How to Open a Pesky Pistachio Nut

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Introduction: How to Open a Pesky Pistachio Nut

I hate it when I'm eating pistachio nuts and I find one that has only opened a tiny bit. This quick technique, taught to me by my friend Lloyd, will open these problematic legumes every time without risking sore fingernails or broken teeth.

When you encounter the pistachio nut that is just barely open, the first instinct is to use your fingernails to pry it open, crunch it with your teeth, or just swallow it whole. But resist those urges and read on to learn this handy trick.

Step 1: Use the Right Tool for the Job

You should always use the right tool for the right job, and lucky for you, you already have a whole pile of the right tool already near by when you are eating pistachio nuts.

Grab a discarded 'pistachio nut shell half', and stick the top of the small end into the partially-opened pistachio.

Step 2: Now Twist Like You've Never Twisted Before

With the shell top inserted into the crack, twist the shell half like you would turn a screwdriver. Clockwise or counterclockwise directions both work equally well. As you twist, the shell will separate with a loud report as if by magic.

Step 3: Eat the Conquered Pistachio Nut Meat and Enjoy Your Victory

You did it. Sure, anyone can open a pistachio with a LeatherMan, hammer, or laser cutter. But without using any of those traditional pistachio-opening tools, and without risking injury of your fingernails, teeth, or your pride, you beat the pistachio at its own game. You got to the prize. Now eat it. Savor the morsel that was previously unreachable by humankind.

Next time you're sitting around with friends eating pistachios, show them this trick...and remember that you learned it on Instructables.

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    146 Comments

    I am a pistachio grower. Just for info - they are not legumes!
    Also, the shells that don't split on the end or just split on the suture across from the hinge does not mean that they are not ripe. Just means you have to work a little harder to get to the nutty goodness inside. Fingernails, teeth, metal openers, hammers, .45 acp or pistachio shells doesn't matter. Just get it.

    I have 4 trees and I get a lot of unopened nuts, so I found by roasting them it makes some open but I have not found a way that openes most of them. Do you have that problem?

    Yay!!!! Works so much better than pliers and so much more convenient.

    I will use this when I can't find my baby Vice-Grips.

    how simple is this then???? well done...

    WOW! Wish I had read this before mangling both thumbnails and assorted fingernails, not to mention sending needle sharp shards everywhere via firecracker!!

    PERFECT! Just sitting here eating lunch and had this exact problem. Your solution is perfect. Thanks for sharing.

    wow, great! i searched it while struggling with the pistachio! such a wonderful idea! As diamond cuts diamond, pista cuts pista! :)