Nut Crackers - Nut Cracker | Red Hill General Store (2023)

Nutcracker Knowledge Base

How To Crack Black Walnuts

Make walnuts easier to crack with one of these methods:

  • Soak nuts in hot water for 24 hours.
  • Add nuts to boiling water for 1 minute, remove and place in cold water.
  • Freeze nuts for a few hours before cracking.
  • Bake on a cookie sheet for 15 minutes at 350°.

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How To Shell Black Walnuts

You can use a pocket knife or curved cutting tool. The most effective and safest tool is a pecan peeler. Cut directly in and around the circumference of the shell. Pry off large chunks of the shell then scrape off excess husk. Always be mindful of where your hand is in relation to the blade. This process will stain hands and gloves. It is best to wear latex gloves, or you will have brown hands for the next two weeks!

Black Walnut Identification

Black walnut trees are found in Eastern to Central North America, tending to grow in sunny areas and yards. Their leaves are characterized by a long pattern of 1 to 23 alternating leaflets. The most obvious sign of a black walnut is their large green nut, which is looks like a tennis ball. Walnut leaves and nuts also have a unique and pungent smell.

(Video) Hardshell Nutcracker

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Harvesting Black Walnuts

Black walnut season starts around mid September when walnut trees start dropping tennis ball sized treats! Squirrels will be making moves on these nuts, so get them quick!

The best way to harvest black walnuts and all nuts is with a nut picker upper. These clever tools have a wire basket that is engineered to open and grab walnuts and similar sized objects. This saves you a lot of back breaking work and is fun to use! A nut picker upper is also great for cleaning up kids toys or any similar sized object to a walnut or pecan nut.

The best walnut is green and soft. Its not too ripe and hard. And its not too old and black. The walnuts that have turned black are often rotten with bugs. The best tactic is to harvest them when they are fresh and let them ripen in a dry area.

(Video) Duke Easy Pecan Nut Cracker

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Black Walnut Hull benefits

Black Walnut Hull (Juglans Nigra) has surprising health benefits!

  • Black walnut hull lowers blood pressure and blood sugar.
  • The tannins in the hull extract have an astringent quality, which can shrink sweat glands and prevent excess sweating.
  • Black walnut hull can be ground into a powder/paste, then applied topically to the skin for health and beauty. High levels of antioxidants and fatty acids can help clear up acne, psoriasis, and eczema.
  • Black walnuts are a source of serotonin, which is an important neurotransmitter in the brain. Serotonin levels are important to emotional health and balance.
  • Walnut hull is one of the earliest laxatives, aiding in digestion and regular food movement through the body.

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Black walnut hulls make great compost!

Black Walnut Dye - Dying Clothes With Black Walnuts

Use walnut hulls as a natural brown dye for clothing and more!

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  1. 10-20 walnuts make 1 gallon of dye.
  2. Carefully, remove the husks with a sharp tool while wearing latex gloves. The walnuts will stain your hands and anything you are wearing. Hulls will turn dark brown as they oxidise with the air.
  3. Crush and crumble hulls into pea sized bits.
  4. Use an enamelware pot to boil one gallon of water, adding/stirring crushed hulls. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
  5. While the pot is simmering scour the fabric you will dye:
    • Add 1 tablespoon of super washing soda and one tablespoon of detergent or borax to a gallon of water. Stir to dissolve. Bring to a boil. Add the fabric and stir. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.
    • Rinse the fabric to remove all the soap. The oils and dirt scoured from the fibers will turn the water brown.
    • Scouring removes any armpit stains or oil stains that would become more apparent if dyed with walnut hulls. It also helps the dye adhere to the fabric permanently for a professional dye job.
  6. Add the damp scoured fabric to the simmering dye bath.
  7. Continue to simmer, occasionally stirring, until the fabric is a little darker than your desired color.
  8. Remove the material and rinse thoroughly.
  9. Wash dyed clothing separately the first time because excess dye will stain other clothes. Wash normally with other colored clothing afterwards.

Black Walnut vs English Walnut

The English Walnut is our most familiar walnut. It is heavily cultivated for cooking and eating. The shell is characterized by its light color and thinness. The meat flavor is mild, great for roasting, topping salads, and including in cereals. The English Walnut got its name from English merchants who introduced it across the globe, however, it was originally called the Persian Walnut and grown in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

The Black Walnut is native to Eastern and Central North America. It is less cultivated, mostly growing wild in the woods and yards. The outer husk is easily recognizable, resembling a tennis ball in color, shape, and size. The inner shell is hard and thick, one of the hardest nuts to crack! Black Walnut meat has a much richer and robust flavor than the English Walnut. Its great for topping vanilla ice cream! The Black Walnut was first harvested by Native American tribes.

How To Dry Walnuts

Dry walnuts after husking/shelling. Remove any remaining debris by rinsing off in a bucket of water. Spread nuts in a single layer on a flat surface. Store in a well ventilated and dark room, free from direct sunlight. Walnuts will need to dry for at least 2 weeks. Once they are dry, store them in a cool dry place for up to one year.

Harvesting Hickory Nuts

Harvesting Hickory Nuts is no easy task. If you intend to do some serious harvesting, you will need a nut picker upper! This interesting tool has a wire basket that opens and grabs nuts as you roll over them. It will pick up hickory nuts, pecan nuts, and any similar sized nut or object! Use it to pick up toys and clean up messes. You will save hours of backbreaking work, and youll be enjoying freshly cracked nuts all year long!

(Video) Black Walnut Cracker

Types Of Walnuts

English Walnut - the most commonly consumed type of walnut. This walnut has a thin shell with a smooth, ivory colored meat. The English walnut has a mild flavor.
Black Walnut - This walnut has a thick, hard, somewhat sharp shell with a dark color. The Black walnut has a pungent aroma and a robust flavor.
White Walnut - The white walnut is also known as the butternut walnut. This type of walnut is the rarest variety and considered to be endangered in the United States and Canada. The husk of the nut is green and fuzzy. The meat has a sweet, slightly oily flavor.

Different Types of Nuts

Shoft Shell Nuts
Pecan, almond, English walnut, pine nut, chestnut, hazelnut, filbert nut, Brazil nut

Hard shell nuts
Black walnut, hickory nut, macadamia nut, coconut

How To Harvest Pecans

The best way to harvest pecans is with a special tool called a pecan picker upper. This tool features a rolling basket that grabs nuts off the ground with ease. It saves you time and backbreaking work! A nut picker upper can also be used to pick up toys and messes around the house. If you are doing some serious pecan harvesting, you will need a pecan picker upper for sure!

(Video) Black Walnut Cracker


What is the best nut cracker? ›

5 Best Nut Crackers You Can Find Online:
  • Nutraj Aluminium Cracker for Walnuts: Extremely useful for cracking inshell walnuts, the tool is made with alloy aluminium. ...
  • Remi Smart Walnut Clamp: ...
  • PEBBLECRAFTS Wooden Walnut Cracker: ...
  • QERINKLE Stainless Steel Nut Cracker: ...
  • MS Dollar Multipurpose Walnut Cracker:
Jan 25, 2022

Is there a machine to crack black walnuts? ›

The shell of black walnut is extremely hard to crack and the nutmeat comes out in pieces. Processing black walnuts can be done industrially or at home and the nut can be cracked by black walnut cracker machine or with various handy tools.

What is the best nut cracker for arthritis? ›

3. Turn-Screw Nutcracker. The turn-screw nutcracker, like the ELO “Mushroom”, is ideal for people with arthritis as you do not have to apply the same pressure with a lever or plier-style nutcracker. Just a few turns of the screw and your favorite nuts with be perfectly cracked.

What is the best nut cracker for pecans? ›

Anwenk Heavy Duty Nutcracker Tool

Anwenk's Heavy Duty Nutcracker Tool is our best overall pick for its ability to crack different types of soft to medium-hard shelled nuts like pecans, Brazilian nuts, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and more.

How much is a pound of Black Walnuts worth? ›

$82.40 / 5lb bag ($16.48/lb)

Are Black Walnuts worth any money? ›

Black walnut timber is used in the production of furniture, door panels, trim, flooring, cabinets and more. At the time of writing this article in 2022, black walnut tree value ranges from $5 to $10 per board foot… if not higher in some cases.

How long do Black Walnuts need to dry before cracking? ›

Give the black walnuts two to three weeks to dry and cure before you store or crack them. This will ensure that you don't lose your harvest to mold.

Do nut crackers really crack nuts? ›

The short answer to this question is of course, yes* they can crack nuts, but it is not recommended. The Nutcracker has changed from a functional nut cracker to an ornamental traditional Christmas figurine.

Do nut crackers actually work? ›

No, functional, like, they can actually crack nuts. Not just decorative, like, for putting on your mantle. They probably crack nuts, they're nutcrackers, right? Most nutcrackers don't crack nuts.

What nationality are nut crackers? ›

Nutcracker dolls originate from late-17th century Germany, particularly the Ore Mountains (German: Erzgebirge) region. One origin story attributes the creation of the first nutcracker doll to a craftsman from Seiffen. They were often given as gifts, and at some point they became associated with Christmas season.

Why Soak walnuts before eating them? ›

By soaking nuts and seeds, you minimize or eliminate the nutritional inhibitors and other toxic substances as they are absorbed into the water. Without the inhibitors and toxic substances, the nutrients of the nuts and seeds are more readily available for absorption.

What eats black walnuts? ›

Despite that pulpy covering and the hard shell around the nut kernels, they are a useful food for squirrels as well as raccoons, turkeys and bears.

Can squirrels crack open black walnuts? ›

If you're a squirrel you don't have tools but you do have teeth. Donna Foyle watched a fox squirrel open a black walnut outside her window. The squirrels open peanuts in a flash but this black walnut took a long time.

Which nut is most anti-inflammatory? ›

High in ALA, walnuts have the highest omega-3 content, and researchers studying their effects have found they lower C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and arthritis.

What is a good breakfast for arthritis? ›

Hot and cold cereals are good options. They are quick ways to get a serving of fiber-full whole grains that can help reduce inflammation. While oatmeal may be your go-to grain, there are several nutritious cereals made from corn, brown rice, quinoa, hemp, buckwheat and kamut.

What are the best snacks for arthritis pain? ›

The 10 Best Foods to Eat If You Have Arthritis
  1. Fatty fish. Fatty fish varieties such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory effects. ...
  2. Garlic. Garlic is packed with health benefits. ...
  3. Ginger. ...
  4. Broccoli. ...
  5. Walnuts. ...
  6. Berries. ...
  7. Spinach. ...
  8. Grapes.

Are there different versions of The Nutcracker? ›

Since Vasili Vainonen's 1934 version in Russia, and Balanchine's 1954 New York City Ballet production, many other choreographers have made their own versions. Some institute the changes made by Gorsky and Vainonen respectively while others, like Balanchine, utilize the original libretto.

Are Steinbach nutcrackers still being made? ›

We are proud to continue the traditional craft of Steinbach. All nutcrackers are handmade in Germany and are made with a mix of tradition, attention to detail and the finest materials.

What is the easiest nut to crack? ›

Obviously pistachios are the easiest to open and filberts/hazelnuts the tougher nuts to crack.


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