How to Peel a Pumpkin


The skin of a ripened pumpkin is as hard as a shell. The orange orbs are much more than a fall decoration or Jack o' lantern canvas. The vitamin and potassium rich pulp or flesh can be used for soup, meal entrees, bread and desserts. Prepare harvested pumpkins such as 'Sugar Treat' or 'Connecticut Field' for canning, freezing and baking. Don't be intimidated by the size of the vegetable or the thick orange skin. According to University of Illinois Extension, you can simplify the challenge by cutting up the small or large pumpkin into manageable pieces for ease of peeling.

Step 1

Split the pumpkin open with a cleaver, small clean hatchet or chef's knife. Remove the seeds and stringy center.

Step 2

Place one half of the pumpkin on to a cutting board flat side down. Cut the piece in half, then halve again with the chef knife. Reduce the second pumpkin half into quarters.

Step 3

Slice the quarters into inch-thick slices. Cut the slices into 1-inch cubes.

Step 4

Slice the thick skin away from the flesh or pulp of the pumpkin cubes with a paring knife.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not use a dull knife when cutting and peeling a pumpkin. The dull knife is more dangerous than a properly sharpened one.

Things You'll Need

  • Cleaver or small hatchet
  • Chef's knife
  • Paring knife


  • National Center for Home Food Preservation: Pumpkins
  • Alabama Cooperative Extension: Harvest Pumpkin
  • University of Illinois Extension: Pumpkin

Who Can Help

  • Pumpkin Growing Tips: Growing, Harvesting and Using Pumpkins
Keywords: canning, pumpkin pulp, food preservation, peeling pumpkin

About this Author

Suzie Faloon is a freelance writer who has written online content for Demand Studios and Associated Content. As a professional crafter and floral designer, Faloon owned a florist business for nearly 25 years. She completed the Institute of Children's Literature course in 1988.