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How to Make Boiled Peanuts

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Learn how to make boiled peanuts 3 ways: on the stovetop, in a pressure cooker, and in a slow cooker! Just remember: no southern party is complete without the beloved boiled peanut!

Steaming boiled peanuts in a white bowl

Behold, the boiled peanut.

Sweet and salty morsels of heaven, mushy nutty goodness, and a Southerner’s standby summertime snack.

There is nothing in this world quite like sucking on the briney deliciousness of a freshly boiled peanut when your hair is dripping wet from the ocean or while your slugging back a cold draft beer cheering on your local minor league baseball team.

How to Make Boiled Peanuts

I’ve always wanted to write a post on how to make boiled peanuts, and the day has finally arrived.

No secret exists on how to make boiled peanuts…you just need to choose the correct kind of peanuts, prepare them via your favorite cooking method, store them correctly, and make sure you add enough salt.

It is absolutely imperative that you have freshly picked green, or raw, peanuts. The term “green” basically refers to the fact that they are green from the vine rather than green in color.

Green peanuts can be found at farmer’s markets, roadside stands or, if you live in the South, you may actually be able to find them at your regular grocery store between May & November. Some readers have even commented that they have made boiled peanuts from roasted peanuts, but I’ve never tried is so I can’t vouch for how those would turn out.

Open red-skinned peanut on brown table with bowl of boiled peanuts in the background

How to Salt Boiled Peanuts

Boiling peanuts is an easy fete, and the hardest part about the whole process is making sure the salt measurements are correct.

Boiled peanuts are bland and tasteless without salt so adding enough is imperative. Starting off with 2 lbs of peanuts, add a 1/2 cup of standard grain sea salt and, once they’ve cooked for a couple of hours, taste test them and add more salt in 1/4 cup increments, if needed.

Allowing the boiled peanuts to soak in the salty brine after cooking will also allow the salt to penetrate deep inside the peanuts. Just make sure not to soak them for too long which can cause them to become slimy and soggy.

boiled peanuts poured out of a bowl

How to Freeze Boiled Peanuts

We southerners like to make giant batches of boiled peanuts and freeze them so we can serve them to family and friends year-round!

How to Freeze Boiled Peanuts:

  1. Cook the peanuts as desired then cool completely. Once cooled, add to a colander and shake off as much excess water as possible.
  2. Pack the peanuts into sealed, airtight, freezer-safe containers and freeze indefinitely or until ready to eat. When ready to eat, just take them out of the freezer to thaw!

I prefer to cook my peanuts al dente, meaning they are just firm enough to maintain a bit of texture, but they are still soft and creamy. So, if you never acquired the taste of boiled peanuts because you couldn’t handle the texture, please make a batch my way before completely writing them off.

I promise you won’t be disappointed.

If you are, oh well, whip up a batch of some boiled peanut hummus and serve it at your 4th of July bash!

Boiled Peanuts-090

Boiled Peanuts on the Stovetop

Cooking boiled peanuts on the stovetop is super simple:

1. Boil water, add salt and green peanuts to a large pot, lower heat to simmer, cover, and boil for 2 hours. Check for saltiness and softness, add more salt, if needed, in 1/4 cup increments, and continue to cook for another 2-3 hours or until desired tenderness is reached.

2. Once done, turn off the heat and allow to soak for 30 minutes to an hour in the cooking liquid.

3. When cooled, drain the liquid and serve!

Boiled Peanuts in the Instant Pot

Boiling peanuts on the stovetop used to be my preferred method of cooking, but cooking them in the pressure cooker absolutely changed my life!

1. Add 2lbs of green peanuts to the pressure cooker, cover with water, stir in salt, place trivet on top of the peanuts to weigh them down, and cook on high pressure for 75 minutes.

2. Allow to naturally release and depressurize for 15 minutes, then manually release, drain, and serve!

Boiled Peanuts in the Slow Cooker

There is no downside to cooking boiled peanuts in a slow cooker! Just throw everything in the pot and set it and forget it for 5-7 hours while you do other things around the house!

1. Add green peanuts to the slow cooker, cover with water, stir in salt, cover, and cook on high for 5-7 hours.

2. Once cooked, allow the peanuts to soak for another 30 minutes before draining and serving!

Steaming boiled peanuts in a white bowl

How to Make Boiled Peanuts on the Stovetop, Instant Pot, or Slow Cooker!

Learn how to make boiled peanuts 3 ways: on the stovetop, in a pressure cooker, and in a slow cooker! Just remember: no southern party is complete without the beloved boiled peanut!
Print Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: boiled peanuts, easy appetizer recipes, easy party foods, how to boil peanuts, southern boiled peanuts
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Amber

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs green peanuts red-skinned are the best!
  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • Cold Water

Instructions

How to Cook Boiled Peanuts on the Stovetop:

  • Thoroughly wash peanuts, pick out any leaves or stems, drain, and add peanuts to a large stockpot.
  • Fill the pot with enough water to cover the peanuts, and bring to a boil. Stir in salt to dissolve, lower the heat to a simmer/slight boil, and cook for 2 hours. After 2 hours, remove a peanut and give it a taste test. Add more salt, in 1/4 cup increments if desired, and continue to cook for another hour or two or until desired tenderness is reached.  
  • Allow peanuts to soak in the brine for another 30 minutes to 1 hour then drain and serve.

How to Cook Boiled Peanuts in the Instant Pot:

  • Thoroughly wash peanuts, pick out any leaves or stems, drain, and add peanuts to the Instant Pot insert.
  • Fill the pot with enough water to cover the peanuts, top the peanuts with the trivet to keep them covered, lock the lid into place, and set the valve to sealing.
  • Set Instant Pot to Manual/High Pressure for 75 minutes and press Start. Once cooked, allow to natural release for 15 minutes then quick-release pressure. Drain and serve.
  • How to Cook Boiled Peanuts in the Slow Cooker:
  • Thoroughly wash peanuts, pick out any leaves or stems, drain, and add peanuts to the slow cooker.
  • Fill the pot with enough water to cover the peanuts, stir in salt, cover with the lid, and cook on HIGH for 5-7 hours or until desired tenderness is reached. Drain and serve.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SlimPickinsKitchen or tag #ministrymeals!

Notes

Note: Some people store their peanuts in the brine, but I find this makes them soggy and gross. To store, seal in a covered container and zip top bag and refrigerate up to 5 days (although they won’t last that long).
To Freeze: Add boiled peanuts to a colander and shake off as much excess water as possible. Pack into sealed, airtight, freezer safe containers and freeze. When ready to eat, just thaw them in the fridge! 
Love y'all!
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8 Comments
  • Mia
    June 24, 2013

    Hope everything is okay!

    • amber
      June 25, 2013

      It’s much better now! I’m going to write a post about it for tomorrow.

  • Kayla Rose
    July 17, 2013

    Wow this sounds delicious, I have to try it….

  • Jessica Miglarese
    August 7, 2013

    Amber, thank you for posting this recipe (or how-to, really)! I’ve been REALLY wanting boiled peanuts for a while now, and my mama told me to come check it out here. I’m so glad I did, and so is my family! The peanuts are delicious!

    • amber
      August 7, 2013

      Yaaaaaaay!!!! So glad they turned out!!!

  • Jill
    June 9, 2020

    You absolutely CAN boil roasted peanuts. They just need to cook longer. It is my preferred method, they have much more flavor than the green ones. Unless there is something dangerous, that I don’t know about, don’t spread misinformation!

    • Amber
      July 7, 2020

      No way!!!! I honestly had no idea! I stand corrected. Thanks for letting me know. I’m totally going to try it!

  • Leona Moran
    October 23, 2020

    My Mother always put a little sugar in hers , she had by far the best peanuts I have ever tasted.