For anyone not from the South or not familar with boiled peanuts, it can sound like an oxymoron: "Why would you boil a peanut?" is a frequent question from the unitiated.
But for those who grew up on them, it's another form of comfort food. Salty, sometimes spicy, and always delicious, boiled peanuts are a great snack, appetizer, or conversation piece.
It's important to have a lot of time and patience on hand when making boiled peanuts for the first time. Everyone has different opinions on how soft and salty they like their peanuts, so it's not an exact science. But with a little practice, boiling peanuts can be one of the easiest and tastiest snacks to make.
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Boiled peanuts can be made overnight, but it is safest to use a Crock-Pot in this scenario.
Combine all ingredients in a pot. If there is not enough water to cover the peanuts, add more water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir occasionally, once an hour at most, letting the peanuts boil for 3-6 hours until the peanuts are of a soft consistency. The timing depends on the age and size of the peanuts, so starting at 3 hours, check the peanuts to assess whether they are done.
If you would like the peanuts to be saltier and spicier once they are fully cooked, turn the heat off and let them sit in the water for a few more hours.