How to Make Home-Canned Boiled Peanuts, Easily!
from fresh Green Peanuts in the Shell
If you are from the deep South of the United States, you undoubtedly have tried boiled peanuts. They are definitely an acquired taste but are a traditional snack in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, northern Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. They are most commonly sold during the summer months from roadside stands, often little more than a shed and a huge pot on a propane stove. They're a bit slimy in texture, and very salty (but, of course, you eat only the nut inside, not the shell!)
The resulting food is a very soft peanut in the shell, invariably
quite salty. The softened peanuts are easy to open. Often small,
immature peanuts (called "pops") are included, which have even softer
shells and can be eaten in entirety. These tend to absorb more salt than
the larger ones.
Uneaten peanuts should be stored in a refrigerator, as they can become slimy or moldy quite quickly without refrigeration. Boiled peanuts can be frozen, and later reheated in a microwave for out of season consumption.
Boiled peanuts can also be canned to eat later or give away as gifts. But you MUST use a pressure canner.
Given high protein content and ease of storage, boiled peanuts are an excellent food for very hot weather and outdoor work, although the high salt content could be a problem for some people.
- Green peanuts in the shell. About 1 pound per quart jar you want to make (see step 1)
- 1 pound of pickling/canning salt or kosher salt
- 1 Pressure Canner (a large pressure pot with a lifting rack to sanitize the jars after filling (about $75 to $200 at mall kitchen stores and "big box" stores, but it is cheaper online; see this page for more information). For low acid foods (most vegetables, you can't use an open water bath canner, it has to be a pressure canner to get the high temperatures to kill the bacteria. If you plan on canning every year, they're worth the investment.
- Jar grabber (to pick up the hot jars)
- Jar funnel ($2 at mall kitchen stores and local "big box" stores, but it's usually cheaper online from our affiliates)t)
- At least 1 large pot
- Large spoons and ladles
- Ball jars (Publix, Kroger, other grocery stores and some "big box" stores carry them - about $8 per dozen quart jars including the lids and rings)
- Salt (optional - I don't use any)
Directions for Making Canned Boiled Peanuts
Step 1 - Select your peanuts
Select fully mature, but still green peanuts. They must not be roasted or already cooked or dried. Fully mature peanuts do not make good quality boiled peanuts; rather raw or "green" ones are used. "Raw" denotes peanuts in a semi-mature state, having achieved full size, but not being fully dried, as would be needed for roasting or peanut butter use. The most flavorful peanuts for boiling are the Valencia type. These are preferred in the United States, being grown in gardens and small patches throughout the South. Green Virginia type peanuts are also sometimes used - these do have larger kernels, but the flavor is not as good.
Step 2 - Prepare the jars and pressure canner
Wash the jars and lids
This is a good time to get the jars ready! The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle. Otherwise put the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. I just put the lids in a small pot of almost boiling water for 5 minutes, and use the magnetic "lid lifter wand" (available from target, other big box stores, and often grocery stores; and available online - see this page) to pull them out.
Get a large pot of water boiling
We will use this water to pour over the peanuts and fill each jar with liquid, after we've packed them full of peanuts. I use the largest pot I have, so that there is plenty of clean, boiling water ready when I need it.
Get the pressure canner heating up
Rinse out your pressure canner, put the rack plate in the bottom, and fill it to a depth of 4 inches with hot tap water. (of course, follow the instruction that came with the canner, if they are different). Put it on the stove over low heat, with the lid OFF of it, just to get it heating up for later on.
Step 3 -Wash the peanuts
Wash them under running water.
Step 4 - Soak the peanuts
Soak the peanuts in the shell in fresh water for one hour.
Step 5 - Soak again
Discard the water, cover again with fresh water and soak for another hour.
Step 6 - Soak a third time!
Repeat this soaking process one more time for one more hour. This makes a total soaking time of three hours, using fresh water each time.
Step 7 - Make a brine solution
Combine 1 cup of pickling salt or kosher salt with 1 gallon of water. Set this on a burner on low heat (so it does not boil away) until you are ready to fill the jars (Step 10 )
Step 8 - Parboil the peanuts
Then parboil the peanuts for 10 minutes in fresh water and drain. Parboiling means to maintain the stove's burner so that the water is simmering, just below boiling. This can be done inside on the stove or outside on a propane burner for a larger volume. The boil can go on longer than 10 minutes, depending on quantity and the age of the peanut (green "raw" peanuts cook faster and tend to be better tasting), but you do not want to boil so long that the peanuts become peanut butter! When they are soft, they are done. If they are still slightly crunchy, they are not done yet.
Flavorings such as spices, hot sauce or Cajun seasonings can be added to the boil.
Step 9 - Fill the jars
Pack the hot peanuts into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
Step 10 - Add the hot brine
Fill each jar to 1/2 inch from the top with boiling brine (1 cup salt per gallon of water). Remove any air bubbles.
Step 11 - Seal the jars and fill the canner
Wipe the jar's rims, put the lids on then the rings and tighten them snugly. Place the jars into the pressure canner.
Step 12 - Let the pressure canner vent steam for 10 minutes
You MUST use a pressure canner. Peanuts are a non-acidic food. Put the heat on high and let the steam escape through the vent for 10 minutes to purge the airspace inside the canner.
Step 13 - Put the weight on and let the pressure build
Recommended process time for Boiled Peanuts in a dial-gauge pressure canner
|Canner Gauge Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of|
|Jar Size||Process Time||0 - 2,000 ft||2,001 - 4,000 ft||4,001 - 6,000 ft||6,001 - 8,000 ft|
|Pints||45 min||11 lb||12 lb||13 lb||14 lb|