How to Open Macadamia Nuts

Yesterday we were on a picnic, and a Macadamia tree was nearby, with loads of the Macadamia Nuts on the ground under the tree.

We collected a few, and learned that these nuts must have one of the hardest shells of all nuts.  Similar to Brazil nuts, my experience of cracking them was to end up with a broken nut as well as a broken shell.

There are a number of shelling options being given out, including a special Macadamia nut shelling device that uses a twist screw device to crack the nut.

Macadamia Nutcracker
Macadamia Nutcracker

You place the nut in the recess at the bottom of the device and twist the handle down. This does crack the shell, but in my attempts it also cracked the nut much more often than not. With more experience I do believe that better results will come.

But, I want an easier method.

I did find a US patent for a machine that does them commercially, but also realised that even those do not always produce a whole nut, hence the price for shelled nuts is much higher than one may expect, due to the wastage of broken nuts.

Other hints that I have heard are:

Freeze the nuts first…
Boil the nuts first…
Roast the nuts first…

Maybe I will try these out in the next few days/weeks, and see if they really do work.

I did also find one made by, or for, T.J.’s Nutcrackers. This one appears to cost about $80 (Australian Dollars).  They have many resellers, and maybe I will call in to one of them, when passing, and ask if I can give it a try.

It looks impressive, good enough to keep on the coffee table.

Macadamia Nutcracker
Macadamia Nutcracker

I did just try to open one nut using Lock Grip Pliers (Molegrips), but the nut was then eaten in about 5 pieces.  Not a really good option, but then, with practice it may get better.  I need to go and get some more Macadamia Nuts.

Lock Grip Pliers Molegrips
Lock Grip Pliers

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After much practice, using those Lock Grip Pliers,I succeeded in opening about 20 Macadamia Nuts, and all in one piece 🙂

The trick is to put the nut in the centre of the grip.
Tighten the screw till it goes no further.
Undo the pliers.
Turn the screw about a quarter of a turn, then close the grip again.
Keep doing that until the shell cracks.
By being patient and only turning a quarter turn at a time, when the shell does crack, the nut itself isn’t cracked.

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