Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600671


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.

Dryness test:

-Nutmeats of pecan, walnuts, filberts and hickory nuts
should shake freely in their shells.

-Nutmeats should be light-colored and break with a
sharp snap when bent or bitten.

-Taste should be light-flavored.

-Note: Excessive drying will cause nut shell to crack.

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

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.

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