How To Crack A Brazil Nut In 4 Easy-Peasy Methods

Brazil nut is one of the toughest nuts to crack. That’s why most people would rather buy processed Brazil nuts.

The nuts are highly nutritious and delicious, so staying away from them because of their toughness is not easy.

So, if you got whole Brazil nuts as a gift, how do you crack them open? While cracking the nuts looks like a whole lot of work, with some tricks, you’ll pull it off easily. Let’s see how you can crack Brazil nuts without breaking a sweat.

What is a Brazil nut?

Brazil nuts are tree nuts native to Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia. These nuts are edible and known for their high selenium content.

Besides selenium, these nuts are chock full of nutrients and energy dense. A 28g serving contains about 186 calories.

Brazil nuts are either eaten raw or blanched. In addition, they are one of the most commercially traded nuts in the world.

How to crack a Brazil nut

1. Using the freezing method

Freezing Brazil nuts the day before you need them can help make cracking them easy. When the shells become frozen, they become weaker and are easy to crack.

  • Gather the nuts into a freezer bag
  • Then, squeeze out as much air as you can before you seal the bag and freeze
  • When the nuts are frozen, bring them out
  • One nut at a time, crack the nuts with a nutcracker or hammer
  • Afterward, use a nut pick to bring out the kernel from the cracked nut

2. Using the boiling method

Boiling the nuts for a few minutes can help soften the shells and make it easier to crack them. When the nuts are soft, it’s easier to crack them open with a nutcracker or hammer.

  • Place the nuts in a pot
  • Fill the pot with water so that it covers the nuts
  • Then, boil the nuts for three to five minutes
  • Drain off the hot water and cool the nuts in a bowl of ice or cold water
  • When they are cold enough to touch, take one nut at a time and crack
  • Pick out the kernels and serve

3. Using the soaking method

Soaking the nuts will also help to soften their shells and make it easy to crack them. With their method, you can either use a nutcracker or a hammer to crack open to Brazil nut.

  • Soak Brazil nuts overnight or for at least three hours until they are soft enough
  • While the nuts soak, prepare a tabletop with a towel and get your tools ready
  • When the nuts are soft enough, drain off the water with a strainer and bring out the nuts
  • Crack them open with a nutcracker or hammer
  • Then, pick out the nuts and serve

4. Using the oven method

The heat from the oven will make the shells of Brazil nuts weak and soft. Cracking them open will be a lot easier.

  • Line a baking sheet or tray with parchment paper and arrange the nuts on the tray
  • Bake the nuts for 15 minutes at 350°F
  • When they are done baking, take the tray out of the oven and leave the nuts to cool
  • When they are cold enough to touch, crack the nuts open
  • The shells of baked Brazil nuts will be quite brittle and easy to crack. Moreover, it’s easier to get whole kernels through this method

Tools for cracking Brazil nuts

1. Nutcrackers

Spring-loaded nutcrackers and screw motion nutcrackers are types of nutcrackers that can effectively crack open a Brazil nut. Although this method is most effective, you’ll need some elbow grease to crack the nuts.

You have to grip the nutcracker well but with minimal force to avoid crushing the kernel. You can get a spring-loaded nut from stores like Walmart that sells household essentials.

2. Hammer

A hammer is easy to handle, but this tool may leave with crushed nuts. If you have the patience to pick out the nuts from the shell carefully, you can use this method to crack Brazil nuts.

To crack a Brazil nut with a hammer, place the soaked or frozen nut on a covered tabletop and strike it with the hammer. You can gently tap the nut continuously to get whole kernels out of the shell.

Most importantly, a small and handy hammer is the best for this. You can get one from furniture, building materials, or department stores.


Can you eat raw Brazil nuts?

Yes, you can. Brazil nuts can be eaten directly from the tree, or you may prepare them by blanching or roasting them.

Should you soak Brazil nuts before eating them?

Yes, you should. Soaking Brazil nuts before eating them makes them more digestible. These nuts contain a compound called phytic acid, which is not easily digestible.

While the nuts are soaking, the acid is neutralized and the nuts produce better enzymes and the amounts of vitamins increases.

How long should you soak brazil nuts?

Soak Brazil nuts for eight to twelve hours or overnight.

Should you soak Brazil nuts in hot or cold water?

Soak Brazil nuts in lukewarm water to activate them. Add about a tablespoon spoon of salt to the water and soak overnight.


Nuts are delicious. You can snack on them or use them in desserts. But nuts such as Brazil nuts could be discouraging, especially when you have to crack them open. But this doesn’t always have to be the case.

With any of the methods and the right tools listed in the article, you can easily crack a Brazil nut open. Ensure you handle the tools carefully so you don’t miss the nut and hurt your fingers.

I hope you found this article resourceful.

Thanks for reading.

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