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Jan 17, 2010 10:56 AM

Shelling pine nuts

I got a bag of fairly inexpensive whole pine nuts (pinon nuts) off the Indian reservation. They were not shelled and I thot no big deal. I can shell them when I get home. Well, I've tried a regular nut cracker and I've tried a small plier. All I'm getting are crushed nuts that I have to pick the pieces of shell out of. Obviously, the nut is still edible, but I'm attempting to get the nut out whole!

So, dear Chowhounds, I'm hoping someone out there has had success with this endeavor and can point me to the proper tool (perhaps technique?) that will allow me to salvage these nuts whole so I can proceed to toast them and add them to delectable delights.

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  1. I wouldn't swear to this but I seem to recollect that my late FIL used to roast them IN the shell and then remove the nuts.

    1. Sounds like up have P.Edulis, hard shell pinon pine nuts. They are best roasted in shell and eaten like sunflower seeds. 350 degrees 10 - 12 minutes, stir often. You might try putting them in the freezer, then cracking all at once with your rolling pin if you aren't into eating them like sunflower seedsI am big soft shell pine nut person, P. Monophylla - Jumbo Great Basin. They are easy to shell, just snap and roll, like garlic with a twist. Well worth the effort given the size and ez shelling.

      1. '...the proper tool (perhaps technique?) that will allow me to salvage these nuts whole".

        The majority of pinenuts come from China.
        Locally grown pinons, the ones I have in New Mexico, are a little different. My pinons are not quite as large as the pinenuts from China and the preparation requires a little more work.
        I salt mine and then roast them and eat them like I would a sunflower.
        Enjoy. They're delicious.
        There's no tool required other than your teeth.

        1 Reply
        1. re: latindancer

          Yeah and you crack them in half around the middle and the whole nut comes out. Love 'em though they're not cheap.