I recently acquired about a pound of raw pine nuts. They were collected and are smaller on average than the pine nuts I can buy.

They are a pain to shell. The shells don't come away easily and since they are small there is a lot of work to do for a small reward.

What is the best way to shell these? Should I roast them in their shells first?

2 Answers 2


This is how you can do it:

  1. Place your nuts into a super-strong plastic food storage bag and close it securely after squeezing out all air from the inside.
  2. Put the bag flat on a hard surface like kitchen counter. Starting from the bottom of the bag, roll a rolling pin over the bag upwards and back.
  3. Repeat untill the shells crack.
  4. Take out the nuts and remove any remaining shells.
  • With the nuts raw or roasted? Sep 21, 2018 at 15:01
  • 1
    Preferably raw - but you can try and dry roast in a pan stirring frequently to avoid burning if you find the raw ones hard to crack.
    – Ess Kay
    Sep 21, 2018 at 15:05

Just saw this a year later. I had the same problem about 15 years ago, before the computer had tons of ways to do things. So this is what I learned from someone back in Colorado.

First option: Put the nuts in some thick cotton or wool socks with rocks in them. Tie off the end. Put in the dryer on no heat. Tumble. Take out. Pour out nuts. Most of the shells will have stuck to the sock. Clean sock.

Second option: Place nuts on a small towel. Fold over. Use rolling pin. Again nuts will be mostly free as shells will stick to towel. They are so much less expensive if you buy with the shell on, but you have to know the easiest way to de-shell.

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