The most common way to cook raw peanuts is to roast them in an oven. Peanuts can also be boiled, which is a popular method of cooking them in the Southern United States.
To roast peanuts, simply place them on a baking sheet, and then put them in an oven heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes. After removing the peanuts from the oven, leave them out to cool, and then salt or season them to taste. To make boiled peanuts, soak them in a pot of water for a minimum of eight hours, using 2 1/2 quarts of water per pound of peanuts. While bringing the water to a boil, add salt or seasoning to taste. Reduce the heat, and then allow the peanuts to cook for six hours.
Although peanuts are often referred to as nuts, they are actually legumes, which makes them members of the bean family. According to the National Peanut Board, the average American consumes more than 6 pounds of peanuts, including peanut butter products, each year. Two-thirds of all nut consumption in the United States is attributable to peanuts. It takes more than 500 peanuts to produce one 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.