Size And Shape Matter When Pressure Cooking A Whole Pumpkin

top down view of assortment of pumpkins
top down view of assortment of pumpkins - Liudmila Evsegneeva/Shutterstock

Fall is right around the corner, which means it's time for all things pumpkin, and not just in your pumpkin spice latte (which doesn't actually have any real pumpkin in it, for you purists out there). While it may be a little early for carved jack-o-lanterns and going into a food coma with pumpkin pie, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy pumpkin this fall, from sweet treats like cheesecake, cookies, and cupcakes to more savory options like chili, pasta, and soups.

What many pumpkin recipes have in common is that they call for canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree. And while canned pumpkin puree is an easy option, what you're getting in the can may not actually be pumpkin, even if it has a 100% pumpkin label — turns out, due to a rather loose FDA definition of what constitutes a pumpkin, what you might be getting in that can of pumpkin puree is squash instead. So if you want to make sure you're getting the real deal, you can easily cook a whole pumpkin yourself in the pressure cooker. There are just a few things to look out for, including the size and shape of the pumpkin.

Read more: 27 Tips You Need When Cooking With Vegetables

Making Sure It Fits

top down whole pumpkin in instant pot
top down whole pumpkin in instant pot - Instagram

These days, it seems that just about everyone has an Instant Pot, which is the key to easily cooking an entire pumpkin — all it takes is around 15 minutes of cooking time, natural release, a trivet, and around a cup of water. You just need to make sure that the pumpkin fits inside of the pot, hence paying attention to its size and shape.

You don't want a pumpkin that's too squat (and therefore too wide to fit in the pot), or one that's too upright (and therefore too tall for the pot). And don't forget to factor in the height of the pumpkin including the stem, which you will want to leave on. And while it is possible to trim the pumpkin slightly, why even bother with the extra hassle when you can just get a pumpkin that fits properly to begin with? The Food Network recommends using a sugar or pie pumpkin, but any pumpkin that will fit your Instant Pot or pressure cooker will work.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.