Toasting any kind of nut enhances its flavor, makes it crunchier and helps extract oils from the nut to bring a dynamic taste to any dish. Whether you are a home cook, a culinary student or even taking an online pastry course, it is essential to know how to toast nuts properly.
Some tips to keep in mind for properly toasting nuts include:
1. It is better to toast nuts dry than with added oils or water. The toasting process will extract the natural oils from the nuts that provide a great flavor and prevents the nuts from burning.
2. If you decide to toast your nuts on the stove, make sure to watch them the entire time. Even the slightest variation in heat could cause the nuts to burn. Toasting nuts in the oven provides more leeway.
3. It is okay to toast nuts in advance; however, make sure to place them in the freezer if you are planning to store them for more than a week. The oils that are extracted from the nuts go rancid very easily.
4. If a recipe calls for chopped nuts, make sure to chop them after they have been toasted. Chopped nuts burn very easily and once toasted, nuts are actually much cleaner and easier to chop.
There are three different methods for toasting nuts: microwave toasting, oven toasting and stove toasting. Here are instructions for each of the three methods:
If you are in a rush, the microwave is a great alternative to toasting nuts on the stove or in the oven. Simply spread the nuts evenly onto a microwave plate and cook them on full power at one minute intervals until the nuts are crispy.
To toast nuts on the stove, heat a large frying pan to medium heat. Spread the nuts evenly onto the pan and toss with a spatula until they give off a toasty fragrance and turn slightly brown. Remove the nuts from both the pan and the heat once they are finished, as they could burn if left in the hot pan.
Using the oven will give you toasty, crispy nuts and makes it easier to multitask while they are cooking. Simply spread the nuts evenly onto a baking sheet and place them into an oven heated to 350 degrees. Each nut will be different, but cook time should be between seven minutes for almonds and 25 minutes for peanuts.