Can you just boil the peanuts in water?

by Russell

Do you have to have anything added to the water in the boiling process? Do you need some form of salt and if so why? I'd like to try boiling the peanuts first to the desired texture, then add salt and or seasoning to desired flavor and simmer.

Comments for Can you just boil the peanuts in water?

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Mar 05, 2014
Boiling peanuts in plain water
by: Bret

Yes, you can boil peanuts in just water, without salt. We recommend this because the peanuts cannot absorb any liquid until they soften.

Texture is certainly the first property to notice and control when boiling peanuts. Boiled peanuts can only absorb the brine after they soften.

After softening, the boiled peanuts must soak in the cooling brine to fill them with it's flavor. Simmer and soak for more flavor.

You're on the right path to some tasty boiled peanuts!

Mar 19, 2014
by: Bill

Peanuts absorb water, and salt, or seasoning during the cooking process. The trick is to add the right amount of salt in the beginning. If you wait until they've softened, they won't absorb anything further. As they absorb the water, which softens them, they absorb the salt during the cook. There is no need to soak or simmer once they are done. Add a one pound box of salt to each ten pounds of raw peanuts at the start of the cooking. Cook for about ten hours, and you're done. If they're too salty or less salty, adjust the amount on the next cook to get your desired taste. I've done it this way for twenty five years. Try it, you'll like it.


Mar 22, 2014
To salt, or not to salt. That is the question.
by: Bret

Bill has boiled peanuts professionally for at least 25 years. He clearly knows how to make great tasting boiled peanuts. I agree that Bill's method is one way to make great tasting boiled peanuts.

I submit that it is possible to boil peanuts without initial salt, and that salt can be added later. In some cases it is helpful to add the salt later in the process of boiling peanuts.

While boiling peanuts at home, I've added my measured salt to the water at various times in the process. When the right amount of salt is used, it can be added either at the beginning, or near the end of the boiling process, in my opinion. Good results can be obtained either way.

Saltiness can also be adjusted after the peanuts are boiled, by controlling the salinity of the water used to reheat them. Plain water will leach salt from boiled peanuts, and saline water can infuse salt into the already boiled peanuts. This occurs until equilibrium is achieved between the water and peanuts.

I usually pressure cook my boiled peanuts at home with 15 pounds of pressure for 45 minutes, without salt. I let the pressure cooker cool naturally until it reaches zero pressure, and the safety lock releases. I remove the lid, add the measured salt, and simmer them until the salt has infused the peanuts.

Even with a pressure cooker, peanuts must soak in the liquid to infuse the juice into the pod. Until boiled peanuts become soft, then wet, they cannot absorb the flavor of the brine.

Mar 15, 2015
Boiled peanuts great with no added salt!
by: Chrisgg

I just made and tasted boiled peanuts for the first time today, with no salt at all. Being in the UK, we never see boiled peanuts on sale anywhere. I didn't even know you could cook them that way, I thought they would go rubbery. We don't often see raw peanuts sold in their shells over here, they nearly always come ready roasted.

I've been roasting my own peanuts to eat as a snack and also making peanut butter for a long while, so when I came across boiled peanuts on the internet I just had to try them. Only trouble is I don't like to add salt to anything I cook, and all the recipes say you have to add it to boiled peanuts in copious quantities.

Anyway, I tried just bringing them to the boil and simmering them in water in their shells for a total of about 8 hours. I cooked them for about 4 hours yesterday evening, turned off the heat and left them to soak overnight. Today they were still crunchy so I put them on to boil again and left them to simmer for another 3-4 hours.

They are delicious and remind me of chick peas and chestnuts, really sweet, plump and tender. So I can recommend cooking them without salt if you prefer them that way. It seems to work fine!

May 28, 2015
Starting off with just water is best IMO
by: Russell

So, I've been making boiled peanuts for just over a year now. I've found that boiling raw peanuts first in plain water is best. I boil the raw peanuts in plain water and check them every hour or so until they're at a nice texture.

In doing this, the peanuts get thoroughly cleaned in the process. Once they're done, I pull them out and dump the used water.

I now add fresh water, bring it to a boil, then add my seasoning. I allow the seasoning to boil for a few minutes then add my peanuts.

I bring the water back to a rapid boil for 30 - 60 minutes and then allow them to soak for 6 - 8 hours. I do this for 2 - 3 days. Doing this allows the seasoning to penetrate the husk and get into the meat.

I have a 120 quart pot, boil about 20 pounds at a time and use a Cajun recipe with 12 gallons of water. I must be doing something right, because my neighbors and friends will always ask when I'm making more peanuts and they're gone in a few days.

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