What Nuts Do Nutcrackers Crack? [The Complete List]

Walnut being cracked using a nutcracker

Nutcrackers, both decorative and practical, are a common sight during holiday seasons and in kitchens around the world. But have you ever wondered what kinds of nuts these tools are designed to break apart?

Nutcrackers can crack a variety of hard-shelled nuts. From walnuts to hazelnuts and almonds to pecans – nutcrackers can crack even the most stubborn shells. However, black walnuts and macadamias are very difficult to crack with a nutcracker.

Moreover, some nuts, like cashews or peanuts, don’t need a nutcracker at all. Their softer shells are easily broken with just your hands. So remember, the type of nut determines the kind of cracker needed.

What Nuts Can Nutcrackers Crack?

English Walnuts are an excellent choice for your nutcracker. They’ve got a shell that’s easy to crack open using a nutcracker. You can enjoy that rich, buttery flavor in no time.

Next up are Almonds. While their shells might be hard, don’t fret! With a good quality nutcracker and some leverage, you’ll have those tasty almond kernels ready to munch on.

Third in line are the Brazil Nuts. Now these nuts have a tough outer shell, but it’s no match for a nutcracker. Just apply some pressure and pop! You’re all set with delicious Brazil nuts.

Moving on to Hazelnuts, also known as filberts. These small but mighty nuts come encased in a fairly hard shell that can be cracked by standard nutcrackers.

Last but not least, we have Pecans. Their shells can be tricky because they don’t break apart easily. So some effort is needed to crack them open using a nutcracker.

Here’s the list again:

  • English Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pecans

This isn’t an exhaustive list. Other types of nuts, like cashews or pistachios, may resist the squeeze of an average nutcracker due to their unique shapes and hard shells. So it’s vital to choose the right tool for the job!

What Nuts Nutcrackers Can’t Crack?

First up on the list are Macadamia nuts. Known for their hard exterior, they’re renowned as the toughest of all nuts to crack. Your average nutcracker stands no chance against these tough nuts.

Then we have Black Walnuts. Their shells aren’t just robust but also irregularly shaped, making them a formidable opponent for any standard nutcracker.

Lastly, don’t overlook those humble Acorns. You might’ve thought they’d be easy targets due to their small size. Yet their strong shell can resist even the most tenacious nutcrackers.

Let’s lay it out in a handy table:

Macadamia NutsHard
Black WalnutsHard

Are There Specific Nutcrackers for Specific Nuts?

Various nuts in a basket

You’ll find general-purpose nutcrackers in almost any home around the holidays. These handy tools are designed to tackle a variety of nuts, from walnuts to almonds and beyond.

They’re typically made from durable materials like steel or heavy-duty plastic and feature two levers that apply pressure to crack the shell.

But what about nut-specific crackers? Do they exist? You bet they do! Let’s take a closer look.

Pecan Crackers

Pecans, with their tough shells but delicate insides, can be tricky to crack without smashing the tasty nut meat inside.

That’s where pecan crackers come in handy. These specialized tools often have adjustable settings allowing you to control how much force is applied – ensuring your precious pecans remain intact.

Walnut Crackers

Ever tried cracking a walnut with a general-purpose cracker only to end up with a handful of shattered pieces? It’s frustrating!

Luckily, there are specific walnut crackers out there designed with this problem in mind. They use precise pressure points that focus on cracking the shell without destroying the nut inside.

Almond Crackers

Almonds might be small, but their hard shells can pose a challenge even for seasoned nut lovers.

Specialized almond crackers come equipped with smaller slots perfect for securing tiny almonds while still delivering enough power to break through those stubborn shells.

So yes, there are specific nutcrackers made for particular nuts. Whether it’s worth investing in one depends on how much you value keeping your nuts intact after cracking them open.

How Can You Crack Nuts Without A Nutcracker?

If you’re out of nutcrackers, don’t worry! Your kitchen holds a treasure trove of tools that can help you crack those hard shells. Here are some practical alternatives:

  • Hammer: It’s not just for nails! Tough nuts like macadamia and black walnuts meet their match with a good old hammer.
  • Rolling pin: Got hazelnuts to crack? Give them a firm whack with a rolling pin.
  • Chef’s Knife: Almonds, pili nuts, and English walnuts can be opened by giving them a hefty tap on the side using the broad part of Chef’s knife.
  • Garlic press: Believe it or not, garlic presses make excellent nutcrackers for nuts like hazelnuts and pine nuts.
HammerMacadamia Nuts, Black Walnuts
Rolling PinHazelnuts
Chef’s KnifeAlmonds, Pili Nuts, English Walnuts
Garlic PressHazelnut, Pine Nuts

Pressing a pair of English walnuts together is another trick up many chefs’ sleeves to crack them open. This move works well for pecans and almonds too but falls short when dealing with Brazil nuts.

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