Have you recently purchased some fresh pecans in shell and want to learn the best way to go about shelling, cracking, and storing them? Well, you have come to the right place.
No matter how you plan on eating them, you want to make sure you know the right way to shell them and store them.
The process starts with you purchasing fresh pecans in shell. Fresh pecans should feel heavy in your hand and won't rattle when they are shaken. You also don't want to use pecans that have holes or cracks in the shell.
Choose Your Cracking Method
Next, you have to choose which cracking method you are most comfortable using. While anyone can smash their pecans on a table with a hammer, many of us would prefer to be a bit more gentle, keeping the pecans intact.
A pecan cracker works great and keeps your shelling process mess-free. You can also use slip-joint pliers or a nutcracker for cracking a hard pecan shell.
Shell Your Pecans
Now, it is time to shell the pecans. In an ideal situation, you will carefully crack open the shell, work your way to the rounded part of the pecan and gently remove the nut without breaking it into many little pieces. You can use your fingers to pull the nut out of the shell. If you try to use your tools, there is a chance you will break them.
You can then use a toothpick or a narrow piece of your pecan shell to make sure you get everything out. Remember, if you leave any shell on the nut, you will find the taste slightly bitter.
Storing Your Pecans
Once you have finished shelling your pecans, it is time to store them for future use. You can refrigerate your shelled pecans in a plastic bag. The bag helps avoid absorbing any odors from other foods in the refrigerator.
When you properly package and store your shelled pecans, they will stay fresh for about six months. However, when you store in-shell pecans, they will last approximately 9 to 12 months.
If you don't have time to shell your pecans, you can store them at room temperature for a small amount of time. If you have to store them for more than a year, you want to store them cracked, shelled, or still in the shell in the freezer. Frozen in-shell pecans can even last in the freezer for up to two years.
Now that you know how to shell and store pecans, you can purchase your fresh pecans in shell online and get them ready to use for all your favorite holiday recipes.