Choosing a Black Walnut Nutcracker

A special black walnut nutcracker is needed when cracking walnuts to separate the meat from the shell, check out the manufacturers' nutcracker guide available to buy or even build your own.

| November/December 1986

When you're dealing with black walnuts, you need a special tool to separate the meat from the chaff.

Choosing a Black Walnut Nutcracker

When it comes to black walnuts, getting to the meat of the matter is easier said than done. Even veterans of autumn's first-frost foraging campaigns occasionally surrender to the sheer toughness of the walnut's wrinkled shell, after having gone to the considerable trouble of husking and cleaning the harvest.

But true walnut lovers will find a way. Some even resort to crushing the shells in a vise or pulverizing them with a sledgehammer. Of course, such direct methods often demolish both the shell and the meat.

So, in time for the nut-happy holiday cooking season, we've located and tested a half-dozen tough-nut crackers, including two you can make yourself — one based on the steel model sold by Kenneth Hyatt, and the other developed by contributor Bob La Torre. Properly used, all six devices will split stubborn shells, though some do better than others. But before you get cracking, heed this word of warning: Nuts can fracture with a force that sends fragments flying. So please, wear safety glasses.

La Torre Nutcracker

Contributor: Bob La Torre, Arlington, Washington
Cost: Your time. Build your own nutcracker.

This is a homemade model designed by a cost-conscious MOTHER reader. He built it for the awesome task of cracking 50 pounds of walnuts, then passed the idea on for publication. The diagram on page 56 of MOTHER EARTH NEWS NO. 102 shows how Bob put his project together, using pieces of knot-free fir 2 by 4. If you're a black-walnut fan, we'd suggest using hardwood — cut to the same approximate dimensions — and fastening the back to the base with No. 12 screws and glue. Note that the door hinge is bolted to the upright, and a fourth bolt's been added. When trimming the handle, be sure to cut a slight bevel in its hinge end to allow it full downward movement. If you discover that the bored cups are becoming too indented, try slipping a 3/8 inch flat washer into each one.

8/17/2016 4:30:58 PM

if someone still needs a good black walnut cracker machine, please check this link: There is many kind of nut cracker machines and black walnut cracker machines. The price is %50 lower than u.s.a. sellers.

8/4/2016 10:23:51 AM

8/4/2016 10:23:00 AM

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