Add the nuts to a large dutch oven or stock-pot over high heat and cover with water by at least 2 inches.
Add the salt and stir to combine.
When the nuts come to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer covered for anywhere from 2-3 hours. (Small, immature just harvested nuts will cook faster than older, larger nuts. Around 2 1/2 hours seems to be the average cooking time. Low and slow is the name of this game, so don't hurry the process.)
Stir the nuts occasionally while they are cooking and add additional water as needed to keep them covered in the salty water.
Start tasting the nuts after about two hours. To taste, simply remove them from the pot, crack open the shell, and taste. Some folks like their nuts on the crisper side, others like me, like them a little softer, it's all up to you. The consistency should be similar to a cooked dry pea or field peas.
When the nuts are done, turn off the heat and allow them to sit in the brine for another few hours while they cool.
To serve, use a slotted spoon and remove the nuts from the brine. Serve them unshelled at room temperature and be sure to provide plates or small bowls for the shells.
Sharon's Expert Tips:If you have leftovers, store them unshelled, covered in the refrigerator, in their brine for up to ten days.To freeze, place them in quart-size freezer storage bags along with a little of their brine. They will keep in the freezer for at least 8-9 months. Thaw before serving.To make this recipe in a crock-pot, follow the directions above, but place them in a crock-pot or slow cooker instead of a pan on the stove. Cook on high for 5-7 hours or low for 8-10 hours.To make spicy Cajun boiled peanuts, follow the recipe above but add one-quarter of a cup of Creole or Cajun seasoning blend along with a teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the water along with the salt. Usually, fresh green peanuts are only available from August through October and then only close to where they were harvested. If you find raw nuts, unless they are specifically labeled as green, then most likely they have been dried so they won’t spoil.You can’t boil peanuts that have been roasted.These tasty legumes make an excellent substitute for chickpeas to make hummus.