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Walnuts crack in half without damaging them

  • Crack walnuts
    • preparation
  • Tool
    • Pliers - Instructions
    • Hammer - Instructions
    • Knife - Instructions

Walnuts are a classic at Christmas and are enjoyed over the whole year. Many people taste the nuts, but cracking them is not always that easy. No matter if you want to crack walnuts, to snack them directly or to use them for the preparation of desserts, it depends on the correct preparation and procedure.

Crack walnuts

Walnut is a popular fruit that is no longer consumed only at Christmas. More and more people use walnuts almost every day to refine salads, roast them or make their own oil. Important for all these uses is the opening of the shell, consisting of two halves. Cracking walnuts is not easy and is made more difficult if you do not know what tools and methods are used. The crackling of walnuts is not that difficult and can even be made with household items. If you do not want to damage the nuts when cracking, you will find effective methods for easy opening here.

Cup with fresh walnuts


Cracking fresh walnuts without preparation is not really recommended. The shell is too hard, because the two halves are strongly connected to each other and thus a high force is necessary to crack them. If the walnut is not properly prepared for opening, the shell usually breaks in such a way that the nut inside is also damaged. You definitely want to avoid that. That's why there are two ways to make your walnuts easier to crack before cracking

Open walnuts with different tools

1. soaking

The soaking is an ideal solution to get the two halves of the walnut shell apart without damaging the nut. As the bowl soaks with water during soaking, it softens . Above all, the seam of the nut is affected by which you later get to the inside.

Soak walnuts

When soaking, proceed as follows:

  • prepare a bowl of water
  • put the nuts in the water
  • Soak for about 12 hours
  • out of the water
  • dry
Soak walnuts in water

Now the nuts are ready to be cracked. You will already notice after the water bath that the shell is much softer and does not have to use so much force.

Dry walnuts

You do not have to worry. The water does not penetrate into the interior of the shell over a period of 12 hours and thus mold does not form. Thus, you can easily use the cores after cracking.

Break walnuts after brewing

2. Freezing

If you decide to freeze the nuts, make sure that the shell becomes brittle. This, for example, makes it easier to open with a hammer or other tools without damaging the core. You should freeze the nuts if you need them fast, for example within the next one to two hours.

Freeze walnuts

Proceed as follows:

  • Put the nuts in a freezer bag
  • close this
  • put in the freezer
  • freeze there for one to two hours
  • then take out and open immediately
Put walnuts in the freezer

After freezing, speed is needed, because the cooler the nuts stay, the easier it is to crack the walnuts. However, in most cases, the time in the freezer is quite sufficient for the shell to become brittle.

Remove walnuts from freezer

Further preparation options are not necessary. Of course, as soon as you have harvested the walnuts, you can of course wash them off in order to remove any dirt that could get inside when opened. In addition, you can tell if a walnut is no longer good. Bad walnuts are not really pleasant anymore.

Crack walnuts after freezing


Cracking walnuts is especially easy if you have the right tool at hand. The most traditional and at the same time most romantic "tools" are nutcrackers who not only make a good figure in ballet or as a Christmas decoration. The walnut is simply placed between the teeth of the nutcracker and with the help of a lever they crack the nut. As a final product, hold the undamaged nuts in your hands. But not everyone has a nutcracker at home, which would make the job much easier. For this reason, you will find here various tools, which offers itself for opening the shells.

different tools
  • Biting or pincers
  • hammer
  • small knife with strong blade or flat screwdriver or metal nail file with point

If you decide to use the knife, be sure to choose a blade that will not bend. In addition, it should not be too long, lie well in the hand and not slip easily. In addition to the tools you should also have a tea towel on hand. This prevents the flying around of the shells, especially when using pliers and hammers . Once you have decided on one of the tools, you can use the instructions below to crack your walnuts.

cracked walnuts

Tip: It is also possible to open walnuts without tools and to get the two halves of the core. To do this, hold two walnuts in one hand at a time, put the seams together and squeeze hard to open the other nut by the hardness of the shell, but this requires some practice (and gloves for sensitive hands).

Walnuts crack with different tools

When walnuts cracking, it is important to use enough force so that the seam of the shell no longer stops and breaks. This reduces the chance of damaging the cores, which you can then remove from the two halves . The following instructions make it easy to crack the walnuts without crushing the seeds or splitting them into pieces.

Nail file and slot screwdriver

Tip: The more mature the walnut is, the easier it is to extract the seeds. For very young specimens or those who have not formed a large nut, you must use additional tools or your fingernails to dislodge them from the shell.

different pliers

Pliers - Instructions

The use of pliers is particularly easy as they are based on the same mechanism as a nutcracker . This means you apply even pressure to the shell, which then breaks open and can be easily opened by hand. Pincers are slightly better than pincers because they distribute the force more evenly over the skin.

Nutcracker pliers

For this variant, proceed as follows:

  • Lay walnut on a board
  • Position the pliers so that the seam rests directly against the cutting edges
  • Now put a cloth over the nut
  • push
  • but not by force
Nutcracker pliers

The walnut should now be opened and the two halves easily separated from each other. Do not use brute force. It is usually sufficient to open only the seam, so that the shell can be opened.

Hammer - Instructions

The hammer is ideal for cracking walnuts. The only thing you need is a stone or block of wood with a hollow. The walnuts are placed in these so that they do not fly away when the hammer hits them.


Use this method as follows:

  • Place nuts in the trough
  • the seam must be horizontal to the table
  • briefly hit the nut with a hammer

Now, part of the shell would have to be chipped or the two halves of each other would be loosened in a well-aimed blow. This method sometimes needs some practice . Be careful not to hit your finger.

Knife - Instructions

Cracking walnuts is also easy with this variant.


Proceed as follows:

  • Take a nut in your hand
  • with the tool in the bottom of the nut prick, so opposite the top
  • Now turn the knife until the bowl breaks open
  • Finally, cancel it out

The advantage of this method is that you only use leverage to crack the nut. With a little practice, you can open numerous nuts in record time without the bowls flying around in the room. Alternatively, you can use a spatula to open the walnuts instead of the knife.

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