It can seem frustrating to try a new recipe and not know how much of an ingredient to purchase at the store. Sometimes they give you a quantity of pumpkin in volume (2 cups), sometimes as a weight (5 pounds) and still others the mushrooms are given as a produce description (1 medium pumpkin). But what are they really talking about? How much is in a pumpkin? In order to help make cooking easier we did some experiments to help tell you exactly how many pumpkins you need to buy.
To answer How many pumpkins in a cup we went to the grocery store to check out the produce section. After surveying the selection we confirmed that pumpkins come in a wide range of sizes! A medium pumpkin can range from 10 to 20 pounds. So instead of using a descriptive size, we chose 1 pound of pumpkin for our test sample.
For cooking, a smaller sugar or pie pumpkin (usually weighs between 3 to 8 pounds) is more flavorful than a larger carving one. One pound of fresh pumpkin yields about 4 cups raw peeled and cubed, or 1 cup cooked then mashed or pureed pumpkin. A 5 pound fresh pumpkin will make 4 to 4½ cups of cooked puree or mashed pulp. If you want a thicker puree, place it in a colander or cheesecloth for a while to drain out excess water. If a recipe calls for a 15-ounce can of pumpkin, you can replace it with 1¾ cups mashed fresh pumpkin. In general, plan on purchasing ⅓ to ½ pound of fresh pumpkin per serving as a side dish. Much of the weight will be discarded in the peel and seeds.
Did you know that scientifically speaking, pumpkins are a fruit but when it comes to cooking, they are often referred to as vegetables? According to the Guinness World Records, in October 2014 Benj Meier from Switzerland was credited with growing the heaviest pumpkin; it weighed in at 2,323 pounds (1,054 kg). Wow, that could make a lot of pies!
Next time your recipe calls for a cup of cubed or pureed pumpkin you'll feel confident knowing how many pumpkins you need. You can also use our conversion tool below for any custom how many pumpkins in a... measurements you need.
Pumpkin chunks will keep in the refrigerator in a perforated plastic bag for at least a week; left at room temperature, the pumpkin flesh will dehydrate.
Fresh whole pumpkin will keep for 2 months in a dry, ventilated room with temperatures in the 50 to 55°F (10 to 12.7°C) range and a relative humidity of 60 to 75%.
For longer storage you can freeze cooked pumpkin; cook, puree and package in freezer containers to be used within 6 months.
The quality of dried pumpkin is fair to good; store in a dry and cold location for the longest shelf life.
Smaller sugar (or pie) pumpkins have a thicker shell packed all the way through with pulp; larger Halloween carving pumpkins are grown specifically for their shell (hollow inside).
One of the biggest hassles when cooking and working in the kitchen is when a recipe calls for "the juice of 1 lime" or a similar measurement. Often times when cooking people use bottled juices, pre-sliced vegetables and other convenient cooking time savers. Produce Converter will help you convert the "juice of 1 lime" and other similar recipe instructions into tablespoons, cups and other concrete measurements.
Produce Converter can also be used to figure out how many vegetables to buy when you need, for instance, "A cup of diced onion." You can use our easy conversion tool to figure out exactly how many onions you need to buy at the store in order to end up with the amount you need for your cooking.
We hope you enjoy Produce Converter and if you have any suggestions for how we can improve it and make your cooking easier please let us know.