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.

Do you have green peanuts or dried peanuts?

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

Ingredients

  • Raw Peanuts - As many as you can fit in your pot, to about 1/2 full.

  • Water - Enough to float the peanuts in the pot, to about 2/3 full. Measure the amount of water used.

  • Salt - About 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) per gallon of water used. 1 tablespoon of salt per pint of water.

Directions

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.


How to Boil Peanuts

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Comments and Questions

Comments and questions from visitors

Do I dry boiled peanuts before eating them? 
We recently returned from a trip to South Carolina, and we bought some boiled peanuts from a farm stand. The man scooped the peanuts out of water, and …

Crockpot Boiled Peanuts 
How long can boiled peanuts be kept in a crockpot before spoiling?

Can you just boil the peanuts in water? 
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 …

Boiled Peanut Cooking Pot 
Hi B-P-W! What are acceptable cooking pots for boiling peanuts? I want something very large, something that will hold a bushel. Any suggestions?

Can I boil raw peanuts that are not in their shells? 
Can I boil raw peanuts that are already shelled?

Can I boil peanuts in a regular pot? 
The instructions say to boil the peanuts in a stock pot or slow cooker. Can I just boil them in a regular large cooking pot? Is there a difference?

Boiled peanut shells turned black 
Why did my raw peanut shells turn black when I boiled them?

Boiling peanuts in a pressure cooker 
Is there a recipe for using a pressure cooker to boil peanuts?

Drying boiled peanuts 
Do you dry the boiled peanuts or just eat them soft?

What am I looking for in peanuts for boiling? 
I have no clue which peanuts I need to boil. I am trying to eat the healthiest, most nutritious peanut, and easy to digest. I live in Maine, and not sure …

How to store boiled peanuts? 
We have green peanuts that are boiled. Do you refrigerate the boiled peanuts in the salt water they were cooked in? Also, how long do they last in the …

Boiled peanuts too salty 
What if I used too much salt when I boiled my peanuts? Can you do anything to make them less salty tasting?

Freeze and reheat boiled peanuts  
I tried to sell boiled peanuts last week and we got drenched with rain. I was told that I could freeze them and use them next week. Is that correct?

How do I set up a roadside peanut stand? 
We do not have access to raw green peanuts so we use raw dry nuts. We cook them at home with a normal cooking time around 8-10 hours and they turn out …

Right kind of peanuts for boiling? 
I have raw Valencia peanuts, is this the right variety for boiling?

Packaging boiled peanuts for gift giving? 
I'm traveling from my home state of Georgia to my Dad's home state of South Dakota, and I would like to take my family some southern style boiled peanuts …

How long do boiled peanuts last before spoiling? 
How long do boiled peanuts last before spoiling? Also, does the water I use for boiling peanuts affect their texture?

Boiling shelled green peanuts Cajun style 
Can I Cajun boil green peanuts if they are already shelled?

Recipe for boiling 50 pounds of peanuts 
What is a good recipe for boiling 50 pounds of peanuts? Thank you for the help.

Raw Peanuts cooking time 
We boil our raw peanuts about 25 minutes. The nuts are then soft on the inside of the shell and very tasty. These are peanuts in the Philippines. Longer …

How to Dry Peanuts 
How do I dry Boiled Peanuts? This is my first time and I thought the best would be to boil them since you put salt in the water. Help.

Where to buy largest green peanuts for boiling? 
Where can I find the largest variety of green peanut suitable for boiling? Will they only be available during certain months? I live in Houston, but …

How to flavor raw peanuts 
How do you flavor raw peanuts that are shelled?

Can shelled raw peanuts be boiled? 
Thanks for the article. We cannot get raw peanuts in their shells in the UK. The ones in shells are always roasted and ready to eat, sold in bags. …

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Sweeten Boiled Peanuts with Honey? 
I want to make some sweet flavored boiled peanuts but not overpoweringly sweet. Any suggestions as to what I could use? I'm open minded, and would try …

Adding water and salt when boiling peanuts 
If I add water to the pot as it boils off, how do I know how much salt to add? Without adding salt as I add water, won't the brine become diluted?

Best peanut variety for boiling 
What is the best variety of peanuts for boiling; not too small, not too big, best tasting?

Canning Raw Peanuts in Jars 
My mother-in-law used to can raw peanuts in jars. How is this process done?

Boiling Peanuts with Rock Salt 
Can I use rock salt instead of table salt when boiling peanuts? If so, how much do I use?

Too salty boiled peanuts 
Is there any way to fix boiled peanuts if too much salt was used?

When are boiled peanuts done cooking? 
How many minutes do peanuts need to boil?

What if I can't tell whether they are RAW or DRIED? 
These are the big ones and they were neither "green" looking nor very soft. I know they are raw, but I'm only cooking 2 lb for myself, so how long do I …

How to Store Green Peanuts? 
I recently bought green peanuts from a store that keeps them in a cooler, 30 lbs sacks. When I get home do I have to boil right away? I want to store them, …

Can I Freeze Green Peanuts? 
Can I freeze green peanuts before I boil them?

Storing Boiled Peanuts 
After boiling peanuts must they be refrigerated if I don't plan to eat them until the net day?

Moldy Peanuts: Safe to boil? 
I got a bag of boiling peanuts at the grocery store and let them sit on the counter for a few days. By the time I went to boil them, many were moldy. Should …

Who puts ice cubes in the pot when done? 
I was told ice water drives the flavor into the boiled peanuts. Anyone tried it?

How do I know when boiled peanuts are done? 
How do I know when they are done? Time, texture, taste?

How long can peanuts soak after boiling before they spoil? 
How long can peanuts soak after boiling before they spoil?

How often to stir peanuts when boiling them? 
How important is stirring when boiling peanuts? Once you bring them to a boil, what temperature do you boil them? Simmer? Thanks, Phillip from Mississippi. …

How to soften shells on boiled peanuts? 
I have been slowly boiling my peanuts but the shell is really hard what can I use to soften the shell? Ive been boiling them since yesterday afternoon …

Should I presoak raw peanuts before boiling them? 
My bag of raw peanuts says I should soak them for up to 24 hours in brine before cooking. I'm going to cook them in a crock pot, which lengthens the cooking …

How do I get hot spicy Cajun flavors into boiled peanuts? 
Tried to get hot, spicy flavor into my boiled peanuts, but they didn't get very spicy, like some I bought commercially. What's the procedure?

I got a bag of dried raw peanuts. 
I was wondering if the bag of dried raw peanuts that I received as a present would be okay to boil? If so,do I boil them for the 24 hours you stated? Other …

Boiling Shelled Peanuts 
Your recipe is for boiling peanuts in the shell, but what about shelled peanuts? Can we still boil them? What is the process? We have tasted peanuts boiled …

Can you reheat boiled peanuts? 
How do you store and reheat boiled peanuts?

Difference in using gas or coal fires to boil peanuts 
Is there a difference in using gas or coal fires when boiling peanuts?

How Long do Boiled Peanuts Keep? 
If kept in a crock pot and not eaten that day, then refrigerated overnight, and put back in a crock pot the next day, will they still be good? If so, how …

How to Shorten Cooking Time when Boiling Dried Peanuts? 
Is there a way to cook or soak dry peanuts to cut the cooking time down and to make them taste good?

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How Long to Boil Raw Shelled Peanuts? 
How long do you boil raw, shelled peanuts?

Boiled Peanuts in a Crock Pot 
Can you accomplish the same thing using a crock pot, and if so, are the steps the same?

Should I Crack the Shells before Boiling Peanuts? 
I have been told that it helps to crack the shells before boiling. Anything to this? I know that many of the shells may be already slightly cracked. …

Can I Reboil Boiled Peanuts? 
Can I reboil boiled peanuts 24 hours later? Will they still be good after I reboil them?

Boiled Peanuts that Stick in Shell 
I've boiled peanuts for many years, and have it down to a science, yet I still have the occasional batch that sticks inside the shells. Is there a trick …

Can Roasted Peanuts be Boiled? 
Can roasted peanuts be boiled? Will they still taste good?

Adding Flavors to Boiled Peanuts? 
If I was to add a Cajun or garlic flavor to the boiled peanuts, when is the best time to add the flavor and how much?

Why are my Boiled Peanuts Shrinking? 
The pnuts I am boiling are shrinking and "turning in". What is causing this?

How Much Sea Salt for Boiling Peanuts 
How much sea salt would you use when boiling peanuts? I have never cooked boiled peanuts before.

Too much Salt in my Boiled Peanuts 
How can I eliminate the fact that the peanuts are TOO SALTY? Will soaking them in plain water help? If so, for how long? Help!! They are way too salty. …

When boiling peanuts should I add more water and salt as the water evaporates? 
When boiling raw peanuts the brine has a tendency to evaporate off. My question is when you add more water to the pot do you need to add more salt …

Boiling Fresh Dug Peanuts 
I just dug my peanuts and I would like to know how long do have to let them dry out before I can boil them?

Adding More Salt to Peanuts during Boiling Process  
What if you didn't put in enough salt initially...do you add more during boiling?

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

What else can I use instead of Salt?  
Will garlic salt give a different flavor? What other flavors can I try?

Can Shelled Peanuts be Boiled? 
I would like to know why we need to leave them in the shell, and do you remove the shells before eating? I've never had these but am dying to try them. …

Sea Salt or Table Salt? 
Do you like to use sea salt or table salt?

Do leftover boiled peanuts need to be refrigerated ? 
Do leftover boiled peanuts need to be refrigerated?

Can I Boil Peanuts that have Sprouted? 
If the peanuts have sprouted are they still good to boil and eat?

Boiling peanuts in a crockpot 
Can you tell me how to boil peanuts in a crockpot? I would like them to cook while I am at work

Has this ever happened to you? 
I spilled a large amount of peanuts (Cajun at that!) the other day, and didn't quite get them all up - No big deal right? The critters will get them. But …

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