Roasting Nuts

Getting into roasting nuts and looking for some tips. I have read and tried recipes and really the temps and time are all over the place. Seeing if someone can explain why soaking vs not soaking. low 225 vs 350. Been googling a lot and really can’t find guidelines or explanation of doing it one way or another will have an affect.

Recipes that involve cooking them on the grill lean towards a 10 minute soak and 30 minute @ 225. I’ve tried multiple batches at that and they came out gummy and under cooked. Going to try tonight just straight oven no soak and a batch soaked to see what I come up with. But hoping someone can save me some experimenting time! Thanks!

-Cooking Raw shell removed peanuts

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If you want to roast something - dry heat leading to browning - seems like getting it wet would just interfere.

That makes sense I believe the soaking reason is when grilling/smoking they need to be wet for the smoke to attach to. Cooking time and temp seem impossible to finish. If I’m seasoning with sugar even in the oven should I lower the temp and lengthen the time?

Hard crack stage for sugar is 300F, so if you want a hard sugar shell or caramelized sugar, bake at least that hot.

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And if I go under 300F how will the sugar come out? Sorry just trying to see every way to cook them.

I think for the smoked method I might be best soaking/30 min on grill and finish in the oven at 300-350f for a short period. Thoughts?

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Could be sticky if all the moisture isn’t cooked off.

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Ok so probably more carnival style. Thanks I’m going to do some test batches tonight

I have only roasted them in the oven or stove top. I have tried several different methods. Soaking them makes them mushy but I do like the salt level you get by the salt brine. Coating them in oil and then salting them does not give the same effect as a brine. My favorite way involved just enough water to dissolve the salt. The nuts were coated with the water and then let to rest for a very short time (5-10 minutes?). Then they are roasted in a moderated oven and lightly salted when taken out of the oven. I got the technique from a blog discussing warm nuts you get at some well known restaurant. Unfortunately I can’t find the blog or remember the name of the restaurant that was being discussed because they came out really good.

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Hmm I’ll have to try that method. So far I tried 4 ways all cooked at 325F for 15 minutes

  1. 5 min soak in salt water=mushy
  2. misted with water and tossed in salt= best result but inconsistent seasoning
  3. no water just salted= the salt mostly fell off
  4. no water salted post roast= same as #3

seasoning other then salt (chili powder, ginger,etc) better to season before or after the roast?

Following! I’ve been tracking threads, but with “candied” nuts, usually pecans.

Easy peasy candied nuts

Candied nuts

Some years back, Cooks Illustrated had an easy recipe for spiced nuts - you heat them in the oven for 5 minutes at 350. Then on the stove, on medium heat, stir them in a deep pan in which you have heated a little butter, water, sugar, and any seasonings that are liquid. That’s like a few tablespoons of liquid to a pound of nuts, stirring until the pan is just about dry. Then you toss the nuts into a big bowl in which you have mixed your dry seasonings. They are then spread on a cookie sheet to cool. There is no gooeyness or clumping to deal with. These do not have a hard glaze but the coatings are well-adhered. I have done the candied pecans and the curry almonds.

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Yes! You hooked me up with that one on CH in 2013!

“I like the Nov/Dec 99 CI recipe, which calls for briefly toasting raw nuts in the oven to heat them up, then stirring them into a mixture of a little butter, water, and sugar until well-coated, then tossing in a bowl with a mixture of salt, sugar, and various spices depending on the nut and desired flavor profile. They aren’t tacky or sticky, and keep well at room temp in a sealed container for up to a couple of weeks (mag says 5 days).”

I roast raw pistachios in the shell all the time. I ‘marinate’ them in garlic fused olive oil, throw on garlic powder w/parsley, and roast on a sheet pan for 10 minutes at 425°. My oven is old so that’s probably more like 375+. I prefer them salted but my Doc says no, so these have become my go to snack.

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Jeebus, that recipe is twenty years old! I haven’t done them in years, since they pose too much temptation. Did you ever make them?

I’m sure i have! I think I’ve tried them all, and I make some every year. Lately I’ve been using a Serious Eats version that involves egg whites, but I do something simpler when I’m craving.

I found the recipe I used. She was inspired by a post about a recipe for nuts served Chez Panisse. She omitted the herbs from the CP recipe and added oil and salt after they are cooked which I like for the salty crunch. They probably come out much like the ones you misted with salted water.

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So this weekend I tried a couple batches using a combination of methods mentioned. I made a salt water brine and gave them a quick dunk in that. maybe about a minute in the brine and drained them thoroughly. From there I put them on a rack and baked them at 325F for 15 minutes. in the mean time I dissolved some butter in a sauce pan and mixed in a little sugar with the butter to get that melted. Out the oven I tossed them in the butter sugar mixed until they were all coated and then added some spices and kept tossing. Let them cool for a couple hours and they came out really well. Roasted to a perfect crunch and evenly flavored

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another method…
cast iron pan with a tsp of salt heated on the stove until the salt is smokey but not burnt.
remove salt, add raw nuts
toast until fragrant.

if you want to sweeten, add your sugar at this point but toss on a lower heat, or turn off cast iron from add’l heat at this point and with a wooden spoon slowly toss nuts till coated.

turn out nuts onto plate to cool. you get the salt without overdoing and you’re less likely to burn the sugar.

did a batch of cashews and walnuts this way.

So I been knocking out some pretty good batches and sharing them with my co-workers. My method has been;
-soak in salt water 1-3 minutes ( or any other liquid flavor (I.E Soy sauce)
-strain & let sit for a minute, then lay them out in a mesh roasting basket
-Put in oven for 14-15 minutes for 350 degrees
-when they are done i put them in a large bowl with some butter to coat and toss in the spice blend.
-Rerack to allow for cooling

Anyone see something I can improve on? or any thing I’m doing that could be a waste?

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