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Updated on February 6, 2013
boiled peanuts
boiled peanuts | Source

I LOVE nuts! Any kind - any way, so I have decided to do a few hubs on my favorite ways to eat nuts.

I’ll start with boiled peanuts…yes, boiled peanuts…some people might draw the line at boiled peanuts because they sound so strange, but don’t knock them until you try them! Well, they are a little different than your average way of eating nuts, and may seem odd, especially to those who have never heard of them before, but boiled peanuts have been a delicious snack in the South for a very long time. It is believed that boiled peanuts began their infamous place in history during the Civil War when supplies for Southern troops became very difficult to come by, and peanuts, being in plentiful supply in many southern states, were used as a great nutritional addition to the soldier’s diets. The peanuts would be either roasted or boiled over troop camp fires. The boiled peanuts were boiled in water and salt - the salt helped to preserve them and the boiling killed any bacteria or impurities, allowing them to be able to be kept without spoilage for a longer period of time. The small size of the peanuts made them more easily to be carried when the soldiers were on the move.

Today, boiled peanuts can be enjoyed anywhere and with many different flavorings - hot sauce, Old Bay crab seasoning, Creole seasoning, black pepper, smoked paprika, seasoned salt, herb mixes, etc. Some people add the flavorings or seasonings while boiling, some add after the boiling process. It all depends upon your taste.

If you keep your eyes open, you may be lucky enough to find a roadside stand or gas station that keeps hot boiled peanuts available to those who may be travelling along the roads from the Eastern Shore of Maryland down south through Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and many other Southern States.

ingredients for boiled peanuts
ingredients for boiled peanuts | Source
Cast your vote for Boiled Peanuts

Boiled Peanuts Cook Time

Prep time: 35 min
Cook time: 4 hours
Ready in: 4 hours 35 min
Yields: 24 oz.


  • 1 bag (1 lb., 8 oz.) raw, or green Peanuts
  • Slightly less than ¾ cup sea salt
  • 3 – 4 + Quarts spring or filtered water
  • Spices, flavorings, etc.


  1. Rinse peanuts under tap water and then soak them for up to 30 minutes. Add peanuts to pot, add the salt and then pour in your spring or filtered water to cover them. The peanuts will rise with the water so press them down to make sure you have enough water - a lot of the water will boil off during the boiling process, so you may have to add more water as you go. Bring the peanuts to a boil; cover, reduce the heat so that the peanuts are at a boiling simmer.
  2. Allow them to boil for at least 3 hours, or as long as needed to get them to a soft consistency, some boil for as long as 10 hours. Keep checking them and stirring them over the three hour period, then take one out and try it to see if it has reached the soft consistency you would like. If there is any firmness, they are not done and need to go a little longer. The shells should be soft and easily manipulated to release the nut.
  3. Once the peanuts are finished to your liking, remove them from heat and pour off the water. Leaving them in the water will make them too salty. Add your flavoring to individual bowls and enjoy by squeezing the boiled nuts out of the shells into your mouth (the shells are not eaten). The peanuts can be kept in their shells in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. You can eat them cold, room temperature or warmed up. You can also freeze bags of boiled peanuts for use at a later date. Enjoy!
pot with tight-fitting lid
pot with tight-fitting lid | Source
various flavorings to add to your boiled peanuts
various flavorings to add to your boiled peanuts | Source
Boiled peanuts ready to be eaten - Yummy!!
Boiled peanuts ready to be eaten - Yummy!! | Source
up close look at the transparency of the peanut when it is ready to be eaten - there is no white left, just universal transparency
up close look at the transparency of the peanut when it is ready to be eaten - there is no white left, just universal transparency | Source

Fun Fact: The boiled peanut is actually considered to be the South Carolina State Snack Food!


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    • sallieannluvslife profile image

      sallieannluvslife 4 years ago from Eastern Shore

      C.V., thanks so much for your comments!! I've never tried pressure cooking the peanuts but that would seem to make the cooking time a lot shorter! Great suggestion! India!!! I love the internet-I would love to see pictures of the peanut harvest from India - that would be an awesome hub!

    • C.V.Rajan profile image

      Disillusioned 4 years ago from Kerala, India

      Actually, Boiled peanuts would be wonderful if the peanuts are tender (i.e. not fully ripe). They should be reasonably soft even before boiling. In that condition, by adding salt and doing pressure-cooking, they will be ready in 20 minutes.

      Ah that smells and tastes wonderful! Very nutritious too. I write from India (south India) and boiled peanuts is so common here, particularly among middle and lower class of people. During early harvesting season of peanuts, tender peanuts come to the market in large quantities for this purpose!

    • sallieannluvslife profile image

      sallieannluvslife 5 years ago from Eastern Shore

      Hi Carolina Muscle - I read that too...THAT is something that I don't think I will try! Thanks for the kind comment!

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I remember reading in General Longstreet's biography that the men would use burnt peanuts as a coffee substitute... ack! I do love boiled peanuts, though. Great post!

    • sallieannluvslife profile image

      sallieannluvslife 5 years ago from Eastern Shore

      Sujina, using a pressure cooker is an excellent idea! I am going to try that with my next batch. Thanks!

    • Sujina profile image

      Sujina 5 years ago

      Nice hub ! I love boiled peanut :)

      I heard some people use pressure cooker for cooking peanut,to reduce the cooking time.