How Much Sea Salt for Boiling Peanuts

by Marti
(Greenville, South Carolina)

Table Salt & Coarse Sea Salt

Table Salt & Coarse Sea Salt

How much sea salt would you use when boiling peanuts? I have never cooked boiled peanuts before.

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Nov 01, 2011
How Much Salt for Boiling Peanuts
by: Bret

Our rule of thumb is about 8 Tablespoons of fine grain salt per Gallon of water (1 Tablespoon Salt per Pint of Water). That is 1/2 Cup of fine Salt Per Gallon of water.

If your sea salt is coarse grain you should use more salt (by volume) than you would with fine grain when you measure by Tablespoon or Fluid ounces. The smaller grains of salt fit together tighter and allow more weight of salt to fit in the measuring spoon or measuring cup than the coarse grain sea salt.

There are 3 major factors we taste for when sampling our boiled peanuts for being 'done'. The first is softness, the second is wetness, the third is saltiness. We make judgements in that order. If the peanut is not soft enough, we cannot make a judgement about wetness or saltiness yet. If the peanut is soft but not wet inside, we don't judge the saltiness yet.

Proper saltiness comes last in the peanut boiling process. That's our personal opinion and method.

Many people add their salt in the beginning of the boil, but some prefer to wait until the peanuts are mostly soft before adding salt.

Salt actually slows down the softening of boiled peanuts and other legumes (beans). This is especially important if the peanuts or beans are dried rather than fresh green.

The salt flavor cannot penetrate the inner peanuts until the peanut is soft. The water carries the salt flavor, so the wetter the peanut the saltier.

We suggest soaking the softened boiled peanuts in the brine for a few hours to let it saturate the inner shell cavity of the peanut. This will maximize the wetness and flavor. The brine is tasty to slurp from the shell as you eat the peanuts.

Water will evaporate as you boil the peanuts. This concentrates the salt in the water. Make sure you add water to the pot as you boil. Keep an eye on the pot as long as you have the burner turned on, do not walk away from a pot of boiling peanuts. Do not let them dry up and burn.

Do not try to judge the saltiness of the peanuts early in the boiling. If you do you will likely add too much salt, which will slow the softening, and they will taste too salty in the end.

It is easy to add salt at the last stages of soaking the softened boiled peanuts if you find they are not as salty as you want. They take on the salty flavor within a short time of simmering (and more soaking) now that they are soft and wet.

Tell us about your first peanut boiling experience. If you don't get the results you wanted the first time, don't give up. Ask more questions, make adjustments and try again. It's a trial and error process to dial in the taste and texture you are looking for with the raw ingredients available to you.

Once you find what you like you can easily repeat the results.

May 16, 2018
Pressure cooker boiled peanuts
by: Geri

I love the tips you gave! Very helpful. I recently got a pressure cooker and can’t find many tips when using one for boiling peanuts. For instance, what is safe to use in the pressure cooker to weigh down the raw peanuts, how much cooking time and at what level (meat, beans, etc) and do you just keep pressure cooking until desired softness or let it cool in between..... any input would be appreciated.

May 18, 2018
Boiling Peanuts in a Pressure Cooker
by: Boiled Peanut World

The principles of pressure boiling raw dried peanuts are the same as boiling them on an open pot, but dried peanuts soften faster in a pressure cooker.

Boiling time for softness, simmering, and soaking time for juicy flavor.

In a pressure cooker you don't need a plate to keep them down. They will soften regardless. First they soften, after they are soft they will absorb the flavors in the brine as they simmer, and soak without pressure.

We use 15 pounds of pressure to soften the dried raw peanuts for about 45 to 50 minutes. After the pressure in the pot naturally releases to zero, we remove the lid, simmer and soak them until they absorb the brine to our taste.

More information is here.

May 06, 2019
Instant pot peanuts
by: Chris

I saw some people questioning the use of a pressure cooker. I have an Instant pot and I cook a lot it. I have been able to cut my cook time down to one third to one quarter the time it would take to slow boil on the stove. This time I am going to put the salt in later in the cook like I saw in another comment. My last batch turned out way too salty and for a person with high BP I need to limit my salt intake, but as far as I'm concerned salt is a necessary evil in boiled peanuts. I also put a hickory smoked ham hock in the mix as well ad ground super hot peppers like Reaper or Scorpion. I also put other spices in as well. It may not be traditional, but I like it that way. :) Chris 5/6/19

Jun 22, 2019
What other factors affect the salinity?
by: Anonymous

If I use the 1/2 cup of salt to 1 gallon of brine recipe does it matter how many peanuts I put in? As long as I have enough brine to cover the peanuts will the salinity be the same? Can they be cooked too long or do I need to pull them out asap or they'll get too salty? Never made them before. Looking forward to it soon.

Sep 21, 2019
First time.
by: Anonymous

Was out this morning with my 10 year old son doing errands. We came across a sack of raw peanuts. I've never boiled peanuts. But being from south Louisiana I always have crab boil in the pantry. Gonna try a watered down version of what I use to boil crawfish. Wish me luck.

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