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How To Salt Unsalted Nuts

There are four ways to salt unsalted nuts: heat them in a pan, steam them, soak them in brine, or spray and dry them in oil. Heating them in a pan is quickest, steaming is healthiest, brine is best for shelled nuts, and roasting is best for maximum crispness.
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Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: nuts, salted nuts, unsalted nuts
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 100kcal


  • 1 portion unsalted nuts
  • 1 portion oil
  • 1 portion salt


Method 1: Heating in a pan

  • Take out a pan and heat it on a medium flame.
  • Now pour in enough oil to just coat your nuts. Pick an oil that won’t impart a taste onto the nuts, e.g. vegetable oil.
  • After giving them a quick stir in heated oil, sprinkle some salt.
  • Keep the flame low while you let the nuts sit for about 1 to 2 minutes in the pan with salt and oil.
  • Meanwhile, keep stirring.
  • Ensure you don’t add too much oil. Too much will make the nuts greasy, and they’ll turn rancid quicker.
  • Leave the nuts to cool before you eat them. Heat brings the natural oils of the nut to the surface. As they cool, these oils get reabsorbed back into the nut.

Method 2: Steaming

  • In this easy and simple method, first, you have to boil some water.
  • Then put your nuts in a strainer and place it over the boiling water. The steam will coat the nuts with a layer of sticky water.
  • Immediately sprinkle the nuts with the desired amount of salt and shake so all nuts are evenly coated.
  • But be careful, too much exposure to steam will make nuts go soggy. Only expose them as long as needed (less than a minute).
  • If you think the nuts are a little soggy, you can dry them in a dehydrator or in the oven on a low temp until they’re nice and crispy again.

Method 3: Brine (best for nuts still in their shells)

  • For about 1lb of nuts, mix around 60 grams of salt with 650 ml of water. You can experiment with the ratio of salt to water until you get a taste you’re happy with. A more concentrated solution will yield saltier nuts. 
  • Add nuts into a deep bowl.
  • Fill the bowl with brine until the nuts are completely covered.
  • Now, cover the bowl adequately and place it somewhere cool and dry.
  • Soak the nuts overnight for better results. If you want to reduce soaking time, boil the brine. This way you only need to soak the nuts for one to two hours.
  • After soaking, drain all the brine.
  • The nuts will be a little soggy from the soaking, so now you need to dry them out again.
  • You can either put them in a dehydrator or in the oven. If you're using the oven, dry them on a low heat for longer to make sure they don’t burn.
  • Different nuts will take different times to dehydrate completely. Check the nuts regularly and take them out when they reach your desired taste and texture.
  • Leave the nuts to cool before you eat/store them. As you heat the nuts their natural oils come to the surface, making them seem soggy. They will crisp up as they cool and the natural oils are reabsorbed.

Method 4: Roasting (best if nuts are raw and you want to roast them)

  • In this method, preheat the oven first to a low temperature.
  • Spread the nuts evenly on the baking tray.
  • Spray the nuts with oil so they’re evenly coated. Spraying is better than tossing the nuts in poured oil because it gives a lighter coating. If the oil is too thick, the salt won’t adhere as well.
  • Heat the nuts in the oven for 5 minutes on a medium heat. This will encourage the natural oils to come to the surface of the nut.
  • Take the hot nuts out and coat with salt.
  • Put the nuts back into the oven. If raw, roast them until the nuts are two shades darker. If pre-roasted only keep them in the oven for another two to three minutes.
  • Take the nuts out and let them sit for a while to cool down. As they cool all the oils will be reabsorbed into the nut and they’ll end up nice and crunchy.


Calories: 100kcal