Last updated on June 5th, 2023
Boiled peanuts are a unique Southern treat. Learn how to make this delightful snack yourself at home today.
I never considered myself a peanut lover. Until the first time I tried really good boiled peanuts.
Every year, The Husband and I take our boys and my mother-in-law to a huge pumpkin patch in a nearby town. It’s held on a giant family farm where, coincidentally enough, they grow peanuts. Hayfields are transformed into makeshift parking lots. As soon as you emerge from your car, the smell of homemade kettle corn accosts your nostrils and you instantly begin to salivate.
I began to notice my husband and his mother had to make a pit stop at one of the concession stands for a bag of boiled peanuts. Curiosity finally got the better of me and I asked The Husband if I could try one. From that moment on, I was hooked. I find I start to look forward to our annual trip if for nothing else than a bag of boiled peanuts.
What are boiled peanuts?
Boiled peanuts are made by boiling either raw or green peanuts in salty water for several hours. Green peanuts are recently harvested peanuts that have not been roasted or dried. They are more perishable and need to be kept refrigerated. Because they are more perishable, green peanuts can only be purchased during the fall harvest season.
Raw peanuts can usually be found year around. They are green peanuts that have been dried to 10 % of their moisture content. Green peanuts only need to be boiled for a few hours, whereas raw peanuts need to be boiled for significantly longer.
Once boiled, the shells become soft. The nuts inside absorb the flavors of the brine and they taste more like a bean than a crunchy snack.
How to Make Boiled Peanuts
My husband swears boiled peanuts made from green peanuts are better. Despite the fact that our farmer’s market sells boiled peanuts year around, he will wait until August or September, when the market starts using green peanuts, before he will buy his first treat. He swears they just taste better. No surprise we’re using green peanuts for this recipe.
Start by dumping three pounds of peanuts into a large stock pot. Add 1 – 1 ½ cups of kosher salt. If you like salty food, add the extra ½ cup. My husband thought they were perfect, but they were a little on the salty side for me. I preferred the batches made with only a cup of salt added to the brine.
In addition, I added two tablespoons of garlic powder, two bay leaves and one tablespoon of Italian seasoning. Add 8-12 cups of cold water – enough to allow the peanuts to float freely. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and boil for 2 ½ – 3 hours. Remove the pot from the heat and leave the peanuts to sit and soak for an additional 6-8 hours.
Storing Boiled Peanuts
Any uneaten boiled peanuts should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Boiled peanuts can also be frozen in plastic freezer bags for up to two months. Be sure to allow them to thaw overnight in the refrigerator beforehand.
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- 3 pounds green unshelled peanuts
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- Place all the ingredients in a large stock pot.
- Add 8-12 cups of cold water — enough water to allow the peanuts to float freely.
- Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, then simmer for 2 ½ – 3 hours. Test a peanut for doneness. If it’s tender enough, remove the pan from the heat. If not, continue to simmer, checking every 30 minutes.
- Allow the peanuts to soak overnight, up to 8 hours. Peanuts can be served hot or cold.