Boiled Peanuts are a delicacy here in the south. They are sold everywhere including on the side of the road, at gas stations, baseball and football games and even prepared at home! Church groups often have boiled peanut fundraisers!
While Boiled peanuts can and are enjoyed year round, they tend to become even more popular during the fall and winter. Peanuts are in season between early August until late November.
My home state of Georgia is ranked number one in the nation in Peanut production. Former President Jimmy Carter was in fact a peanut farmer from Plains, Georgia.
Ingredients for Making Boiled Peanuts
- Raw peanuts
Yes, only 3 ingredients. It’s a pretty cheap snack! In fact I usually spend less than $4 on about a 2-3 lb. bag of raw peanuts at the grocery store.
The trick is knowing how long to cook them and how much salt to add. There is no secret involved. It depends solely and completely on your tastes. Some folks want their peanuts really salty, others not so much. We like salty but not too much! How do you know when they are salty enough? Taste testing.
First rinse your raw peanuts well in a colander. Peanuts are pulled from plants close to the ground and can be dirty so let’s just go ahead and rinse them first.
Place all of the raw peanuts into a very large pot or Dutch oven. Add cold water about 2/3 of the way full or until you can’t add anymore or the peanuts will spill out of the pot.
They will be piled above the rim of the pot but that is ok. As the peanuts begin to soak up the water, they will sink down below the top of the water.
Bring the water to a good boil then reduce heat to simmer just below a boil.
Cooking time depends on how soft you want your boiled peanuts. We like ours very tender which requires between 6 to 8 hours cook time. We usually boil peanuts on a Saturday when we are not leaving the house. Never leave food cooking on the stove unattended! When we are boiling peanuts, we are doing household chores and take turns checking on the peanuts and adding more water when necessary. I keep my tea kettle full of hot water on peanut boiling day.
We never add salt until the peanuts have soaked up enough water to settle down below the pot rim. They should be better able to soak up the salt at that point. My hubby is in charge of adding salt. He generally adds about 1/8 cup at a time. Sprinkle the salt over the top of the peanuts then stir into the pot.
Our peanuts usually take about 1 to 1 1/2 cups salt, depending on how many pounds we are cooking.
After the peanuts have been cooking for about 1 to 2 hours, dip out two or three. Allow them to cool and taste them. Tasting is essential in peanut boiling. Tasting the peanuts as they are cooking will allow you to know when they are both salty enough and tender enough.
Once the peanuts are done no one at our house wants to allow them to sit in the water another minute. I have heard that if you allow them to rest in the water, their flavor is even better. Folks at our house dip a big bowl full right away, let cool and dig in!
Peanut shells are compostable so rather than throw them away, you can either add them to your compost pile or even toss the shells into your flowerbed or vegetable garden.
Have you ever tried boiled peanuts?
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