Salt - 1/2 cup (8 Tbs) of salt per gallon of water
If your raw peanuts are in the shell, then rinse them several times in cool water to remove debris. Put the raw peanuts into a large stockpot, or slow cooker. Leave at least 2" room in the pot. Add water, measure as you fill, leaving at least 1" gap between the peanuts with water, to the top of the pot. You can add salt to the pot, about 8 tablespoons per gallon of water used. That is, 1/2 cup of salt per gallon of water, or 1 tablespoon of salt per pint of water.
Stir the pot, and bring it to a rolling boil. Peanuts in their shells will float initially. Don't worry about this. Some people like to put a smaller pot lid, a too small lid or heat resistant plate, placed over the boiling peanuts, inside the big pot to push the peanuts under the water.
You can do this if it makes you feel better, but it won't change the end results. The smaller lid or heat resistant plate may be useful later when cooling the boiled peanuts in the liquid.
Lower the heat to simmer. Add fresh water as needed to replace water that boils away.
Don't be tempted to add more salt until you taste the water in the pot. It takes time for the salt water to infuse the boiling peanuts. The salt concentration also increases as the water boils away.
The salt water should taste like the ocean
Grab a refreshing beverage, sit nearby, and wait.
Sing a song, play some music, engage in conversation, read, enjoy the passing of time, but set a timer. Set a timer within earshot to remind you to check your boiling peanuts, else you might forget to tend them.
Taste them early, taste them often. As you learn how to make boiled peanuts, you'll notice that boiling and soaking time brings out the best flavor.
Sample peanuts often until they reach the texture, wetness, and flavor that you prefer. Add fresh water to keep the peanuts under water.
Because dried peanuts require many hours of boiling, we often remove the pot from the heat, and let the liquid cool for an hour or more. This is a good time to use that 'too small lid' on the pot. The peanuts will suck up the salt water as they soak in the cooling pot.
Turning off the burner allows us to leave the pot safely, then the brine infuses the pods as the liquid cools. Taste the peanuts as they soak, and you can decide whether they need to boil or soak longer. Soak and simmer as needed.
Fresh green peanuts should boil at least 1 hour, and up to 4 hours. Dried raw peanuts usually need to boil more than 6 hours, and up to 24 hours. Each batch of boiled peanuts demands that you decide boiling time by tasting. Taste the water before adding any more salt. The salty taste does not infuse the peanuts until they are almost done. Be patient. While learning how to make boiled peanuts, many people make the mistake of adding more salt before the peanuts have fully absorbed the salt water.
In the USA peanuts are typically boiled until they are saturated with the brine. It's easier to add more salt very late in the boil than it is to reduce the salt concentration if you overdo it early.
Boiled peanuts are often called steamed or braised peanuts in Asia. Braised peanuts are shelled raw peanuts, boiled with sugar and spices.
Boiling dried peanuts will take several hours. Pay attention. Never leave a boiling pot of water unattended on a stove. When the water boils away a fire will start from the burning contents, and the pot may melt. Turn off the burner if you must walk away. The peanuts will keep simmering in the water until you return.
Turn off the burner when the peanuts have reached your preferred texture. You must taste many peanuts as they boil because there is wide variation in maturity, and size of the raw peanuts that you are boiling.
Let the peanuts soak in the cooling liquid for several hours to get more juicy flavor into them. Many recipes for how to make boiled peanuts recommend soaking them in the pot as they cool to intensify flavor and moisture.
You'll love the results if you take the time to soak them after boiling.
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Questions and Advice about Boiling Peanuts
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It's fine to boil unshelled peanuts, right?
Are shelled peanuts nutritionally superior for boiling?
How long can you store peanuts before they go bad?
How long can you store peanuts before they go bad?
Peanuts turning very dark when boiling them
I have been boiling peanuts for years. Every once in a while the shells turn very dark, almost black. What causes this?
Boiled Peanuts Recipe
Thank you for the recipe for boiled peanuts. I thought it was only a Southern thing, LOL. I moved to Michigan and they don't sell them here.
Can Peanuts be Boiled in a Slow Cooker?
Is it possible to boil peanuts in a slow cooker?
Starting a Boiled Peanut Stand
I live in Honolulu, Hawaii, and there isn't one boiled peanut stand here, so I want to start one! I have no idea where to start. Please Help!
Crockpot Boiled Peanuts
I first tasted boiled peanuts 2 weeks ago at a gas station in Georgia, where they are served from a crock pot, and I LOVE THEM! Now I want to make my …
Dried Peanuts vs Raw Peanuts Question
I am hoping to start selling boiled peanuts at a weekly market here in Anchorage, Alaska. I'm from Savannah, Georgia, so I get the boiled peanut …
I'm from East L.A.
Yes, East L.A....East Lower Alabama, and boiled peanuts were on my seasonal menu for years. Now I work in the Oil Field in Texas, and they don't seem to …
Fresh Peanuts for Boiling
I think I found fresh green peanuts at Berkeley Bowl in Berkeley, California today. I had some boiled peanuts at a roadside stand in South Carolina many …
Your Traditional Boiled Peanuts Recipe Worked!
Dear Mr. Boiled Peanut World,
I followed your recipe for traditional boiled peanuts and it worked! While the peanuts were not from Alabama, the results …
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Enjoy boiled peanuts with your favorite soda pop, beer, wine or tea.
Refrigerate leftovers for several days or freeze them in Ziploc bags for several months. Thaw the frozen boiled peanuts in the refrigerator, then eat them cold or reheated.
Now you know how to make boiled peanuts, the traditional way.
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