Boiled peanuts are a Southern favorite, and the snack can be found throughout the South during the peanut harvest. While it may be a tradition to stop by your favorite peanut stand on the way to a game, they're also very easy to make at home. Although the classic recipe for boiled peanuts is to cook them over an open fire, and many home cooks have also tried the stovetop method, cooking them in the crock pot makes the task considerably easier.
The key to great boiled peanuts is to begin with raw (or "green") peanuts that have been freshly harvested (they're not actually green in color, though). The other trick is to use plenty of salt and, as you see in this recipe, it really is a lot of salt. From there it's easy—you just have to wait until they're done (which may be the hardest part).
If you want to eat boiled peanuts in true Southern fashion, an ice-cold beer, chilled sweet tea, or a cold can of Coca-Cola is the way to go. It's a perfect sweet and salty snack with a cold beverage.
- 1 1/2 quarts raw uncooked peanuts in the shell
- 1/2 cup salt
- 2 1/2 quarts water
- Place nuts in a colander and wash peanuts until the water runs clear.
- Place clean peanuts in crock pot; add salt and the water and stir.
- Cook, covered, on high for 5 to 7 hours. Add more water, if necessary, to keep peanuts covered in liquid.
Tips for Making Boiled Peanuts
- Green peanuts are a requirement. Although some people say that dried peanuts will work, they're just not the same as the boiled peanuts you grew up on. This is why most people outside the South have never heard of them. By the time peanuts have hit other states in the U.S., they're either roasted or dried.
- Peanut season typically begins in mid-summer and runs through the fall months. If you want to make boiled peanuts, take advantage of this time.
- Not only are boiled peanuts a fantastic snack food, they also make great party appetizers. Place a bowl on the table and your guests won't be able to resist.
- Before boiling, your green peanuts should be refrigerated for no longer than four days. Depending on when they were actually harvested will affect how long they will stay fresh, so keep an eye on them and boil them up as soon as possible.
- After boiling, the peanut shells get very soft. This contributes to a shorter shelf-life and after a few days left at room temperature, they will get soggy and begin to smell. If you have made too many, it's best to refrigerate or even freeze the peanuts.
- While not "traditional" in the strictest sense, many Southerners like their peanuts with a little spice. If you want to try it, just add a tablespoon of your favorite Cajun seasoning to the slow cooker.