I have two pecan trees and the birds do let me keep some. My problem is that I don't know what temperature or how long to leave them in the oven. Please advise. Thank you. - H.R.
I hope the following information from the Michigan State University Extension will help you. NUTS - DRYING Michigan State University Extension Preserving Food Safely - 01600671 10/13/97
Spread nuts thinly on trays or screens and allow them to dry gradually from exposure to a gentle but steady air flow. A clean, cool, dry porch or attic is ideal. Nuts dried this way will not mold. Drying times varies with nut variety. Most varieties will need several weeks for proper drying. All nuts except chestnuts contain a large amount of oil which prevents them from drying out completely. Because of their high water and carbohydrate content, chestnuts dry in 3 to 7 days. Drying for longer will cause chestnuts to become hard and inedible.
ALTERNATIVE DRYING METHODS:
Small amounts of nuts in the shell can be dried in a furnace room or even on trays on a radiator providing the temperature do not exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit will affect flavor and shorten storage life. Nuts will be dry in 24 to 48 hours.
Nuts in the shell can also be dried in a food dehydrator if the temperature can be adjusted low enough. Follow manufacturer's directions. Unshelled nuts will dry in 8 to 10 hours in a food dehydrator.
Oven drying is not recommended for unshelled nuts as it is difficult to keep the temperature low enough and air circulation is poor.
Question from Patty Griffith (11/20/03)
I saw your answer to drying walnuts and I have a question. I am hulling some walnuts right now and some of them look like they have mold on them. Is it alright to clean them and dry them to bake or eat? I wasn't sure how to harvest the walnuts and I didn't take them out of the hull when they were green and now they are black. Are they still good? If you could please let me know I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.
Yes, you walnut are still good. The outer husk has nothing to do with the walnut meat inside (even if the husk is black). You probably should have husked them sooner to avoid any mold.
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