In every recipe I see for roasting peanuts/walnuts they tell you to put only a single layer of nuts on the plate that goes in the oven. How important this instruction really is?

If you have a large amount of nuts it's much more efficient to pile them all up on the plate and be done with it.

2 Answers 2


If you pile them up, the nuts on the outside will burn before the nuts in the middle are properly roast. It's as simple as that.

As with most things, spreading nuts out in a single layer before roasting means that they will all roast at the same rate and brown evenly.

  • thanks! I guess my intuition was that 3 layers of nuts should allow for a good-enough heat distribution. I'll do an experiment :)
    – Ofer
    Jul 7, 2017 at 9:00
  • You're more likely to have them go evenly in 1 layer than in multiple layers, but depending on your oven, you'll still need to stir them or rotate the pan. My oven, for example, has terrible hot spots which makes toasting things like coconut especially a nightmare.
    – Batman
    Jul 7, 2017 at 21:13

You can roast nuts in the oven in a thicker layer, however you'll need to open the door often to stir them around to make sure they roast evenly and it ends up being more work than roasting them in batches.

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