Family Favorites Recipes

Boiled Peanuts

Boiled peanuts are a traditional snack in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, northern Florida and Mississippi. They are pronounced “bald peanuts” by diehard Southerners.

Boiled Peanuts

Sitting by the roadside on a summer day,

Chatting with my messmates, passing time away,

Lying in the shadow underneath the trees,

Goodness how delicious, eating goober peas!

Peas! Peas! Peas! Peas! Eating goober peas!

Goodness how delicious, eating goober peas!

- from the song “Goober Peas” – written in 1866 with words by A. Pindar and music by P. Nutt


  • 4 to 5 pounds green (raw) peanuts in shell
  • 4 to 6 quarts water
  • 1 cup plain salt


  1. Wash unshelled peanuts thoroughly in cold water until water runs clear; then soak in cool, clean water for approximately 30 minutes before cooking.
  2. In a large pot, place soaked peanuts and cover completely with water. Add 1 cup of salt per gallon of water. Cook, covered, over high heat for 4 to 7 hours.
  3. Remove from heat and drain peanuts after cooking or they will absorb salt and become over-salted.


The cooking time of boiled peanuts varies according to the maturity of the peanuts used and the variety of peanuts. The cooking time for a “freshly pulled” or green peanut is shorter than for a peanut that has been stored for a time. Boil the peanuts for about 4 hours, then taste. Taste again in 10 minutes, both for salt and texture. Keep cooking and tasting until the peanuts reach desired texture (when fully cooked, the texture of the peanut should be similar to that of a cooked dry pea or bean).

Peanuts may be eaten hot or at room temperature, or chilled in the refrigerator and eaten cold, shelling as you eat them.

To freeze boiled peanuts: Prepare peanuts as indicated above. Drain, allow to cool, and freeze in airtight containers. They keep indefinitely.

To can boiled peanuts: Prepare peanuts and brine the same as for boiling for immediate use. Pack peanuts into jars to within one-half inch of the top, using equal weights of peanuts and hot brine (212 degrees F). Partially submerge containers in upright position in boiling water for 10 minutes. Seal while hot and process 45 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. Cool containers in water, label, and store away from heat.

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