Quick and Easy Instant Pot Boiled Peanuts is a quick recipe to make the traditional southern salty snack. What used to take many hours to make, boiling them in a pot, now can be made in a fraction of the time. You can have an even better-boiled peanut by leveraging the power of a pressure cooker in under an hour and a half.
Boiled peanuts are a super popular snack that is enjoyed by many southerners. You can usually find them at roadside stands, many convenience stores or gas stations, or even the local grocery store.
The traditional way to make them consists of boiling them in a big pot with salted water for many hours. This process takes green peanuts and turns them into a briny soft snack that is simply delicious.
The salty water is what gives them that great flavor that you crave. They are such an delicious snack.
Boiled peanuts are enjoyed year-round, but their popularity increases as summer fades into fall. As the south turns its eyes to football season, this snack really rares its salty head on each game day. They are a true southern delicacy.
They can be enjoyed with just plain salt or you can add seasonings to them as well. One popular way to season them is with cajun seasoning or creole seasoning. Some people will add in a little vinegar as well.
One of my favorite ways I have ever had them was boiled with ham hocks and vinegar. That was superb! Feel free to add in your favorite seasonings.
The high pressure from the pressure cooker cuts the cooking time in half and pushes the salt inside the shell and peanut. Using the instant pot really makes the cooking process more enjoyable.
Why I Love Boiled Peanuts
Boiled peanuts are one of my favorite snacks. I can remember back to my childhood, snacking on them while riding in my dad’s truck. These are some of my best childhood memories.
Normally when you buy them, they are served in a styrofoam cup or a brown paper bag. They can be eaten hot or cold. I actually like them either way.
The outer exterior of the shell is hard and when you crack it open, you get this burst of salty, briny water then the soft peanut that is inside. The texture of the peanuts is similar to that of cooked chickpeas or pinto beans. It truly is wonderful snack food.
History of Boiled Peanuts
As with many of the traditions and foods that are popular in the south, peanuts were first brought here with the slave trades from Africa to the United States. As I have mentioned before, this terrible tragedy brought forth some of the most popular foods that we enjoy and are known for.
According to the National Peanut Board, boiled peanuts, called “the caviar of the south” most likely got their start from slaves that would hold a “peanut boil” if there was a surplus of the crop that year.
This was similar to how I describe a low country boil where people would hang out over a meal, share conversations and break bread with one another.
Boiled Peanuts are thought to have originated in South Carolina, where is it listed as the South Carolina State snack food. They also were called Goober peas as a nickname. The first ever recipe for boiled peanuts was published in 1899 and was by a South Carolina lady by the name of Almeda Lambert (National Peanut Board, 2022).
How To Make Boiled Peanuts
I prefer to use green peanuts for this recipe. Green peanuts are freshly picked peanuts and give the best flavor and texture.
Raw peanuts on the other hand are freshly picked peanuts that have been dehydrated. You can use raw peanuts if you cannot find green peanuts. You will need 1 pound of peanuts
Depending on who you ask, you will find different opinions on what type of salt to use. I prefer to use sea salt or kosher salt. Some cooks will use table salt. Table salt has iodine in it and it can alter the taste a little. You will need ¼ cup of salt.
You will need 6 to 8 cups of water. I like to use filtered or distilled water. You will need just enough water to cover the peanuts.
Prepare the Peanuts
Before making the peanuts you will want to wash them a few times. Peanuts are similar to potatoes in that they are tubers that grow underground. They may have dirt on them.
I like to fill up my sink, then add the peanuts and wash them around. Drain the water, then do that a few more times. This ensures you get all the dirt off them. Washed peanuts will result in the possible product.
Instructions-Cooking the Peanuts
Step 1 Combine the peanuts, water, and salt in the pressure cooker.
Step 2 Stir until the salt has dissolved.
Step 3 Add the trivet on top and place a pyrex dish or bowl on top of the trivet if you would like to, but it is not a must.
Step 4 Put the pressure cooker lid on and turn it to lock. Close the pressure relief valve to the sealing position.
Step 5 Use the manual setting on the instant pot and set it to 80 mins.
Step 6 Once the time has run out, allow the instant pot pressure to do a natural pressure release (NAP), basically letting the instant pot do a natural release. At this point, you simply do not do anything.
This will take 20 to 30 minutes to take place. Once the pressure indicator has fallen, it will be ready to open and enjoy.
Quick and Easy Instant Pot Boiled Peanuts
- Instant Pot or other brand of electric pressure cooker. You could also use a tradtional pressure cooker.
- Pyrex Dish
- 1 pound green peanuts
- 1/4 cup salt sea salt or kosher
- 6-8 cups cold water use filtered or distilled
Preparing The Peanuts
- Before making the peanuts you will want to wash them a few times. Peanuts are similar to potatoes in that they are tubers that grow underground. They may have dirt on them. I like to fill up my sink, then add the peanuts and wash them around. Drain the water, then do that a few more times. This ensures you get all the dirt off them. Washed peanuts will result in the possible product.
Cooking The Peanuts
- Step 1 Combine the peanuts, water, and salt in the pressure cooker.
- Step 2 Stir until the salt has dissolved.
- Step 3 Add the trivet on top and place a pyrex dish or bowl on top of the trivet.
- Step 4 Put the pressure cooker lid on and turn it to lock. Close the pressure relief valve to the sealing position.
- Step 5 Use the manual setting on the instant pot and set it to 80 mins.
- Step 6 Once the time has run out, allow the instant pot pressure to do a natural pressure release (NAP), basically letting the instant pot do a natural release. At this point, you simply do not do anything. This will take 20 to 30 minutes to take place. Once the pressure indicator has fallen, it will be ready to open and enjoy.
What’s So Special About Boiled Peanuts?
Boiled peanuts are a salty, briny snack food that originated in the south, more specifically, South Carolina. The inside is soft and creamy like a pinto bean.
Do You Have To Soak Peanuts Before Boiling?
With the traditional method of boiling peanuts in a pot, some folks will presoak then. I have cooked them before without soaking and they turn out just fine. The cook time will just take longer.
Can I Use Raw Peanuts instead of Green Peanuts?
Yes, you can use raw peanuts. Raw peanuts are green peanuts that have been dehydrated before being sold. Green peanuts will taste fresher and will not have to cook as long since they have more moisture content.
How Do I Eat Boiled Peanuts?
You can enjoy boiled peanuts in several ways. You can have them chilled, room temperature, or hot out of the pot. I like to put the shell in my mouth and suck on it like a piece of candy for a bit, then crack it open and dig out the peanut inside.
How Do I Store The Leftover Boiled Peanuts?
The boiled peanuts will need to be refrigerated soon after cooking them if you do not eat them all. They will tend to get slimy etc if you do not. Place them in an airtight container and they will be good for up to 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Can I Cook Them In A Slow Cooker or Crock Pot?
Yes, you can cook them in a slow cooker. The cooking time will be much longer than cooking in an electric pressure cooker though.
Can I Reheat Boiled Peanuts?
Yes, you can reheat them. I would recommend just reheating what you think you will eat. Reheating food multiple times is not good for the quality of the product and safety.
How Long Should You Boil Peanuts?
Boiling peanuts can be a long task. It can take many hours if you do it the traditional way. Soaking the peanuts before you boil can help to shorten the time it takes if you are doing it the traditional way. If you want a quick and easy way to do it though, cooking them in an instant pot electric pressure cooker will vastly shorten the time and the great part is no soaking is required. Otherwise, you will be boiling for four or five hours the traditional way versus eighty minutes in an instant pot.