There are two ways to buy pecans – shelled and unshelled. Which pecan you choose to buy can heavily depend on how you choose to eat them, whether that be raw or roasted. Some people appreciate the convenience of having a pecan that’s already been cracked, while others enjoy the process from start to finish, and don’t mine shelling their own. If you fall into the latter category, consider these tips to help minimize the time you spend cracking and maximize the time you spend eating the delicious nuts inside!
- Buy the Right Pecans – Obviously, you’ll want to buy pecans that are in the shell. You should buy pecans that are consistent in size, and feel heavy in your hand.
- Only Pick the Good Pecans – If you find any pecans that have cracks or holes, or feel much lighter than the others in the bag, you should not waste your time shelling these pecans, as they have likely gone bad. A nut that rattles inside when you shake it within the shell is also a strong indicator that the nut has gone bad.
- Boil the Pecans – Doing this will help loosen the shells, making them easier to crack. Leave the peanuts in the boiling water for ten minutes, and then allow them to cool before cracking. If you don’t have time to boil the water, you can use the microwave as well.
- Use a Nutcracker – Don’t squeeze the cracker too hard, or else you’ll ruin the pecan inside the shell. You can rotate the shell within the cracker and crack it multiple times to help loose then shell. You can also use a side cutter and pliers to help crack the shell.