History of Boiled Peanuts
Boiled peanuts are a popular Southern snack. Contrary to popular belief, mature peanuts do not make very good boiled peanuts. When selecting peanuts to boil, look for raw, green in-the-shell peanuts that are small and medium sized. Larger peanuts may be good for roasting, but they are not great for boiling. Weigh about two pounds of peanuts at the grocery store scale. The best salt to use with boiled peanuts is coarse kosher salt, but any salt will taste delicious on boiled peanuts provided you use it generously. The best pot for boiling peanuts is a large crock pot.
How to Make Boiled Peanuts
Rinse the raw peanuts in a strainer until the water runs completely clear. Boiled peanuts are cooked with the shells on, so do not deshell the peanuts before cooking. Place the washed peanuts in the crock pot and fill with hot water so it reaches several inches above the peanuts. Add 1 cup of salt and stir until the salt dissolves completely. Cover the pot and cook on high for about three to five hours.
Periodically, check the pot to make sure the water has not evaporated or soaked into the peanuts. The water level should remain above the peanuts at all times. Taste throughout the cooking time to make sure they are cooked to your personal liking. Once the peanuts are cooked, carefully strain them to remove the water and rest them on paper towels to cool.
Enjoying Boiled Peanuts
Since the process of cooking boiled peanuts is so time consuming, it's best to boil peanuts in mass quantities and freeze them for later enjoyment. Boiled peanuts will also keep fresh in the refrigerator for approximately ten days. Boiled peanuts are best to eat outdoors because the shell will tend to split and shred while eating, and can make a mess. If you are going to eat boiled peanuts indoors, make sure there is a saucer or bowl to catch the peanut shells. Boiled peanuts do not taste the same as roasted peanuts, so warn your consumers before they go biting into a roasted peanut for the first time.