Hickory nut rains down during autumn in the united states, and there are different species of hickory trees; some are well known like walnuts and pecan.
Hickory trees grow widely in North America and some parts of Asia, and these trees can live for hundreds of years. The biggest barrier to exploring these healthy and superb nuts is the difficulty of cracking them open.
Learning to crack a hickory nut will allow you to enjoy the goodness of these, but in this article, we will provide a detailed guide on how to crack hickory nuts easily.
Are Hickory Nuts Safe To Eat?
Hickory nuts are edible and safe to eat. Although some species of these nuts taste better than others, nuts like walnut, mockernut, shagbark are tastier than bitternut and pignut, which tastes bitter.
Still, the myth is that some hickory nuts are poisonous is not true. All hickory nuts are edible, but they can cause laminitis in horses.
Hickory nuts contribute a lot to the human body and are considered healthy; they are a great source of vitamins, proteins, phosphorus, copper, riboflavin, calcium, vitamins, thiamine, magnesium, iron, and zinc. But moldy hickory nuts may cause stomach upset because it contains tremorgenic mycotoxins.
Are Hickory Nuts Valuable?
During autumn, you have your yard covered with hickory nuts, but can you gain anything from all of these nuts? Are they valuable?
Hickory contains a very high amount of calories; one pound of hickory contains about 193 calories. This feature makes them good for some dishes like porridge, pie, and syrups.
You can also sell hickory nuts if your yard is so full of them. You can sell one pound of hickory nuts for $5 to 10 dollars.
These nuts can be used for many things; they can be used to make hickory milk and oil, they can be used in pastries and food dishes like hickory cake, hickory cookies, and hickory pie also be used to roast meat and fish.
Why Are Hickory Nuts So Expensive?
Usually, one pound of hickory will cost $5 to $10, just like we mentioned before. But then, some hickory nuts cost $20 to $30 for one pound, and this happens during autumn when these nuts are abundant.
Nuts that are out of their shells are usually expensive than those still in their shells. This is because it is very difficult to get hickory nuts out of their shell, so shelled-out nuts cost more due to the time spent cracking them out of their shell.
Can You Harvest Green Hickory Nuts?
Yes, you can harvest green hickory nuts. The green outer surface of a hickory nut is called the husk. They are light green throughout their youthful stages of development.
Later on, the husk of a hickory nut becomes somewhat woody, and they start to fall off. Instead of harvesting green hickory nuts, you can wait until they are fully developed; at that stage, they fall on their waiting to be picked up.
What Is The Best Way To Get Hickory Nuts Out Of The Shell?
Shagbark hickory nuts are not tough and can easily be cracked with a regular nutcracker. However, shellbark hickory but is the toughest but to crack. It may require a heavy-duty nutcracker or a different strategy to crack open.
The best way to get to the juicy meat of a hickory nut is to hit the right spot on the hickory nut; this will get the job done easily.
How Do You Harvest And Prepare Hickory Nuts?
Although the timing of hickory nuts can differ from year to year, hickory trees usually flower during spring and ripen nuts are ready for harvesting during the fall.
Picking usually starts in late September. To harvest hickory nuts, first, you need to identify a hickory tree. They grow 60 feet to 120 feet tall, shed their leaves during autumn, and are 2 inches long.
Secondly, you need to know the different types of hickory nuts. This will come in handy when identifying bitter and easy nuts; bitter nuts are sometimes not worth the effort.
Pignuts are round and somewhat thin while most hickory must are round but plum, but other types of hickory nuts have special features that differentiate them from others; making in-depth research on them will give you more information.
Hickory nuts fall naturally during the fall, but you may need to shake the tree to get some of the nuts down. Some nuts fall off with their husks already loose at the base; this makes it easier to peel off, ideal hickory but has a woody brown color and a husk 2mm thick. Rummage leaves to reveal more nuts, pack them up, and store them in a basket or bag.
How Long Do Hickory Nuts Need To Dry?
You don’t enjoy the tastiness of a hickory nut when it is not fully dried. It takes 3 to 5 days for these nuts to dry, and while it may seem like a difficult task to identify a dry hickory nut, you can easily tell the difference with the right method.
To identify a dry hickory nut, shake it a few times. If you can hear the meat moving freely, then your nut is fully dried. If you don’t hear the meat moving inside the shell, you should allow it to dry more.
How To Crack Hickory Nuts Easily
Cracking tough hickory easily has to do with targeting the right spot. You may use a hammer to hit these nuts constantly, but it won’t crack, and in some cases, too much force may be used, resulting in the meat being crushed with the shell. Some hickory nuts like red hickory and shagbark hickory can be cracked easily with a walnut cracker.
The first step towards cracking a tough hickory nut is to cut off the husk.
This can easily be done with a knife, then on your selected surface, position the nut such that the stem points towards to left or right direction.
Use a hammer to strike the nut close to the stem end; you can use pliers to steady your nut when hit with a hammer.
After your hickory nuts have been harvested, check for any signs of weevils, and they should be stored inside a container in a dry, cool place. This helps your nuts to last for a long time.
Conclusion: How to Crack Hickory Nuts Easily
Hickory trees are nature’s gift to mankind, and the nuts from these trees are safe to eat; they also have a lot of uses and can live for a long time.
But the taste in these nuts differs, with about 18 different species of hickory trees; some nuts taste bitter while some taste sweet. Nuts from pecan, shagbark, and shell ark are considered the best nuts.
You can start picking up hickory nuts in late September or early October as they start to fall during that period. Learning to shell hickory nuts can be a saving benefit to those who buy already shelled nuts; this can help you save $20 to $25. With these pieces of information, you know some facts and uses of hickory nuts.
You May Also Like:
- How to Defrost Ribs Quickly
- What is a Pre-Basted Turkey?
- Is Kiln Dried Wood Safe to Burn?
- 6 Ways to Put a Fire Pit on a Wooden Deck
- 4 Best Fire bowls You Should Choose From
- What Does Mesquite Smoke Taste Like?
We trust this article helped you know How to Crack Hickory Nuts Easily. You may also want to check out: 3 Simple Ways to Thaw Frozen Ribs.
Thanks for taking the time to read our article, and we hope you find it helpful. Would you mind leaving a comment below if you have any suggestions?
Kindly reach out to people by sharing this post on social media.