Cooking Boiled Peanuts: A Step-by-Step Guide

Boiled peanuts might be a new food for some people, but they are a Southern classic for those who grew up in the region. Boiled peanuts are simply fresh green peanuts that have been boiled in water with salt and seasonings. Some people love them, others hate them, but there’s no denying that boiled peanuts are a unique and delicious snack food. If you’ve never tried them before, this step-by-step guide will show you how to cook them at home.

Cooking Boiled Peanuts: A Step-by-Step Guide | Eat Urban Garden
Cooking Boiled Peanuts: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Choose the Best Peanuts

Cooking boiled peanuts starts with choosing the right type of peanuts. Without the right raw peanuts, you won’t achieve the desired taste and texture of the boiled peanuts. Here are some helpful tips on how to select the best peanuts for boiling.

Freshness Matters

When purchasing peanuts, it’s essential to check the freshness of the product. Fresh peanuts have a woodsy aroma, and the shell is firm and smooth without any signs of molds or cracks. On the other hand, old peanuts have a rancid or stale odor, and the shell is wrinkled or discolored.

  • Look for peanuts with healthy, unbroken shells. Pass on peanuts that have visible cracks, holes, or moldy appearance.
  • Smell the peanuts to check whether they are fresh or stale, pay attention to rancid or moldy odors. Reject peanuts with unpleasant smells.
  • Touch the peanuts’ shells; they should feel firm and dry to the touch. Peanuts are still fresh if they snap instead of bend.

Choose the Right Type of Peanuts

When it comes to boiled peanuts, not all peanuts are created equally. Some types are better suited for boiling than others. Here are three peanut varieties that are commonly used for boiling:

  1. Raw Peanuts: Raw peanuts are the most popular type of peanut used for boiling. They’re unroasted and unsalted and have a natural mild flavor that absorbs the seasoning or spices used with boiling water.
  2. Cajun Peanuts: Cajun peanuts are pre-seasoned, so you don’t need to add any spices in the boiling water. They’re a great option if you want to save time or just want to try something new.
  3. Valencia Peanuts: Valencia peanuts are sweeter than raw peanuts and usually have red skin. They taste good in boiling water, but their sweetness may not be suitable for everyone.

How to Prepare Peanuts for Boiling

If you’re wondering how to cook boiled peanuts, you’re in for a treat! Boiled peanuts are a popular snack food in the southern United States, and they’re surprisingly easy to prepare. Here’s everything you need to know to get started:

Cleaning and Rinsing Peanuts

The first step in cooking boiled peanuts is to clean and rinse them thoroughly. Start by removing any stems, leaves, or other debris that might be attached to the peanuts. Then, rinse the peanuts in a colander under cold running water. Be sure to rub the peanuts gently with your fingers to remove any remaining dirt or debris.

When you’re finished rinsing the peanuts, transfer them to a large bowl or pot and cover them with water. Swirl the peanuts around in the water to remove any additional dirt or debris.

Soaking Peanuts

Once you’ve cleaned and rinsed the peanuts, it’s time to soak them in water. Soaking the peanuts will help to soften the shells and make them easier to boil. It will also help to remove any excess salt that may be present in the peanuts.

To soak the peanuts, simply cover them with water and let them sit for at least 4-6 hours. You can soak the peanuts overnight if you prefer. Just be sure to change the water every 4-6 hours to remove any excess salt.

After the peanuts have finished soaking, drain them in a colander and rinse them again under cold running water. Your peanuts are now ready to be boiled!

What Ingredients and Tools Are Needed for Boiled Peanuts

Boiled peanuts are a Southern favorite, and they’re incredibly easy to make. All you need are a few ingredients and some basic kitchen tools, and you’ll be on your way to enjoying this classic snack.


The main ingredients you’ll need for boiled peanuts are raw peanuts and water. You can use any type of peanuts you like, but the best peanuts for boiling are fresh green peanuts. Other ingredients you can add to the boiling water to enhance the flavor of boiled peanuts include salt, cajun seasoning, garlic, and other spices and seasonings of your choice.

Kitchen Tools

When it comes to kitchen tools, the most important thing you’ll need is a large pot. You’ll need a pot that’s big enough to hold the peanuts and enough water to cover them. A strainer or colander is also essential for draining the peanuts after they’ve finished boiling. Other helpful tools include a slotted spoon for stirring and removing peanuts from the pot, and a kitchen thermometer to check the temperature of the water.

How Long to Boil Peanuts and What is the Cooking Process

Boiling peanuts is a popular cooking method in the Southern United States and other parts of the world. It is a simple process that involves cooking raw peanuts in salted water until they become soft and tender. However, it is essential to follow the right cooking process to achieve the perfect texture and flavor. Here is a step-by-step guide on how long to boil peanuts and what is the cooking process.

Step 1: Choose the Right Peanuts

Before you start cooking, select fresh and unshelled raw peanuts. The peanut’s size matters in the cooking process because smaller peanuts tend to cook faster than larger ones. The fresher the peanuts, the lower the cooking time. So, choose peanuts according to your cooking preferences.

Step 2: Clean and Rinse the Peanuts

After choosing the peanuts, wash them in cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Rinse the peanuts thoroughly until the water runs clean. After rinsing, soak the peanuts in cold water for at least an hour. Soaking reduces the cooking time and enhances the flavor of the peanuts.

Step 3: Boil the Peanuts

After soaking, place the peanuts in a large pot, fill it with water, and add salt to the water. Allow the water to boil, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the peanuts for at least two hours. The cooking time depends on the peanuts’ texture; if you prefer them softer, cook for longer, and if you like them crunchier, cook for less time. Taste the peanuts for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

Step 4: Strain and Cool the Peanuts

After cooking, remove the pot from the heat and strain the peanuts into a colander. Rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process and allow them to cool. After cooling, the peanuts are ready to serve or store. Store the boiled peanuts in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for up to six months.

How to Store and Serve Boiled Peanuts

Boiled peanuts are a popular Southern snack that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Whether you are serving them as a side dish or as party food, it is important to store and serve them properly to maintain their flavor and freshness.

Storing Boiled Peanuts

Once you have cooked and cooled your boiled peanuts, it is important to store them in an airtight container and refrigerate them. If you do not store them properly, the peanuts can become slimy and lose their flavor. Be sure to label your container with the date and store them in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Serving Boiled Peanuts

Boiled peanuts can be served in a variety of ways. They can be enjoyed as a simple snack, served as a side dish with a meal, or served as party food. Here are some of our favorite ways to enjoy boiled peanuts:

  • Classic Boiled Peanuts: Simply serve the boiled peanuts in a bowl with the shells still intact. Guests can crack open the shells and enjoy the peanuts inside.
  • Boiled Peanut Hummus: Ditch the traditional chickpea hummus and make a Southern-style boiled peanut hummus instead. Simply blend boiled peanuts with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and salt to make a delicious dip for crackers, veggies, or pita chips.
  • Boiled Peanut Salad: Toss boiled peanuts with some chopped veggies, like cucumbers and tomatoes, and a vinaigrette dressing for a refreshing salad.
  • Boiled Peanut Salsa: Mix boiled peanuts with diced tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, and lime juice for a spicy salsa that pairs well with tortilla chips or grilled meats.
  • Boiled Peanut Slaw: Mix boiled peanuts with shredded cabbage, carrots, and your favorite dressing for a unique twist on coleslaw.

Pro tip: Boiled peanuts are best enjoyed while still warm. If you plan to serve them at a party or event, try keeping them warm in a slow cooker or warming tray.

Can Boiled Peanuts Be Frozen and Reheated?

Boiled peanuts are a tasty snack that can be enjoyed at any time. However, if you’ve made a large batch and can’t finish them all, it’s good to know that boiled peanuts can be frozen and reheated. This allows for easy storage and convenient consumption.

Freezing Boiled Peanuts

Before freezing boiled peanuts, be sure that they have completely cooled down. This will prevent any condensation build up inside the container. Once cooled, it’s best to transfer them into an airtight container or a freezer bag. Be sure to squeeze out any excess air from the bag before sealing. This will prevent freezer burn and dehydration.

  • If you plan to freeze for long term storage, be sure to label the container or bag with the date of freezing.
  • Boiled peanuts can be kept frozen for up to six months.

Thawing Frozen Boiled Peanuts

When it’s time to reheat the boiled peanuts, take them out of the freezer and let them thaw overnight in the fridge. Avoid defrosting boiled peanuts in room temperature or in the microwave as this can cause the peanuts to lose their texture and flavor. After they have thawed, they can be reheated on the stove or in the microwave.

  • To reheat on the stove, place the boiled peanuts in a pot and add a bit of water. Heat on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
  • To reheat in the microwave, place the boiled peanuts in a microwave-safe dish and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Check and stir every 30 seconds.

Once reheated, the boiled peanuts should be consumed within 2-3 days.

Enjoy Your Delicious Boiled Peanuts!

Now that you have successfully cooked your boiled peanuts, it’s time to enjoy the delicious treat. Share them with your friends and family and impress them with your newfound cooking skills. Thank you for reading our step-by-step guide on cooking boiled peanuts. We hope you found this article helpful and informative. Don’t forget to check back for more helpful cooking tips and recipes!

Cooking Boiled Peanuts: A Step-by-Step Guide

Learn how to cook boiled peanuts at home with this easy step-by-step guide. Perfect for snacking or as a side dish.

  • 1 pound fresh raw peanuts
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 8 cups water
  1. Rinse the peanuts thoroughly under cool running water in the sink and pick out any visible debris or bad peanuts.
  2. Fill a large stockpot with 8 cups of water and bring it to a rapid boil over high heat.
  3. Place the rinsed peanuts and 1/2 cup of salt in the boiling water. Stir well to combine.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the peanuts for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste the peanuts after 2 1/2 hours to make sure they are cooked to your desired level of tenderness.
  5. Strain the cooked peanuts, discarding the cooking water. Serve the hot boiled peanuts in bowls or cups with additional salt if desired.
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