Hot Boiled Peanuts
Hot Boiled Peanuts are a TREAT here in the South. Whether YOU like ’em or not, every true Southerner knows the smell of salty filled water boiling over on the stove in late Summer. The anticipation of what’s to come with these salty little boiled devils is enough to kill you.
The trick is 3 fold.
- Buy the right peanuts.
- Use the right amount of salt.
- Let them soak after cooking to “salt up”.
The earlier in the Summer you buy your peanuts the smaller they will be. You want to make sure you are buying Green Peanuts too. Nothing funnier than a Yankee trying to re-invent their experience in the Deep South by buying roasted nuts and trying to boil them (I’ve actually heard of this happening. TOO funny).
I look for peanuts that mostly have 3 – 4 nuts in them for the best results. The nuts aren’t too big which makes them turn out gritty.
After washing your Peanuts, adding them to a large pot, and covering them with water, you’ll need to salt them. I wish there was an exact science to this, but there isn’t. ALOT of salt is needed to penetrate the peanut hulls so be very liberal with the salt.
Tip: If you get too much salt in your peanuts (which you won’t be able to tell until after they are done) you can do 2 things that have helped me.
- Drain and rinse your peanuts and put them back in the pot with “clean” or unsalted water to soak (osmosis will help you pull the salt out). You may need to repeat this if the saltiness is still too much to bare.
- Add a large white potato to the pot and it will soak out some of the salt.
To tell if your peanuts are done, recruit some anticipating peanut lovers and taste them throughout the boiling process (usually an hour to an hour and a half or so). Go for the biggest ones to taste that will let you know that the smaller ones are just as tender as the big boy you just tried.
You are not looking to taste whether they are Salty enough or not yet. If they are not salty enough yet even though they are tender enough, DON’T worry.
The next thing you’ll do is to soak these bad boys in the same salty brine you cooked them in. The will soak up the salt pretty fast (30 minutes or so) as they cool so taste them often.