Most classic Southern dishes require slow cooking to reach the apex of taste, boiled peanuts included -- unless you use a pressure cooker. Pressure cookers reduce the cooking time of dried raw peanuts from 6 to 8 hours to 45 minutes. If you have green peanuts, or moist peanuts aged no more than two weeks past their harvest date, the cooking time reduces from 1 to 2 hours to 20 minutes. Green peanuts have a slightly more robust flavor than dried peanuts, but the taste difference is usually goes undetected by all but dyed-in-the-wool, boiled-peanut purists.
Pull any stems from the peanuts and discard them. Discard peanuts with discolored or damaged shells. Rinse the peanuts in a colander under cool running water, using your fingers to dislodge debris from the crevices.
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Transfer the peanuts to the pressure cooker and cover them with 2 inches of water. Don't fill the pressure cooker more than halfway full; boil the peanuts in batches if necessary.
Season the water to taste with salt. Secure the lid on the pressure cooker and place it on the stove.
Set the heat on the stove to high then lower it to medium when the pressure gauge on the cooker reads 15psi. Medium heat on the stove usually maintains 15psi in a pressure cooker, but adjust as needed if you see the pressure change.
Cook dried peanuts for 45 minutes at 15psi; cook green peanuts for 20 minutes at 15psi. Turn the stove off and let dried peanuts stand for 45 minutes; let green peanuts stand for 20 minutes.
Open the pressure cooker after the cool-down period and drain the peanuts in a colander. Pat the peanuts dry with paper towels and serve. Store boiled peanuts uncovered in the refrigerator up to 10 days.
Only boil raw, unroasted peanuts.
Add non-acidic spices and flavoring, such as herbs and seasoned salts, to the water before pressure cooking the peanuts.