When shopping for macadamia nuts, you will most likely find them free of shells, ready to eat. This is because macadamia nuts are the hardest nuts to crack. This also explains why macadamia nuts are so expensive: it takes a lot of skill to open them and keep the inside intact. Purchasing macadamia nuts with the shell still on is considerably cheaper, but don't use your regular nut cracker for this tough job. There are some effective strategies to which you can resort to crack those treasures free. Be sure the nuts are sufficiently dry and you have the right tools.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Baking tray
- Paper bag
- Vice grip
- Macadamia nut cracker (optional)
Put the nuts on a baking tray in the oven's lowest setting--about 40.6 degrees Celsius--for two to three days. This will decrease the moisture content and turn the shell brittle, so it will be easier to crack.
Allow the nuts to cool down to room temperature so you are able to handle them without getting burnt. Place the macadamia nuts in a paper bag and hit them with a hammer two or three times.
Open the bag and check the nuts. If after roasting the nuts for three days, the nut is still chewy, roast them for another 24 hours.
Place each nut in the bench vice and tighten until the shell cracks off. This method may be slower, but it usually results in more intact kernels.
Purchase a commercial-grade nut cracker specifically made to crack macadamia nuts if you are planning to crack lots of them. Find one online or at a speciality stores. .
Tips and warnings
- Crack open the nuts in an area where the mess can be easily swept up.
- Only crack the amount you need, as nut oils in contact with air begin to go rancid quickly.
- Macadamia nut shells make great garden mulch.
- When using a hammer to open macadamia nuts, protect your eyes and be watchful for flying debris.
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