Introduction: How to Shell Pistachios Easily

Here is a quick and easy way to shell pistachios. Though you can eat them this way, they end up a little boiled and wet. These are much better suited to use in recipes.

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients and Supplies

You will need:

  • Pistachios in the shell. I used 2 cups here but you can use any amount you want to be shelled.
  • A saucepan
  • a clean kitchen towel. Rougher towels work better here
  • A rolling pin (optional)
  • A colander

Step 2: Boil Some Water

Add some water to the saucepan. You will want to use twice as much water as pistachios.

In this example, I wanted to shell 2 cups of pistachios and so I heated up 4 cups of water.

Set the heat at medium-high and let it come to a rolling boil.

Step 3: Add the Pistachios

Once the water has come to a rolling boil, remove it from the heat.

Add your pistachios to the water.

Let the pistachios sit in the hot water for 5 minutes.

Step 4: Drain Your Pistachios in Cold Water

Pour the pistachios into a colander and run cold water over them. The goal here is to stop them from cooking and also make them cool enough to touch.

Step 5: Lay Out the Towel and Add Boiled Pistachios

Lay your towel out on a clean surface and place a fair bit of the boiled pistachios into the center. The bigger the towel, the more pistachios you can shell at a time. I had to do mine in 2 batches.

Step 6: Fold Towel Over Pistachios and Rub Vigourously

Fold your towel over your pistachios so they are completely covered.

I did this in thirds, first by folding the top third over the middle (where my pistachios were) then I folded the bottom on top of that. This helped keep the shells from falling all over the table.

Now to remove the shells you can either:

1) rub vigorously. This is going to take a lot of elbow grease.

2) Use a rolling pin. This is my preferred method. Take a rolling pin and roll it over the towels. Apply a lot of pressure. You are not going to ruin the the pistachios if you use a little force.

Step 7: Pick Out Shelled Pistachios

When you unfold the towel, there should be a fair amount of broken shells with pistachio pieces everywhere. Pick them out and put them in a bowl. There will be some that didn't open for whatever reason. You can do these by hand, which is made easier by the boiling.

Discard shells. Repeat until all pistachios are shelled.

Step 8: Enjoy Your Pickings

Eat or use in a pistachio-laden recipe.

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