How to Crack Nuts

How to Crack Nuts. Nuts are a great source of vitamin E and protein, but watch out for the fat content. Cracking them can be tricky, so follow these hints to make it a little easier on yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Almonds

  • Beechnuts

  • Cashews

  • Chestnuts

  • Hazelnuts

  • Peanuts

  • Pecans

  • Pistachios

  • Walnuts

  • Airtight Containers

  • Nutcrackers

  • Hammers

  • Brazil nuts

Step 1

Freeze nuts, especially Brazil nuts, or soak them in water for several hours before cracking.

Step 2

Stand frozen nuts with the point facing up and hit with a hard object, such as a hammer, to crack.

Step 3

Crack soaked nuts with a nutcracker. Place the nut in the grip of the nutcracker so that the seam of the shell is subjected to the direct force.

Step 4

Use minimum force necessary to split the shell when squeezing, in order to avoid crushing the nut kernel inside. Rotate the nut while squeezing so the shell cracks slowly.

Step 5

Extract the kernel from the shell.

Step 6

Allow the kernels of soaked nuts to dry for a few hours after cracking.

Tip

Crack nuts of the same size in batches, to speed up the process. Check a few of the previously soaked nuts to make sure they have completely dried before storing. Store shelled nuts in an airtight container in a cool area, such as the refrigerator. Keep in mind, however, that the best way to store nuts is unshelled. Toast shelled nuts in a 350-degree oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until they smell toasty. Don't burn them!