Trying to cut large winter squash is not as easy as it might appear because winter squashes typically come with tough exteriors that are difficult to slice through. For your safety, you must be very careful when cutting large winter squashes as even the slightest wrong move or a slip can result in a visit to the emergency room. To make sure that you are doing it correctly and safely here is how to cut large winter squash:
How To Cut Large Winter Squash
1. Pick a sharp knife
The best way to cut a large winter squash is with a sharp knife. Using a sharp knife will only require you to use minimal force in order to make your first cut. If you use a dull knife, the edge of the knife may not bite into the squash properly which may lead to a slip-up. Wash your squash and dry before trying to cut it.
To prevent the squash from moving from place to place, you can place a damp towel underneath the chopping board. If you plan on working with large winter squash on a regular basis, you should also consider investing in a small kitchen hand saw that can be used expressly for this purpose.
2. Stabilize the squash
When working with winter squashes and pumpkins, you should resist the urge to stabilize it with your hands while cutting it. rather than do this, which can be very dangerous due to all the wiggling, consider cutting off the stem ends for a bit more stability. Trimming the ends first will also allow you to get rid of the toughest areas of the squash so that you can start to properly work with your vegetable.
3. Microwave the winter squash
If you are having a lot of difficulties, try microwaving the large winter squash to make the surface softer to work with. If your squash is too large to fit into the microwave, you can wrap it in foil and bake it in the oven for 10 minutes or depending on how soft you want the exterior to be. Large and thick-skinned squashes such as the Hubbard can benefit from being microwaved before attempting to cut them.
4. Cut through vertically not horizontally
Cutting through the squash vertically is the best way to work with large winter squash. If your knife gets stuck, you can easily use a mallet to get it through or you can try tapping the handle of the knife to force it through. Cutting vertically will leave you with even halves that will lie flat on a sheet whether you want to keep dicing or stuffing the squash for baking or roasting.
5. Remove the gunk
Scoop out the gunk or the seeds with any metal spoon or a sturdy wooden one. If you want to peel your squash, use a knife to remove the surface instead of a peeler. Using a knife will be a lot faster and less tiring compared to using a peeler but remember to keep your fingers out of the way in the process. The best way to avoid slicing your fingers when peeling a large winter squash is to tuck your fingers underneath themselves such that you create a light fist with your hand.