until you reach your desired texture.

A few more tips for perfect roasted pumpkins

One important thing to consider when buying a pumpkin for roasting is that you don't necessarily want to go for those large orange pumpkins that look great on your front porch during the fall season, as The Kitchn warns. Not only are these massive pumpkins often tough to handle due to their sheer size, they often don't yield the best tasting results. Instead, you want to look for smaller pumpkins, often labelled "sugar pumpkins" or "pie pumpkins." After all, unless you're making enough baked goods for your whole city, you probably don't need more than two or three pounds of pumpkin.

When it comes to cutting up your pumpkin, don't trouble yourself too much while it's raw and tough to cut. While you could potentially roast a small enough pumpkin whole, the easiest way to cut down on your cook time and guarantee great results is simply to halve the pumpkin, or cut it into wedges, and place the pieces cut-side down on your baking sheet (via Food Network).

While your cook time will vary according to the size of pumpkin you've selected, you're not in for an all-day endeavor. According to Minimalist Baker, a two to three pound sugar pumpkin requires just 45 to 50 minutes in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven. To check for doneness, pierce the skin with a fork — if the tough pumpkin skin is tender, your pumpkin flesh should be good to go.