Nature gave pecan meat a wonderfully protective shell. However, it’s not impossible to crack through it if you know the right methods of how to open pecans.
If you’re planning to buy some pecans that haven’t been shelled by Pecan Nation, try these cracking techniques. They’re the easiest way to open pecans. The faster you open your pecan, the faster you get snacking satisfaction!
1. Use Your Hands
When native Americans and European settlers wanted to indulge in tree-ripened pecans, they regularly used their hands. Today, this is still a go-to method for how to shell pecans!
To successfully hand-shell a pecan, try these steps. First, grab two big pecans. Lay them in the palm of your hand with their long sides aligned. Next, close your hand into a first. Squeeze the pecans as hard as you can.
Pretty soon, you should hear or feel the pecan shells crack. Turn them over and repeat your squeezing maneuver to crack the other side. Keep working at your pecans until you can loosen the shell and pull it off.
2. Try a Nutcracker
Not sure you want to take the time and energy to master how to crack pecans by hand? Turn to a classic nutcracker device.
A basic nutcracker that you’ll find in almost any grocery or kitchen goods store is made up of two metal rods. The rods are held together by a hinge. Just place your pecan between the rods, squeeze them together and crack the shell.
Looking for a cooler nutcracker? You could also buy a working nutcracker during the holidays. Many soldier-themed nutcrackers used for Christmas displays have been designed for real-world use. Just be sure before you try your nutcracker so you don’t break an heirloom or favorite decoration.
3. Head to the Toolbox
A nutcracker tool looks remarkably like another tool you probably have in your house: pliers. In fact, the same principle that works for pliers works for shelling pecans.
Of course, your pliers are meant for heavy-duty jobs. Plus, they might be kind of dirty if you’re a fixer-upper. Be sure to wipe down and sanitize your pliers before using them to crack your pecans!
4. Boil the Pecans
A final way to crack open pecans is to soften the shells first. Fill a saucepan with water and turn your stovetop to high. Wait until the water boils. Then, bring the boil to a simmer by slightly turning down the heat.
Add your pecans and keep them in the simmering water for up to 15 minutes. Drain them and place them on an unlined baking sheet to cool. When they’ve completely cooled down, you can begin to crack them by hand or with a nutcracker.
You’ll find out fast that boiling pecans lessens the likelihood of the shell shattering into a lot of smaller pieces. Boiling shouldn’t affect the taste of the pecan, though.
Get Cracking With Pecan Nation
It’s fun knowing how to crack pecans in a shell. However, you don’t always want to spend your free time shelling nuts. Good thing you can order up pre-shelled pecans from Pecan Nation. Have them sent right to your home for fast, nutritious nibbling.