How To Roast Peanuts
What’s better than the savory, salty crunch of a handful of roasted peanuts in the summer? Roasted peanuts have a more intense flavor than raw peanuts and make ideal snacks for parties and seasonal events.
They can even lend their flavor to some baking recipes. Believe it or not, roasting your own peanuts is fun and easy. Follow just a few simple steps to prepare this Southern treat at home in no time.
The procedures for roasting both types of peanuts are very similar. However, there are just a few things to consider before beginning:
- Shelled peanuts are much easier to use for peanut butter and baking recipes because you don’t need to remove their shells later. If making peanut butter, use Spanish peanuts, which have higher oil content. If you wish, you can peel shelled peanuts’ skins off with your fingers before beginning, though it’s also easy to do this after roasting (see below).
- In-shell peanuts should be rinsed in cold water briefly to remove excess dirt. Pat dry with a paper towel and allow to dry for about five extra minutes on a wire rack.
The peanuts must all be sitting flat in one layer to ensure even roasting. If you have too many peanuts to make just one layer, cook them in batches.
- For easier clean-up, line the sheet with baking paper or foil. This isn’t required like it is with other recipes, however — the peanuts won’t stick to the tray.
The thin skin around each peanut isn’t harmful — in fact, some people prefer leaving it on to eating « naked » nuts. However, if you wish, you can remove the skins easily with a salad spinner. Roll the roasted peanuts in your hands over an open salad spinner, letting them gradually fall out and into the device. Once you’ve rolled all of the peanuts, close the spinner and run it until most (if not all) of the skins have been separated. You may need to peel a few skins off by hand.
- Here’s another method for skinning peanuts: first, place the roasted peanuts in a jar or container and shake them or wrap them in a clean dish towel and rub them. Pour the peanuts out, then take the jar, container, or towel outside and let the wind blow away the loose skins.
You only need a little seasoning to make natural, roasted peanuts even more delicious. There’s no « right answer » here, but just a few seasoning suggestions are included below:
- A light dusting of brown sugar and cinnamon makes a delicious sweet treat.
- Combining Cajun seasoning mix with a little salt makes for intensely flavorful peanuts.
- Cayenne powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika can give you red-hot Southwestern-style peanuts.
Liquid flavorings can be used as glazes to give the peanuts intense, alluring flavors. However, for best results, these should be applied before the roasting process. Paint the prepared peanuts with a thin layer of your glaze and roast them as normal to give them the glaze’s flavor. Since you’re using liquid ingredients here, lining your pan with foil or baking paper is a wise idea.
- Here, again, there are hundreds of possibilities. One easy classic example is honey-roasted peanuts. To make the glaze, just combine equal parts honey and melted butter and stir until uniform. About two tablespoons of each ingredient should be enough for a pound of peanuts. Paint the peanuts with the glaze and sprinkle with salt before they go into the oven. Roast as normal.