The question of the day is WHY? We answered, WHY NOT?
You don't need a sword to cut through 1.5 inches of the pumpkin wall, but a paring knife might be a pain in the ass.
You will be cutting small vents in the bottom and top of the pumpkin for airflow.
There will be guts, lots of them.
You will want 9 inches or smaller. This needs to fit into the bottom of the pumpkin to hold the charcoal.
We used the 13.5 inch grill grate that is on our Weber Smokey Joe. Measure the width of the grate you have and buy your pumpkin accordingly.
Jealous Devil brand is hot as hell and lasts forever. But, use whatever charcoal you can round up.
Do Not go to Walmart.
Everyone has a pumpkin patch down the road, go there.
You will have to decide what you intend to use the pumpkin for. If you plan on grilling hot and fast, get a shorter pumpkin so that the food can get closer to the coals.
If you plan on smoking low and slow, get a taller pumpkin for more indirect cooking. Try to get a pumpkin that is similar in size to your grill grate. Our grill grate was 13.5 inches in diameter, so we got a 14 inch pumpkin. Make sure to get a pumpkin with a sturdy stem. This stem will be the handle for the “lid” of your grill so it needs to be durable for repeated lifting.
While you are at the farm stand, take a glance at some of the other produce. It won't hurt to eat a vegetable every once in a while.
How you cut your pumpkin will depend on the type of pumpkin that you selected. Our pumpkin was more round and used for direct cooking so we cut it a little over halfway up to look more like a kettle style grill. If you have a taller pumpkin for more indirect cooking, cut it 3/4 of the way up to make it look more like a bullet style smoker.
Take your time and cut straight lines. After it is cut, remove the pumpkin guts but don’t take off too much of the walls. Thiccc walls insulate the grill much better. Also, save the pumpkin seeds.
You now have to decide what side of the pumpkin is prettier. If it laid on the ground on one side, it is probably uglier than the side that wasn’t in the dirt and supporting the weight of the pumpkin. The ugly side will have the air intake on the bottom half of the pumpkin. The air intake should be cut below the grate line but above the coals for airflow through the coal bed. Make a few holes the size of a quarter, if you cut them too big, you may compromise the pumpkin’s foundation. On the pretty side, carve whatever design you want on the lid of the pumpkin. Keep in mind, this has to serve as a lid so don’t carve out too much out. By putting the vents on the bottom of the ugly side and the top of the pretty side, you have created optimal airflow for your entire grill and it's going to look awesome.
Charcoal is the best fuel source for a grill this size. Start by putting your pie tin in the bottom of the pumpkin. You can poke holes in the pie tin for better airflow but this may burn the bottom of the pumpkin if the coals fall through. Start some charcoal in a chimney and put it in the pie tin. Put the lid back on the grill and watch it come up to temp.
If you need to ask us, it's probably best to just put the tongs down for today.