How much water and salt to boil peanuts?

by Jeff
(Georgia, USA)

I just bought a 40 quart fryer. How much water, how much salt and how many pounds of peanuts?

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May 22, 2011
How much water, salt and peanuts for a 40 quart pot.
by: Bret

Jeff,
Congratulations on your new fryer. 40 quarts is a big pot!

How much Water? Use enough water to cover the peanuts while leaving at least 1-2 inch gap at the pot's lip. Measure how much water you use to determine the amount of salt needed.

How much Salt? About 8 tablespoons (½ cup) of salt per gallon of water. Adjust to your taste.

It's better to undersalt at first. You can always add more salt after the boiling peanuts soften to your liking. It takes time for the peanuts to absorb the salt water. Don't rush to add more salt when they are still softening. Dried peanuts have to boil for many hours before they become soft and wet. Dried peanuts take longer to soften when boiled in salt water than in fresh water. This has also been noted when boiling dried beans with and without salt.

Always taste the water before adding any more salt. It should taste like the ocean. The ratio of salt to water is the important factor to control, along with boiling time.

The amount of peanuts does not matter. The concentration of the salt in the water determines the final flavor. As water boils away the salt concentration increases, and you must add fresh water to the pot.

How many pounds of peanuts? I assume you want to fill your pot. Your pot has a volume of 40 quarts, which is 10 gallons. There is no general rule for converting pounds of peanuts to volume of peanuts.

You can boil either raw green peanuts or raw dried peanuts. Green peanuts are fresh dug from the ground and their moisture content varies from about 35% to 50%. Dried peanuts have been carefully dried to 10% moisture. One pound of dried peanuts contains more peanuts (thus more volume) than one pound of green peanuts.

One pound of dried Valencia peanuts is about 2 quarts, or ½ gallon volume (I just measured some). Your 40 quart pot should hold about 19 pounds of these dried Valencia peanuts. If your dried peanuts are of a different variety and size than mine, for instance Virginia Jumbo peanuts, then the number of pounds to fill your 40 quart pot will vary from my measurement.

Bushels of peanuts convert directly to quarts. One bushel is 9.3 US gallons, or 37.2 quarts. Your 40 quart pot should hold about one bushel of peanuts (green or dried).

Once you boil a few batches of peanuts in your new pot you will learn exactly how to make them taste the way you like.

I let my boiled peanuts soak in the salt water as they cool. This lets them suck up the juice and get fully saturated with that salty goodness. Yum!

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