Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Boiled Peanuts-It's a Southern Thing

Have you ever eaten boiled peanuts? I had't even heard of boiled peanuts until I met my husband over 25 years ago. I thought that roasted peanuts were the only way to have them and of course there is peanut butter too. My husband grew up here in Northern Florida in the 60' and 70's. He has always fondly recalled church social gatherings where there would be a "peanut boil". The peanuts were boiled in a 55 gallon drum over an open fire. The fire was usually started just before dark, the peanuts were added to gallons of salted water. Peanuts were fresh, "green", from the fields. The youngsters would run around playing outdoor games, like hide and seek, tag, or catching fire flies. The grown ups sat around and talked about the good old days. Every few minutes someone would ask, are they done yet? I wish I could have had the same experience as a child. What happened to those days?

Well after a few years of marriage I learned to like those boiled peauts. My husband has mastered the technique over the years as well. So I thought I would share with you all our recent peanut boil. Since it takes at least 2 hours to boil them, we have found that doing it outside on the grill is a good way to keep the house cooler and cleaner. We let them boil on the patio while we worked on our flower beds and lawn. And of course we had to have mom and dad over to help us eat them.

Here in the land of the Gators at the University Of Florida, a game in the "swamp" wouldn't be the same without boiled peanuts. At home there is usually a game on the TV, that is made more enjoyable while eating boiled peanuts. I am not certain but I believe that harvest time for peanuts is late summer and into fall here in North Florida.

There really is no recipe, it is probably 3 or 4 lbs of "green" peanuts, a big cooking pot with a lid, and salt. But here are the steps:

  • Rinse peanuts well
  • Place peanuts in large stock pot
  • Fill pot with water
  • Add about 4 heaping tablespoons of salt
  • Cover and bring it all to a low boil
  • Water will evaporate after an hour or two, you will want to add more water and probably a couple more heaping tablespoons of salt
  • boiling time could be 2-3 hours depending on the size of the peanut
  • Our recent peanut boil took about 3 hours, because we used Jumbo peanuts
  • You will need to check them at about 2 hours and see it they are soft
  • Once the peanuts inside are soft, with the consistency of a cooked field pea or black-eyed pea, then they are done.
  • Turn off the flame and let them sink to the bottom, this is where osmosis takes place and they take on more of the salt and water, this takes about 20-30 minutes

To enter a giveaway sponsored by Nabisco, click over to Southern Hospitality and read Rhoda's review


  1. Boiled peanuts are definitely a Southern thing. I remember hearing about "bowled peanuts" on a trip south years ago -- couldn't figure out what was meant by "bowled peanuts!"

    Now I know. :-)

    Question -- are they mushy after boiling? I've only had the roasted, and smashed into peanut butter, type of peanut.

    Interesting post! And I love your previous one about the silver and other "finds." Nice!


  2. Hi Marla!
    Your blog is BEAUTIFUL!
    I'm adding you to my Blog Candy now.

    AND peanuts? Oh my hubby will so love this recipe - these are one of his favorite things.

    Thank you so much for sharing your special place in Blogland. Enjoy the journey as it unfurls....

    Dear Daisy Cottage

  3. Hi, I saw your name on Daisy Cottage. I'm signing up to "Follow" you! The way to get more people is to do a lot of commenting!

    I haven't learned to like boiled peanuts yet, I love them roasted!