Unitasker Wednesday: The Pumpkin Gutter

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

Halloween is less than a week away and gourds of all shapes and sizes are popping up in fields and on dining tables and adorning stoops and front porches. These gourds may be small, hefty, orange, yellow, green, brown, round, club shaped, bottle shaped, painted, or carved. One thing is for certain — Americans love gourds in late October. Gourds! Gourds! Gourds!

If you have plans to carve your gourd into a jack-o-lantern, I’m sure you have acquired all your special pumpkin-carving tools: knives and ice cream scoop. If you’re a fancy pumpkin carver, you’ve probably also put that grapefruit spoon to use on “shadow” work. (Look at that, grapefruit spoons have more than one purpose!) The really hardcore among you, however, might also whip out your drill and attach the Pumpkin Gutter drill bit!

This bad boy will gut the innards out of your pumpkin faster than you can say, “Why do I need this when I can use an ice cream scoop?”

Granted, the video demonstration of the tool is pretty kick arse and if you have dozens of gourds to gut this Halloween, or if you’re a professional gourd artist like my friend Angela Lexow, I can see how this device could be useful (surprisingly, the Amazon reviews are all sincere five-star rankings). I’m just sticking with my ice cream scoop, though, as I’m usually a one- or two-gourd gutting gal each Halloween. Plus, ye olde ice cream scoop allows me to put my biceps to work scooping and scraping out all those guts.

Our appreciation goes to reader Danielle for introducing us to this seasonally appropriate unitasker. Happy (early) Halloween!

31 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday: The Pumpkin Gutter”

  1. posted by Rev. Back It On Up 13 on

    You know, I kind of didn’t want any gourds until now, but after your rallying cry of “Gourds! Gourds! Gourds!” I feel like I need to get out there and pick up some gourds.

    I don’t know if this was what you intended, but fine job nonetheless.

  2. posted by Sabrina on

    I just use a spoon.

    Also, this reminds me that I need to convert my butternut squashes to squash puree for pies soon or get them set up for root cellaring.

  3. posted by Mimi on

    is it cynical to question an ice scream scoop, too? ;) spoons are so multifunctional!

  4. posted by Shalin on

    I think I love my power drill even more now :-P

    –S

  5. Avatar of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Mimi — Aren’t you worried you’ll bend your spoons? A fear of bending our spoons on the hard gourd innards is the only reason I use an ice cream scoop. It could be a completely illogical fear, but that is why I do it …

  6. posted by momofthree on

    Why on earth didn’t I ever think to use my ice cream scoop for gutting gourds? What a great idea. I have bent a spoon or two in the past few years hollowing out our pumpkins!! Thanks for the idea.

    I personally would think that the long strings would just get wound up around the drill attachment, and then also, grind up the seeds.

    The seeds, slow roasted, are the best part of the pumpkin! (My College student called home to verify just how I make the best pumpkins seeds!)

  7. posted by Joella on

    I know two people who swear by this tool, but they gut & carve tons of pumpkins for their decorations. I’ll keep using a spoon. It works fine for me!

  8. posted by Susannah on

    It never occurred to me to use an ice cream scoop, either, but I have the kind that’s filled with antifreeze. Its edges are too rounded and blunt to be much good at scraping slippery gourd guts. I suspect the sort that’s more like a melon-baller with a sweep bar would work better.

    But my real point is, this device looks a lot like the beater inserts of my stand mixer. Has anyone tried using those? Unpowered, of course, though the alternative would make great video. :-) Perhaps I’ll give it a go when we carve jack-o-lanterns this weekend.

  9. posted by Robin on

    Ok, you’re right, this is TOTALLY a unitasker but… Well, I totally want one anyway!!! :)

  10. posted by Mary on

    My husband uses the paint stirring attachment for his drill to rip all of the guts out of the pumpkin. It pulls everything attached to the inside of the pumpkin and if any guts still remain they are easily scooped out.

    This is probably a similar tool, just easier to use something you have on hand!

  11. posted by Lianne on

    I wouldn’t even use an ice cream scoop or spoon for this. Sticky your hands in the gooiness (sp?) and feeling the squishiness, that’s what Hallowe’en is all about!

  12. posted by Laura on

    I don’t know … this looks kind of nice to me!

    I find when I use a spoon or ice-cream scoop, my hands get really raw and they sting. Maybe I’m allergic? I even use food-handler gloves.

    Sigh. This is one uni-tasker I might look into.

  13. posted by Pete on

    I think this just goes to show that owning a unitasker is not necessarily a bad thing, if you do that task often enough.

  14. posted by Ashley on

    I’ll admit it. I own a pumpkin gutter EXACTLY as the one pictured here, and you know what? I LOVE IT. Is it a unitasker? YUP. Does it work really good? YUP. I use it to help skim off some of the inside “meat” of the pumpkin also, which makes carving much easier. I entered a pumpkin carving contest this year, and I could gut 3 within about 5 minutes with this thing. I used the extra time and energy into carving them. All my Halloween decorations fit in one Rubbermaid bin in the garage, so I don’t think it really takes up that much space. In my opinion, it’s totally worth it.

  15. posted by Pam on

    Unitasker? sure… but useful? YES.. at least to me… I HATE the gooey-ooy nasty insides of pumpkins… I don’t have a lot of pumpkins to carve, but without this baby it’s even less.. because with out this, I’m just not doing it! rofl!

  16. posted by Myra on

    Erin – not to be nitpicky, but if this is the only reason you own an ice cream scoop, doesn’t that make it a unitasker?

  17. posted by Michelle on

    Several years ago I bought one of those $5 pumpkin carving kits with the tiny orange plastic handled serrated knives and a plastic “paddle” to scoop the guts out. That plastic paddle works a lot better than a spoon and lives in my utensil drawer – I use it to de-gut all of my winter squash when I cook. When the plastic paddle is too wide I use a melon baller (which I also use to neatly scoop the cores from pears and apples), but the melon baller alone is too small to tackle a jack’o’lantern sized pumpkin. I’ll have to try my ice cream scoop…

    The tiny serrated knives also work a lot better than my (nice, sharp) kitchen knives but sadly weren’t made to be a multi-season tool.

  18. Avatar of

    posted by Laetitia in Australia on

    The thing that got me about this post is not the unitasker since, (a) as an Australian it’s not really part of our culture and (b) I’m not into celebrating death – no, what got me was the use of the word ‘arse’, which I found surprising since I thought that it’s not really a USA term.

  19. Avatar of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Myra — I use our ice cream scoop for all sorts of things — ice cream (obviously), serving mashed potatoes and casseroles, scooping out perfect balls of cookie dough onto a cookie sheet, taking the guts out of squash before roasting, etc. The things gets regular action in our house!

    @Laetitia — In the US, we spell it that way to make it less of a curse word :)

  20. posted by Steve on

    I own an ice cream scoop but never use it. We specifically chose strong spoons when we bought ours, so that they would stand up to the rigors of serving ice cream. Compared to ice cream, pumpkin guts are a walk in the park.

    Anyways I grew up never being allowed to actually carve pumpkins. Instead we drew on them with magic markers. When the season was over my mother turned them into delicious pie. It’s hard to overcome your upbringing.

  21. posted by Jon on

    This is the first unitasker featured I’ve seen and actually thought “that’s pretty amazing.”

  22. posted by Mimi on

    @erin: i even use my silver cuttlery… i just scrape the seeds and the soft content (guts?) from the inside of the pumpkin and that´s it. my spoons are still in perfect shape ;)

  23. posted by Rebecca on

    Erin, this made me laugh. You’re right — the video IS awesome. And excellent idea about the scoop to avoid bending spoons (I always bend spoons when I’ve gutted pumpkins). One way to make this “unitasker” useful in other ways though, might be to also use it to mix/stir cans of paint. I think the beater idea someone had would also be great, but the short “arm” part of many beaters would be insufficient for larger pumpkins. Also, I’d be concerned about burning out the motor on a hand mixer if things did get tangled up. Much smaller machine.

  24. posted by Christina Rodriguez | The Diva's Home on

    If you’re a DIY type person, I guess you could use it to mix things like paint or grout.

  25. posted by Rally on

    To me, a unitasker is an item that has only one purpose that usually can be served just as efficiently by something one already owns. However, there are times when an item serves just one purpose but does it very efficiently. In that particular case, I don’t think it’s necessarily a waste, or clutter or whatever. Maybe this is one of those items?

  26. posted by LilMissRedTshirt on

    Pumpkin gutter? Wow. I went all vintage and used a knife and my hands.

  27. posted by Laetitia in Australia on

    Erin – here is just one example of how the English language is flipped between our two countries. In Australia, “arse” is a crass way of saying “backside”; conversely, “ass” is a “donkey” (yes, we are aware of what you mean when you say it). So here to call someone a “dumb ass” would be to call them a “stupid donkey” whereas you insult someone much more to call them an “arse (add your pejorative of choice here)”.

  28. posted by Mimi on

    hehee laetitia, that´s funny. btw: in german an “ass” is quite a good thing: an ace. :)

  29. posted by Splomo on

    I used something quite similar once, and found it to be not exactly a unitasker. It also serves as a flinger-of-pumpkin-puree-into-one’s-hair.

  30. posted by Mackenzie on

    I’ve always used tablespoons to scoop the insides out. Don’t think I damaged them any, but if they’re bendy enough to get bent on a pumpkin or ice cream, they’re bendy enough that you can just reshape them with your hands anyway (done that plenty, just don’t think pumpkins were the cause!).

  31. posted by Natalie in West Oz on

    Beg to differ, Laetitia. Over here (I’m an Aussie as well), both words are Ass. There is no R in the word at all. A-S-S for both the donkey and the bottom. There apparently was an R in it in the 1500’s but the commonly accepted spelling nowadays is without.

    See http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/asshole : )

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