Processing Black Walnuts.

There are millions of Black Walnuts, which are an excellent food source, that go to waste yearly in North America, since people do not know how to process or crack the nuts, due to the strength of the hull and the nut proper. . First it is necessary to remove the hull, then crack the nut to get the meat. Here is my simple method utilized to process this wonderful nut. The pictures are annotated and are self explanatory. 17 October 2008 (Juglans nigra L. – black walnut) or American Walnut. 19 October 2008 Black Walnut Nutcracker. 25 June 2009 Black Walnut and Squirrels.
Black Walnut nuts are extremely tough and the meat is in the four quadrants around the shell. These nuts are very difficult to crack even for humans. I observed that the squirrels simply gnaw the four corners and remove the meat.

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4 Responses to Processing Black Walnuts.

  1. MikeH says:


    I’m looking for info on processing black walnuts but the three links that you provide are broken.

  2. Durgan says:

    My site was hacked by some idiot, and I haven’t got the Journal links restored yet. Here is the information on black walnuts. 17 October 2008 (Juglans nigra L. – black walnut) or American Walnut. 19 October 2008 Black Walnut Nutcracker.

  3. MikeH says:

    Many thanks. The walnuts we were given were quite ripe – the hulls were mostly black and fairly disintegrated so they came off very easily.

    I used a very low tech approach to cracking the shells. I put them in my worktable vise and cranked it a few turns while circling the nut with my index finger and thumb so that the pieces didn’t drop on the floor. I was able to crack 20 nuts in about 1 minute.

    The taste of “wild” walnuts is well worth the effort.

  4. Durgan says:

    Are you positive that the same walnut is being discussed? Black walnuts are almost impossible to crack without crushing the meat using the typical compression methods. Also after a reasonably successful crack, getting the meat out of the four quadrants is tedious. Hence my modified method.

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