Picture of 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.
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Step 1: Use the Right Tool for the Job

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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.
Wow, it saved my fingernails! Thank you. I almost bought a pistachio opener. Now, to enjoy more pistachios...
TechShopJim (author)  coconutstudio3 years ago
Hi CoconutStudio...

Please try to find a way to support the pistachio nut opener industry, even though I have taught you this secret. Thousands of Americans in that industry lose their jobs each day.

Won't you help?
mattlscc3 years ago
Best instructable yet... works great!
jereza3 years ago
This is really useful. I'm sitting in a hotel room right now and have a whole pile of barely opened pistachios. I knew there was a trick but didn't remember it. Thanks, TechShop Jim!
TechShopJim (author)  jereza3 years ago
I'm just glad I could make a difference!
cappie823 years ago
First: OMG!! People, they are just nuts, just use your brain!!! Anyone with even half of one would eventually have found someway to efficiently open them, I'm sure. It's a nice tip of course, but I didn't realize there were that many people in this world that can't open a pistachio.
Second: Yes, nice manicured hands are preferable, but come on, not every guy is a "metro-sexual"..
And Third: To TRIPLEC...Yes, the nut does look like some kind of computer chip...Hmm, Oddness... :)
bobcash3 years ago
Snaps! This is an excellent idea for gals with false nails too. Bravo!
diesel456453 years ago
ooooh a laser cutter is so traditional these days? Lol :P
Cacophonix5 years ago
This is a useful instructable :)
oh yes, indeed.Yes, please wash your hands ;)
bugg-3 years ago
Excellent Job !!! Thank you very much...!
hoshichii~5 years ago
ulpetie5 years ago
very cool only thing is like deskules said what about the ones that don't even have a crack in them.
davebijoux5 years ago
Yes! The hand-washing. And you should have had a crash helmet on and safety glasses. I will assume you WERE wearing a high-vis vest. Nice little instructable!
dsekules5 years ago
It's good as far as it goes...

What about those really pesky ones that aren't even opened a crack? Let's see you get into one of those with anything short of a diamond-tipped drill...
Yes! haha, lucky for me I already knew this, but besides a hammer there's no waay to open the sealed ones
You could use a tiny band saw.
kevlardude5 years ago
Wow. All these years of using my nail or pliers, and all I needed was just an empty shell? Amazing! Very nice.
qorlis5 years ago
As rmcalist said, I've been doing this for years. Great minds, right? For the unopened nuts, various "traditional" tools still do the trick. I found that, for most nuts with a seam (the ridge around the edges of the 2 halves of the shell), controlled pressure usually keeps them from crushing the nutmeats into dust and shrapnel and the two halves remain mostly intact. By the way, if the nuts are roasted, the unripe or immature nuts still taste good.
fmcdogg665 years ago
Dude: next time when you take close up pictures, ensure that you WASH YOUR HANDS before taking pictures. otherwise great tip.
paulpcc5 years ago
LOL - ive been reading the text you said, and what other said, and the image rollover text... "LeatherMan", "Raw Fingers", "Nut-Meat" LOL just where is this conversation going :o) just kidding, thanks for the advice will give it a go
thecapper5 years ago
Now this is an Instructable I might actually get around to doing! Very well written and clever. Thank you! You have saved many trying minutes of nut-induced angst.
ankilosado5 years ago
Nice that someone has the idea of writing down the ideas! My grandfather taught me this usefull trick! Thanks for posting it. By the way, You'd better wash your fingers before posting pictures here. My little daughter is in trouble as we have ever told her to wash her hands before and after eating, and she had pointed at your nail and said: Look, he didn't wash his hands! LOL
lidzy5 years ago
This has been driving me nutz for years-so obvious, thanks so much from just another nut nut...
i had that proplem to but then i figuerd out that a hammer works well
jvangurp5 years ago
YAY! Finally a solution! The backyard squirrels will recall this day with great sorrow for many years to come.
5kspace5 years ago
rmcalist5 years ago
I've been doing this for years. Good job with the instructable! And that is a funky looking nut meat :)
Hegpetz5 years ago
You are awesome!!! I will never have raw fingers again! Yay!!
wcgems5 years ago
That's AWESOME..... I never thought of that. Now I can stop throwing away all oif those barely opened nuts.
TRIPLEC5 years ago
lol looks like some kinda weird computer chip xD lol, i love those things, im gonna go buy some later today
on nom nom Neat trick c: