Salty Southern Boiled Peanuts

September 19, 2017

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

Boiled peanuts are not the prettiest treat, but once nervous newcomers try a salty handful, they become lifelong fans. Plus, they are incredibly easy to make at home.
From THE FARMHOUSE CHEF: RECIPES AND STORIES FROM MY CAROLINA FARM by Jamie DeMent. Copyright © 2017 by Jamie DeMent. Used by permission of the University of North Carolina Press.

Jamie DeMent

Makes: 4 to 6 servings


  • 2 pounds fresh raw "green" peanuts, in shell
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
In This Recipe


  1. Rinse the peanuts really well. If the shells are extra-dirty, soak them in water for an hour, drain the water away, then rinse again.
  2. Place the peanuts, salt, garlic, and pepper in a large (at least 12-quart) stockpot. Fill the pot with enough water that it tops the peanuts by a good 2 inches.
  3. Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil. Let the peanuts boil for at least 2-3 hours, depending on how fresh your peanuts are. Fresh-dug nuts will cook faster. Some folks do this step overnight in a slow cooker on medium heat.
  4. When they're done, the peanut should still hold its shape, but the shell should no longer be crunchy at all and should pull easily apart so you can get to the soft nuts inside. Remove the pot from the heat when you're done and drain the water away. Let the nuts cool a little before eating.
  5. Store in the refrigerator in the shells in an airtight container, or freeze in plastic freezer bags for protein snacks later in the year.

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