What Is The Difference Between A Pie And A Carving Pumpkin? Here Are 5.

October is here. And that means, yep you guessed it!  Pumpkins! The stores have large containers of them for sale.  If you live in a rural area as I do then you will see signs for pumpkins for sale. Pumpkins are not just for carving that Jack-0′- lantern for Halloween however. Let’s not forget about that tasty pumpkin pie. Or bread. Oh wait, let’s not forget pumpkin bars or pumpkin rolls either. But what is the difference between a pie and a carving pumpkin? Is there a difference?  There sure is!  Is a regular or carving pumpkin edible?  Yep, but you will be disappointed in the taste.

The biggest difference between a pie and a carving pumpkin is what is inside the pumpkin.  The flesh. But there are other differences as well. The color, the size, the skin. and the taste.

The Color

A pie pumpkin is a deeper orange color on the outside while the carving pumpkin may be a lighter orange. But you can’t always depend on this.  I have seen the larger carving pumpkins a deep orange color on the outside as well.

The Size

A pie pumpkin is smaller than a carving or regular pumpkin.

The Skin

The skin of a pie pumpkin is thinner than the carving pumpkin.  Which makes peeling the pie pumpkin so much easier

The Flesh

The flesh of a pie pumpkin is a deeper orange color and thicker than the carving pumpkin.  The carving pumpkin flesh is much thinner and very stringy.

The Taste

The pie pumpkin has a sweeter taste to it. While the carving pumpkin is edible, the taste is very bland and watery.


Many years ago I decided that I wanted to put up some pumpkin and freeze it.  That way I would have it at Thanksgiving time.  I could just go to the freezer and pull out a bag to make pumpkin pies for the holiday. It was a lot of work for no more pumpkin than I use in a year’s time. But if you have a large family and use a lot of pumpkin, then the work is worth it.

My husband’s boss’s wife told me just the other day that she has never bought a can of pumpkin.  She and her mother put away pumpkin and split the goods, so to speak.

I have found in recent years that I crave pumpkin this time of year so I think I will attempt to put some pumpkin in the freezer next year. As my husband loves growing pumpkins for the grandkids to carve I think I will pick up some pie pumpkin seed for him to plant as well.

There are many different varieties of pumpkins.  Some types are best for carving and some are best for cooking.

 a pie pumpkin

 Pie Pumpkins

  • The small sugar pumpkin is considered the standard for pie pumpkins. They weigh from 6 to 8 pounds with thick sweet sugary flesh.  The skin is a nice orange-yellow. An excellent choice for pies, baked goods, and canning or freezing as well.
  • Triple Treat Pumpkin lives up to its name. The first treat- the hull-less seeds are perfect for roasting.  The second treat- the shell is great for carving and the third treat- the flesh is delicious for eating. They weigh about 8 pounds but to get the sweetest flavor, harvest them when they are a little smaller. I am intrigued with this pumpkin and believe that this is the seed I am going to get for next year.
  • Dickinson Pumpkin makes an excellent pie filling.  Did you know that Libby’s Pumpkin puree is made from “Libby’s Select Dickinson pumpkins? This seed is not available commercially but you can get Dickinson pumpkin seed on Amazon.
carving pumpkins

 Carving Pumpkins

  • Howden’s Field Pumpkin- is a favorite for HalloweenThey weigh from 15 to 25 pounds. They are bright orange and slightly flat-faced with strong stems and extra-thick flesh.
  • Connecticut Field Pumpkin- A nice rounded-shaped pumpkin with flattened ends and weighs about 20 pounds
  • Knucklehead Pumpkin- A warted pumpkin that is perfect for decorating or carving.


Final Thoughts

There are several differences between a pie and a carving pumpkin. The size, color, flesh, skin, and taste. While your regular or carving pumpkins are edible I wouldn’t recommend it.  The flesh has a bland taste and is very stringy, and watery. You will be very disappointed in the taste and texture of that pumpkin pie or bread you decided to make.

There are many different varieties of pumpkins.  Some are better for carving while others are better for cooking. But then there are the ones that can act as both such as the triple treat pumpkin mentioned above. Hmm very intriguing.

I hope you enjoyed this little article regarding the difference between a pie and a carving pumpkin.  Please leave me a comment below with your thoughts. And As Always

Have A Wonderful Day!

difference between a pie and carving pumpkin
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