Drying walnuts is a lengthy multi-day process involving hulling the nut, power-washing the hulled nuts and then setting them on drying screens in high-temperature conditions. Once they have dried, walnuts can be stored for up to 2 years if they are salt-brined and properly sealed in airless packaging or in sealed jars.
Walnuts can also be cracked and eaten. Their hulls and husks are very tough, so a hammer and chisel or vise grip is needed to break them and remove the nutmeat.
- Hull the nuts
- Wash the hulled nuts
- Dry the nuts
The first step is to hull the walnuts slated for drying. Hulls are dense and thick, so letting them soften for a day or so ahead of time is advisable. Nuts can then be hulled with a hammer or with a press or vise grip.
Once the requisite number of nuts has been hulled, they must be washed. This can be done with a high-powered hose or a power washer. Either works to blast away detritus and get the nuts ready for drying.
The final step is to lay the nuts, evenly spaced, on wire racks in a location with an ambient temperature of 95 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The nuts will dry in 3 to 4 days and will then be ready to store.