Let’s chat about how to grill pumpkin! Did you know that some varieties of canned pumpkin may not even be pumpkin at all? Not a massive deal breaker, but I am one who likes to know what is in my food and I also like to have some extra controls over what goes into the cooking process as well. With home grilled pumpkin, you can rest assured knowing you are getting 100% pumpkin with some amazing additional flavor that comes from roasting that bad boy over a fire!
So how do you grill a pumpkin? First, you’ve gotta start with the correct type of pumpkin. Most grocery stores sell “pumpkin pie” varieties during the fall and this is exactly what you want! These varieties are sweeter and less stringy than the carving pumpkins you use for jack-o-lanterns. Once you get your pumpkin home, it’s time to preheat that grill to 375 degrees! I roast my grill over indirect wood fire in my pellet grill. This same method works for grilling on charcoal if you set up your coals in one half of the grill and leave the other half empty. This way the heat will cook the pumpkin through without burning the bottom from direct heat.
Second step, slice and gut. Use a super sharp chef’s knife to cut the pumpkin into two halves. Once you’ve got your pumpkin opened, it is time to remove all of the seeds and strings from the inside. I like to use a large metal spoon for the task, but there are some pumpkin gut scrapers on the market if you are into that! Whatever you do when scraping the insides out, reserve the seeds! Set them aside in a food safe strainer for rinsing. I’ve got an unbelievable recipe for smoke roasted pumpkin seeds coming your way in the next couple of days.
Third step, lightly season. All you really need is a little bit of good quality olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. If I am planning to use the pumpkin for something savory (in a chili, ravioli, or just cubing and eating as a side) then I will use a little more salt and add in some fresh cracked pepper as well. If I am going to use the puree for sweets (think pies, cheesecakes, cookies, etc), then I go light on the salt.
Step four, grill it up!! If you are cooking over indirect heat, you can put the pumpkin halves directly on the grill grates flesh side down. A 4-5 lb pumpkin usually takes around 45 minutes at 375 degrees. If you want to slice the pumpkin and eat it as a veggie, you are looking for fork tender (usually done around 40 minutes). If you are wanting to puree the pumpkin, you want the whole thing to be quite soft and that can take almost an hour.
Once you know how to grill pumpkin, it is up to you how to use it! I like to puree my pumpkin in the blender with 2-3 tablespoons of water until nice and smooth. At that point you can use immediately or store in the fridge for up to a week. If you put it in a freezer safe zip top bag, it can last 2-3 months!
This post has been featured (with many other AMAZING recipes) on the Food Network Let’s Pull Up a Chair Round-up! Don’t miss these fantastic posts about all things pumpkin!
The Lemon Bowl: Healthy Pumpkin Bread
Foodtastic Mom: Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie
Creative Culinary: Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Molasses Walnut Crumble
Dishin & Dishes: Overnight Pumpkin French Toast
The Mom 100: Pasta Shells with Pumpkin in a Creamy, Cheesy Sauce
Devour: Give ‘Em Pumpkin to Talk About with 4 Instagram-Ready Desserts
The Fed Up Foodie: Pumpkin Gnocchi Soup
A Mind “Full” Mom: 5 Must-Try Pumpkin Recipes That Are Not Pie
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Eggless Pumpkin Pie
Taste with the Eyes: Fabulous Fall Dessert: Pumpkin Ricotta Wonton Ravioli
Mom Loves Baking: Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Bundt Cake
Pinch My Salt: Buttermilk Pumpkin Spice Bread
Swing Eats: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Molasses Marshmallows (GF)
In Jennie’s Kitchen: No Bake Pumpkin Cream Pie
FN Dish: 6 Surprising Ways to Use Canned Pumpkin for More Than Pie