The most difficult part of harvesting black walnuts is to hull them from their hard shells. Once you shell them, the next step is to cure them. To cure the nuts, you have to dry them sufficiently before long-term storage. Black walnuts develop their characteristic flavor during the curing process.
Place the shelled nuts into the shallow pans. Do not stack more than three layers of nuts in each pan or the nuts will not sufficiently dry.
Place the uncovered pans in a dry, cool location with adequate air ventilation. Keep the nuts out of direct sunlight. Protect the nuts from animals that might try to find them.
Leave the nuts to dry in the pans for approximately 2 weeks.
Check the nuts after the 2 weeks elapse. Break a nut in half with your fingers. If the nut breaks with a crisp snap, it is sufficiently dry. If the nut does not break with a snap, continue drying them for 3 to 4 more days and check again.
Bake the cured nuts. Place them on a baking sheet in the oven at 215 degrees F for approximately 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven. Let them cool completely. Store the cured nuts in a covered container at room temperature. Use them within 3 weeks.