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If you like boiled peanuts, you’re in luck. If you like smoked peanuts, you’re in luck too. These smoked peanuts in the shell will satisfy you no matter which camp you’re in. Lightly smoky and well, pea-like, you’ll want to make a big ole batch for snacking during the next big game on TV.
Unlike just boiled peanuts, which have a soggy shell, these smoked peanuts in the shell spend some quality time over higher heat, giving the shells an almost roasted-like texture. So when you crack one open, you might be expecting a roasted peanut. That’s not what you’ll get. The time in the brine not only softens the peanuts it lets them absorb smoke. That’s what you’re after.
I like to use my grilling basket for these peanuts. First, it makes putting them on the smoker and taking them back off a total breeze. No way would want to do that one at a time with grill tongues! Second, it makes for the easiest cleanup in the world. No scrubbing, no soaking. Just grab a soapy sponge and it’ll wipe clean.
Smoked Peanuts in the Shell
- Combine the water, salt, sugar and peanuts in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 20 minutes.
- Drain the peanuts into a large colander and then spread out on a flat surface covered with towels to dry completely.
- Fire up your smoker for 250 F. Use any wood you prefer, but the peanuts will absorb the smoke so I recommend a lighter fruit wood.
- Add the peanuts to the smoker. If your grates are too wide, add foil sheets or pans with holes poked in them or use a grill mat like I did.
- Cover grill and smoke for 20 minutes. Stir and smoke 20 more minutes. And then stir and smoke 20 more minutes. If the nuts aren't a bit crunchy continue smoking or transfer to a sheet pan in a 225 F oven or on a grill until golden brown and crunchy.
- Store in an airtight container.
Nutritional values are approximate.