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I have gotten into the habit of buying raw or blanched or otherwise unroasted nuts from the local co-op in bulk and then oven-roasting or skillet-toasting on the fly for recipes. For most types of nuts it is either cost-saving or provides a tastier ingredient.

In the course of doing this I have picked up a nasty habit of digging into my baking stash and oven-roasting nuts for ~ten minutes at about 400'F (typically in a dash of extra oil, salt, red pepper, paprika, garlic, etc) for a quick snack. So far walnuts and pecans have yielded tremendous results.

Today I tried some raw almonds (whole, roasted) and was less than impressed. Typically, and especially with walnuts, they produce more oil and develop a lighter texture and the flavor becomes more pronounced. The almond meats remained pretty much the same in texture and flavor profile, and only picked up the oil that I had tossed them in.

I assume the lower change was due in no small part to the fact that they were previously roasted, however other nuts that had been previously roasted still had a flavor and texture change.

  • Yet I am left wondering if there is perhaps a lower rate of return in making the effort to roast certain types of nuts. Is this the case?
    • For instance, will oilier nuts (i.e. brazils) produce better results when (re-)roasted?
  • Also, is it possible that I may have selected poorly in terms of the nuts chosen.
    • For instance, would slivered have worked out better?
  • Is it possible that pan-toasting versus oven-roasting would yield better results in certain scenarios?
  • Is there a better temperature to be roasting at? I have tried 375'F-425'F and, with a watchful eye, had good results regardless of the spot in that range.
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I lack enough nut-specific information to give an answer, but my intuition says that between different types of nuts, there may be different ideal roasting temperatures. A couple of tricks I learned from baking: 1. use an oven thermometer (not your oven's built in thermostat) for better accuracy. 2. Allow the oven to remain at the set temperature after it's stopped heating for 5-10 min. The walls can take some time to heat up and can lead to inconsistent temperature ranges. 3. Something with large mass (i.e. pizza stone) can alter the cooking properties to use more radiation –  Eric Hu Jan 22 '12 at 3:01

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

For raw, harder, and bulkier nuts like Almonds try a slightly lower temperature, say 180°C (350°F), and for a longer time

For re-roasting previously roasted nuts use a microwave oven (I know...). Same recipe, but just a few minutes on high. Watch them the first few times until you find the magic time limit before they start to burn

Commercially more and more people are using continuous microwave roasting machines, so using the microwave at home is so bad...

Personally, I like nuts aged in their shells before roasting

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