I bought roasted peanuts from the market and they have too much salt in them.

How should I reduce the salt in those peanuts as much as I can?

My intent is to make peanut butter.


12 Answers 12


You really can't un-ring that bell...you can, however, dilute the "extra salty" peanuts with other, unsalted, peanuts until the you get the desired saltiness in your peanut butter.

  • Putting them in water for a long time won't unsalt them? Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 12:18
  • 2
    Yes, but the peanuts would then be saturated with water and would be less desirable (IMHO). I don't believe the overall effect would be a benefit... However, you may wish to try it. Here is a recipe for Soaked - Then - Roasted Peanuts..
    – Cos Callis
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 12:29
  • @TheIndependentAquarius, if you're not going to cook the peanuts after soaking you'll accelerate spoilage and wash away some of those lovely roasted flavors. Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 16:22
  • 1
    Yes, but if you're putting them in water anyways, why would you buy roasted peanuts in the first place...?
    – xuq01
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 18:59

Depending on how much salt is on them, and how it's been applied, you might be able to knock some of it off, and effectively decant it:

  • Place the peanuts into a hard-sided container at least twice the volume of the peanuts that you can seal tightly.
  • Shake the peanuts. A lot. Not too hard, though, as the goal is to knock some of the salt off, not to smash the peanuts up.
  • Finish by shaking the peanuts side to side, or placing it on something that vibrates (like a washing machine)
  • Open the container, and scoop the peanuts out, being careful to leave the excess salt at the bottom.

You save yourself some effort, you might be able to do the whole work on top of your washing machine, or leave the container in the trunk of your car for a few trips. The larger the salt crystals, the easier this will be to remove. If it was applied as a wet spray or while the oils were on the surface of the peanuts, it's going to bind more to the peanuts, and be more difficult to remove.

Although the diluting trick will work, you can also use the peanuts in a recipe that would have otherwise called for salt and leave out the additional salt. You could also crush them up and use them as a topping for something that could use a little extra salt. (ice cream, Pad Thai, etc.)

  • 1
    Do this. Do not let your peanuts touch water or you'll be disappointed when your peanut butter spoils really fast. Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 16:23
  • 1
    Even better would be to come put the peanuts in a sieve or colander resting inside another container, with a lid over the whole thing. Then shake, keeping upright.
    – Chris H
    Commented May 10, 2021 at 15:41

I have rinsed salted nuts well in water to remove the excessive salt and then dried in the oven. Since salted nuts are already roasted, they don't "roast again" very well at all (or in general behave like raw peanuts when cooked) but you can certainly rinse to remove excess salt and dry at low temperatures.

If you want to just eat them immediately you can just eat them damp, but to preserve the quality or to use for something like peanut butter, they need to be dried again.

Getting them unsalted in the first place is more desirable, but not always feasible due to oddities of pricing (where unsalted nuts may cost 2-3 times as much as the same things with salt.)

  • 4
    +1 Since salt is water-soluble and not fat-soluble, it is only on the surface of the nuts and easily rinsed off with water.
    – Hugh Allen
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 15:33
  • 1
    @HughAllen, if fat solubility effected salt's mobility in food as you say, brines would not work. And soaking would wash away some of the maillard compounds that are water soluble as well as potentially start a fermentation process. Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 16:21
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    @Ecnerwal, if you can't instantly dry them then some water will soak in. Especially since they are unnaturally dry in their roasted state. So, if you get them wet they will soak in water (and bacteria, fungal spores, etc.) until and unless you dry them again. Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 17:50
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    @Ecnerwal, I didn't say that it wouldn't work just that it's a very bad idea for this question. This question is not about immediate consumption it's about making peanut butter which should be shelf stable at room temp. That's why peanut butter is made from roasted nuts. Washing the nuts negates that benefit so you'd have to store the peanut butter in the refrigerator. Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 18:15
  • @jbarker2160 The answer did already say to dry them. I've edited to make that even clearer; I'm not entirely sure I see the issue you were trying to point out, or why you seem to be saying washing is a bad idea no matter what. If you want to try to explain further, go for it, just keep it civil.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Apr 18, 2015 at 2:54

Remove all surface salt by quickly rinsing them and thoroughly drying them as fast as possible.


Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, then add the peanuts and a small potato and simmer for half an hour. The salt will travel from the surface of the peanuts into the potato, which you can then discard. Since the peanuts are for peanut butter, boiling them shouldn't affect the final taste, though you can try a lower temperature if you're concerned, or if you want to preserve crunchiness.

I used to use this method when boiling super-salty gammon steaks. In this case, it should actually be more effective, since the salt is only on the surface of the peanuts, rather than begin suffused through them.

  • 1
    My granny used to to the exact same thing! ;-)
    – Fabby
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 22:48

For eating in general,

  1. I took around 400grams of salted mixed nuts, followed Ecnerwal's and Charles Moore's Idea (thank you), rinsed it a couple of times,
  2. Preheat conventional oven at 350F,
  3. I used an aluminum foil sheet, and spread these nuts on them,
  4. Leave them for 3 mins, turned most of them with a couple of swipes with the hand,
  5. Leave them again for 3 mins and turn off the oven,
  6. Let it cool for 3-5 mins and take them to a plate and let it cool again, before you move them into an airtight container.

I prefer to do this few at a time, than the whole 2.5lb container. Here are some pics. https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bzj_F7fR53q6NnlfanpmUloyWlE


You could put them in an industrial sifter and use that to knock the salt off and separate the peanuts from the salt in one step, but that's probably overkill unless you have a lot of nuts. Instead knock the salt off first, either with the shaking method that Joe mentioned or by placing the nuts between two sheets of clean fabric or clean, food safe paper and rolling and gently scrubbing them. Then do the sifting step using a normal kitchen sifter/strainer.


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Put similar types of these two bowls together and shake them vigorously above a sink or any receiver and after few minutes most of the salt will be removed


I found that a nylon mesh strainer isn't abrasive enough, hardly removed any salt. A metal one works very well so it's my "go to" tool. Not all the salt is removed but enough to make them edible and not overly challenging to my autoimmune situation until the too salty nuts are gone (too expensive to throw away) after which I won't buy salted nuts anymore. Also, I'd de-salted probably 2 pounds at a time, and will also try re-sieving smaller handfuls when I actually go to use them in a dish. And cashews are harder to desalt as thoroughly because of their inner curve, but are still greatly improved. Thanks for raising and addressing the problem.

  • Welcome to SA, Carla! Note that you're posting an answer on a question that is 7 years old and already has an accepted answer. Also, SA is a question-and-answer site, not a discussion site, so any answers you give in the future should address the original question, rather than addressing other answers. Welcome to the crew!
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Jul 22, 2022 at 16:51

Wash, shake off excess water, put in baking pan, place in oven for 7 minutes at 350 degree, remove and let them set until cooled rebag and eat.

Now I want to know how much salt is retained in the nuts?


For roasted corn that is too salty, I find that the shaking method does remove lots of salt, but a quick rinse in water is best, and they don't soal up to much water if its quick. Wrapping in a cloth and shaking, then leaving to dry by a window, should be enough.


Use a large fine mesh strainer. Put a pot lid over it and shake back and forth/up and down until enough salt is removed. Works perfectly.

  • 4
    Isn't this the same method that was described in a previous answer?
    – Sneftel
    Commented Jul 13, 2021 at 14:20

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