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Boiled peanuts are tasty snacks that are believed to have originated from parts of Africa. Their texture can range from snappy to mashed, depending on your personal preference. These treats are made using raw or immature nuts. When boiled for the right length of time, they can be juicy, nutritious and very delicious. Make your own healthy snacks at home by learning how to boil peanuts the right way.
Buying the Best Peanuts
Buying peanuts to boil can be tricky because different peanuts have different textures and flavors when cooked. The peanuts to look for are those that are not completely dried. You might have to ask your grocer to help with you selection because immature peanuts are roughly the same size as their mature counterparts.
In many Southern states, cooks prefer to use either Valencia or Virginia jumbo peanuts. This is because their texture is easier to manipulate. You can boil the peanuts for a longer or shorter time to achieve the desired texture and taste.
How to Boil Peanuts at Home
The most important factor to keep in mind when learning how to boil peanuts is time. The length of time you boil the nuts determines their texture and affects their flavor. Therefore, you should taste peanuts occasionally while cooking them to check if they are to your liking.
To boil peanuts, you will need:
- Raw or immature peanuts, preferably Valencia or Virginia
- Water as needed
- Salt as needed
Prepare the peanuts by running them under cool water. This is to remove dirt and any substances that might be harmful to your health.
Add the raw peanuts to a large pot and cover with enough water to float them. Add the salt. The recommended ratio of salt to water is 8 tablespoons per gallon.
Boil the peanuts on high heat for 1-4 hours. Start tasting the peanuts after an hour of boiling. Keep in mind that the drier your peanuts are, the longer it will take to cook them. You can also use a pressure cooker to accelerate the softening process. When they are done to your desired taste and consistency, serve and enjoy.
How to Boil Peanuts Cooking Tips
When you go shopping for raw peanuts, take a few samples of different types and brands. Finding the right peanuts takes trial and error. Although Valencia and Jumbo Virginia nuts are recommended, you might find other types of peanuts that cater to your tastes better. It is also a good idea to learn about the types of peanuts available, as well as their moisture content and firmness. Moisture and firmness play a determining role in cooking time.
Learning how to boil peanuts is not a difficult task. You only need to pay close attention to the cooking time and use the right salt-to-water ratios. Try to invest in high quality raw peanuts from a credible vendor. Keep sampling different varieties of peanuts until you find the type with your desired texture, softness and flavor.