How to Boil Peanuts
Wondering how to boil peanuts to perfection? The quality of your raw peanuts is critically important, as is time. Time is an essential factor when boiling peanuts.
Boiling time softens the peanuts, and soaking time increases the juicy flavor inside the shells. The amount of time required to boil peanuts depends on the raw peanuts' maturity, size, kernel moisture content, and your taste.
You might be boiling green Valencia peanuts that are small, immature, fresh dug, and full of moisture, or boiling raw Jumbo Virginia peanuts that are mature, and have been dried to 10% kernel moisture content. Green peanuts should boil at least 1 hour, up to 4 hours, and dried raw peanuts may require up to 24 hours of boiling to soften to your liking. Some people like boiled peanuts as soft as mashed potatoes, and some of us like them with a little snap. It's up to you to decide when they are done boiling.
You must sample your peanuts as they boil in order to decide when they have softened to your liking.
You need to know your peanuts. Learn each bag that you buy by boiling a few, and tasting them as you observe how their texture changes as they cook. This is the way to learn how to boil peanuts, whether they are green, or dried.
It's simple, fun, and delicious. After boiling samples from a batch of raw peanuts, you can repeat that recipe with the rest of the batch. Some people prefer a firmer, crisper boiled peanut, others prefer a softer peanut.
How to Boil Peanuts
Rinse the raw peanuts several times to remove debris. Put the rinsed raw peanuts in a stove pot, or a slow cooker. Add water to the pot, enough to float the peanuts, leaving at least 1" room at the top of the pot. Measure the water as you add it. Mix in about 8 tablespoons, 1/2 cup, of salt per gallon of water.
Bring the water, peanuts, and salt to a boil. Boiling time depends on whether you have green peanuts or raw dried peanuts.
Green peanuts need to boil at least 1 hour, up to 4 hours. Dried raw peanuts must be cooked much longer. Dried peanuts may require boiling up to 24 hours until they soften. If your water is hard, full of minerals, or you are boiling at high altitude, then your boiling times for dried peanuts may be greater than 24 hours. Using a pressure cooker to boil peanuts will reduce boiling time by many hours whether you are at sea level, or at high altitude.
The qualities of a perfect boiled peanut go beyond softness, saltiness, and wetness, though these are good starting points for discussion. It's not easy to describe the taste, and texture changes that raw peanuts go through as they boil. However, these changes are quite noticeable when you taste the peanuts as they boil.
Raw peanuts are very firm, and have a green, or vegetal taste. They taste somewhat like a raw pea, or raw green bean. As they boil, the peanuts start softening, yet remain rather firm, with no salty flavor from the liquid. The raw taste diminishes as they boil longer, and the peanuts start tasting more savory as they soften. When they have softened to your liking, remove the pot from the burner, and let the peanuts soak in the cooling brine. They will not taste salty, yet. Soaking makes the boiled peanuts salty, and wet inside the shells.
Do not be tempted to add salt before the peanuts are fully softened, and saturated with the brine. This is a common mistake. If a recipe says "Remove the peanuts quickly from the liquid or they will be too salty", then they called for too much salt in the first place. When the right amount of salt is used per unit water, the boiled peanuts could soak for days in the brine, in the refrigerator, and not become too salty.
Cooking beyond done will not improve the quality, but they will still be good if left soaking. Boiled peanuts become more moist, and flavorful as they soak in the brine. Fortunately, there is a wide margin of time for boiling tasty peanuts. It's not hard to learn how to boil peanuts, as long as you taste them periodically as they cook.
Now you know how to boil peanuts. Boiling dried peanuts takes many hours. Pay attention. Never leave a boiling pot of peanuts unattended on a stove. When the water boils away, a fire can start from the dried contents, and the pot can melt. Turn off the burner if you must walk away. The peanuts will continue to simmer in the cooling water until you return.
Post your boiled peanuts secrets, advice, and questions!
Do you have a tip, recipe, or question regarding boiling peanuts? Please post here without hesitation.
Comments and Questions
Comments and questions from visitors
Boiling peanuts out of the shells?
How can I prevent boiled peanuts from sticking in the shell?
Pressure Cooker Time when Boiling Peanuts?
What's the weight difference between raw and boiled peanuts?
Do I dry boiled peanuts before eating them?
Crockpot Boiled Peanuts
Can you just boil the peanuts in water?
Boiled Peanut Cooking Pot
Can I boil raw peanuts that are not in their shells?
Can I boil peanuts in a regular pot?
Boiled peanut shells turned black
Boiling peanuts in a pressure cooker
Drying boiled peanuts
What am I looking for in peanuts for boiling?
How to store boiled peanuts?
Boiled peanuts too salty
Freeze and reheat boiled peanuts
How do I set up a roadside peanut stand?
Right kind of peanuts for boiling?
Packaging boiled peanuts for gift giving?
How long do boiled peanuts last before spoiling?
Boiling shelled green peanuts Cajun style
Recipe for boiling 50 pounds of peanuts
Raw Peanuts cooking time
How to Dry Peanuts
Where to buy largest green peanuts for boiling?
How to flavor raw peanuts
Can shelled raw peanuts be boiled?
Sweeten Boiled Peanuts with Honey?
Adding water and salt when boiling peanuts
Best peanut variety for boiling
Canning Raw Peanuts in Jars
Boiling Peanuts with Rock Salt
Too salty boiled peanuts
When are boiled peanuts done cooking?
What if I can't tell whether they are RAW or DRIED?
How to Store Green Peanuts?
Can I Freeze Green Peanuts?
Storing Boiled Peanuts
Moldy Peanuts: Safe to boil?
Who puts ice cubes in the pot when done?
How do I know when boiled peanuts are done?
How long can peanuts soak after boiling before they spoil?
How often to stir peanuts when boiling them?
How to soften shells on boiled peanuts?
Should I presoak raw peanuts before boiling them?
How do I get hot spicy Cajun flavors into boiled peanuts?
I got a bag of dried raw peanuts.
Boiling Shelled Peanuts
Can you reheat boiled peanuts?
Difference in using gas or coal fires to boil peanuts
How Long do Boiled Peanuts Keep?
How to Shorten Cooking Time when Boiling Dried Peanuts?
How Long to Boil Raw Shelled Peanuts?
Boiled Peanuts in a Crock Pot
Should I Crack the Shells before Boiling Peanuts?
Can I Reboil Boiled Peanuts?
Boiled Peanuts that Stick in Shell
Can Roasted Peanuts be Boiled?
Adding Flavors to Boiled Peanuts?
Why are my Boiled Peanuts Shrinking?
How Much Sea Salt for Boiling Peanuts
Too much Salt in my Boiled Peanuts
When boiling peanuts should I add more water and salt as the water evaporates?
Boiling Fresh Dug Peanuts
Adding More Salt to Peanuts during Boiling Process
How much water and salt to boil peanuts?
What else can I use instead of Salt?
Can Shelled Peanuts be Boiled?
Sea Salt or Table Salt?
Do leftover boiled peanuts need to be refrigerated ?
Can I Boil Peanuts that have Sprouted?
Boiling peanuts and peanut allergies
Boiling peanuts in a crockpot
Has this ever happened to you?
Search Boiled Peanut World here.
return to more recipes from how to boil peanuts