How to crack Brazil nuts in their shells

Cracking walnuts: Nice nut halves thanks to a few tricks

Level of difficulty: light

Whether fresh or dried - they taste best straight out of the shell. But how do you get them out of there without mud and as quickly as possible? For example for nut halves as decoration or large quantities for walnut butter or northern marzipan? Very simple: with a hammer and a few tricks!

Ingredients for about 100 g of seeds:

  • 200 g walnuts in the shell

Kitchen appliances:

  • Cutlery or bread knives
  • solid base (small, flat field stone or block of wood)
  • Wooden hammer, because it is nice and light - an ordinary hammer will do the same, but it needs more sensitivity


  • Preparation: 10 min.
  • Shelf life: 1 - 2 weeks


Take a close look at the walnut. All around is a seam that makes the nut look like it was made up of two nutshells.

If you break open a walnut at the seam with a knife, you will see that the core also consists of two halves. But the nut kernel halves are not parallel, but rotated 90 degrees to the seam.

To remove the core halves from the shell, lay the nut ready with the nut seam parallel to the base (stone or block of wood). Hold the nut very loosely between your fingers.

A brave blow on the upper half of the nut is enough and the shell breaks - usually irregularly.

Then the remaining nuts are cracked with the hammer.

You can now peel the kernels out of the shell quite easily.

With the help of a cutlery or bread knife, even stubborn kernels can be lifted out or the kernel halves separated cleanly.

The core halves not only look decorative on cakes, biscuits, desserts or pralines, they also taste great, because they ensure full-bodied nut enjoyment.

After 2 weeks at the latest, cracked nuts form enzyme inhibitors that make them difficult to digest. Then the nuts should be soaked for 8-10 hours before consumption, which makes them more digestible again.

Field stones - called 'bull eggs' in northern Germany - can be collected on freshly plowed fields, in gravel pits or on stony beaches on the Baltic Sea.