View Full Version : Black Walnuts

09-12-2010, 03:47 PM
I have them, now what do I do with them? LOL. Whats the easiest way to remove the green hulls? And then, once I do, I just crack em with a hammer and pick the meats out? Also, I've tried to keep them uncracked before after getting the hulls off, and they got infested with little white worm thingys. So, start to finish, how do I handle these? Thanks for any help!


09-12-2010, 05:52 PM
We always throw the walnuts in the driveway and let the car break off the green outer shells. As they become free of green layer simply pick them up until you have them all. If you use a knife to remove the green outer layer your hands will become stained a dark brown and it will stay there for a LONG time! (ask me how I know this! :))

Then we always put them in a pillow case or a mesh bag and let them hang for a few months to dry out. Over or near a wood burning stove is a great place for this, but not necessary.

For cracking we use a cinderblock and a hammer. If you do have a wood burning stove save the shells and use them as fuel. They burn hot and last a long time.

09-12-2010, 07:56 PM
If the hulls are still green, fill a bucket with nuts and then water, let soak till they turn black. Makes a nice dark wood stain. Remove the nuts to the driveway as was said. After you have cracked the black walnut in half, I find a small pair of side-cutter pliers can free up the nut meats without too much more smashing.

09-12-2010, 08:13 PM
Thanks for all the replies!

How do you use the side cutters? Do you use them to cut the piece of hard shell in the middle to more easily remove the meat?

09-12-2010, 09:17 PM
It's easy to stomp on them in the drive, rolling your foot, and the husk will come right off. I then put them in an onion sack in the garage, and after drying i use a vise to crack them.


09-12-2010, 11:15 PM
It's easy to stomp on them in the drive, rolling your foot, and the husk will come right off. I then put them in an onion sack in the garage, and after drying i use a vise to crack them.


how high do you lift the vise in order to crack them on the first drop ?

09-12-2010, 11:26 PM
Not very high, IF the vise is heavy enough!


09-13-2010, 12:55 AM
Yes, use the cutters on the shell parts to get larger nut meat parts and less crumble.

Pokeberry Mary
09-13-2010, 08:12 AM
Is it vice or vise? You know the thingy in the basement attached to the work bench.

Also-- wear some rubber gloves. Black walnuts will turn your fingers black and they'll stay that way a LONG time.

The taste--I never was personally that fond of them--they don't taste like english walnuts, they are good in things like brownies that have a surrounding taste of their own.

Butternuts often grow in the same woodsy areas as black walnuts--if you find those on your land-- try to get some before the squirrels do. Very good!

09-13-2010, 01:01 PM
The driveway thing works, but be warned that the squirrels will rob them. Some years we put several buckets on the driveway just to pick up a small bucket full when they are ready...of course, sometimes the squirrels get ate too!

09-13-2010, 07:04 PM

Pete probably already knows this, but that dye you get from soaking the green hulls in water is a good trap dye...:wink:

09-13-2010, 10:07 PM
The best, and a good price.

09-14-2010, 01:18 PM
As Pokeberry Mary says - not fond of the taste. Gave them to our neighbor (the ones the squirrels did not get first) and he ran over them in the drive. I did save two and put in a bag and froze in case I needed it for medicinal purposes.

09-15-2010, 01:36 PM
Oh yeah, I knew that Wayne, lol, it's what I've dyed my traps in since I was knee high to a grasshopper. The husks will certainly be being used for that!

09-24-2010, 05:33 PM
FIL long time ago told me you could put them in a toe sack and tie it off in a slow moving creek to kill fish downstream. Said the fish were still edible. Never really knew whether he was pulling my leg or not and didn't try it. Your post reminded me of his story so I went and looked...

09-25-2010, 02:30 PM
I read that if you put them in the freezer after they are hulled, they are easier to crack. Have not tried it. It is just too work intensive for me. When we still had the kids home, we had several banana boxes full and the kids hammered them open as they felt like it, and they did get them all done and eaten.

10-06-2010, 11:17 PM
I have not had them since we move from ga, where can you purchase them from

10-14-2010, 03:29 PM
I usually put on rubber gloves then step on the green hull and kind of roll it around. Then you can remove the hull easily. Spread them in a sheltered place to cure and dry out. After a couple of weeks they should be ready to crack. This year I plan to can them in 1/2 pint jars according to Jackie Clay's recommendations.

10-15-2010, 12:49 PM
I ended up putting them in a gunny sack, tying it shut, and putting the sack of them on the dirt road out front here. Then I just kept running over them in my truck about 20 times or so and they were a breeze to de-hull. Now have them inside drying in the shell.

10-02-2014, 03:53 PM
http://www.durgan.org/URL/?EVDMA 12 October 2011 Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)

About 3000 Black Walnut(Juglans nigra)were picked from three trees along country roads. Few people utilize these wonderful tasting, nutritious nuts due to the effort in processing. There are many black walnut trees in my area. There is 500 to a 1000 nuts on each tree depending upon the age of the tree. The nuts fall off the tree when ripe. It is simple matter of picking them off he ground. It takes several weeks before they start to deteriorate.

Removing the hull is almost effortless with one smack from a rubber hammer on a block of wood. The nuts are then power washed to remove any remnants of the hulls.The liquid has a chemical called juglone, which stains and immediately kills earthworms and inhibits the growth of many plants, and should not be disposed of in the garden area. I put all liquid down the storm sewer.

Cracking fresh un-dried nuts is almost impossible using typical means. Hand compression tools take too much strength and simply crush the meat, when and if the nut breaks. Un-dried nuts are very tasty and the effort to crack is probably worthwhile.

My method is to utilize two pulleys with a heavy hammer, to limit bouncing, which is relatively successful. However this method works very well with nuts that have been dried in the Sun for about 4 days. I have in the past extracted whole segments. The nut is the most difficult one can encounter.

The meat is held in place with an internal structure in four quadrants around the nut. Seldom is the meat extracted whole. There is some babble on the internet about using a vice, but it is a failure along with being almost impracticable. Squirrels do not crack the nut. They gnaw each quadrant and dig out the meat, and leave the nut essentially intact.

The meat is wholesome, very pleasant tasting, and about 20 make an adequate meal. I consider the processing to be worthwhile.

10-02-2014, 04:51 PM
I have black walnut trees. I've tried a vice. I've read where you can run over them but haven't tried that.
I've also read where they can be tapped like a maple tree, but haven't tried that either.
I'm not very mechanical and so am having trouble visualizing the pully and hammer. I think I'll share it with my hubby and see if he can show me.
I did have my son take apart a vacuum cleaner. The motor still works. Could a pully or something be hooked to that somehow to crack them?
Or maybe to spin something to tumble the hulls off?

10-06-2014, 09:23 PM
http://www.durgan.org/URL/?LBIMJ 6 October 2014 How Squirrels remove meat from Black Walnuts, (Juglans nigra)
The Black Walnut,Juglans nigra, is a native to NA and is most difficult to crack the nut due to its strong internal structure. Even the squirrels have difficulty with this nut in removing the meat. Here are some pictures of the method used by the squirrels. This nut is not sold commercially and there are several other types called the black walnut, which are much easier to crack. If the nut is basically impossible to remove the meat it will be a Juglans nigra.

04-18-2015, 09:24 PM
An old thread, but it interested me.

We have some black walnut trees on our property, but have never really picked the nuts. This past fall I picked up a couple of five gallon buckets, and cracked them on the receiver hitch on my truck. A two inch square of solid steel for the nut to rest on and used a 12 oz brass hammer. The nuts cracked very nicely, but out of the two buckets we only got enough good nut meats for two sets of brownies.

Black walnuts are stronger than English walnuts, but they are still a nice addition to some baked goods.

I do intend to fertilize the trees this spring and see how that affects the nut production and nut meats this fall. Hopefully fertilizing the trees will produce a marked improvement in both.