Is Canned Pumpkin Better Than Homemade? Here’s What The Pioneer Woman Says.

In a recent interview, Ree Drummond—aka The Pioneer Woman—said she prefers canned pumpkin over homemade. Here's the scoop.

Just about anything is better homemade, so you’d think pumpkin puree would be no different, right? It turns out, Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond disagrees. In a recent interview with Taste of Home, we learned that she prefers canned pumpkin to homemade. Here’s why.

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The Difference Between Canned and Fresh Pumpkin Puree

Both store-bought pumpkin and fresh puree have just one ingredient: pumpkin. Homemade puree is made from baking pumpkins, like the Sugar Pie variety, which are denser and sweeter. The squash is roasted until tender, then scooped from its skin and pureed.

Commercial pumpkin is made from steamed pureed pumpkin. In a recent Taste of Home blind taste test, canned won out, too!

Why Homemade Puree Is Different

The difference, Drummond explains, is “if you make your own pumpkin puree from pumpkins, you can’t control the water content…the stuff in the can is controlled.”

Because every pumpkin has a slightly different water and sugar content, the final texture, consistency and flavor of homemade puree will vary. Sometimes, your puree will be sweet and creamy, sometimes watery, sometimes thick. Commercial pumpkin, on the other hand, has a uniform consistency and flavor.

Drummond told us that she’s made pumpkin puree from scratch before, and was disappointed: “My pie didn’t turn out ’cause it was too watery.”

Another benefit of using canned pumpkin? Drummond also noted that most recipes in cookbooks or online are tested with canned pumpkin, so your results will be best if you use canned, too.

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Good News for Bakers

Canned pumpkin is affordable and widely available. Pop a can or two in your pantry and you can bake at a moment’s notice. Use it in pies, along with a smorgasbord of other recipes. The only effort required is digging out the can opener—much simpler than making it from scratch, for sure. As Drummond says, there’s “no shame in pureed canned pumpkin!”

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Kelsey Rae Dimberg
A former in-house editor at Taste of Home, Kelsey now writes articles and novels from her home in Milwaukee. She's an avid cook, reader, flâneur, and noir fanatic. Her debut novel, Girl in the Rearview Mirror, will be published in June 2019 by William Morrow.