Making fried peanuts is easy to do and requires only raw peanuts and oil. Peanuts can be shelled before frying or can be fried while inside the shells, in which case the shells can be eaten or removed just before the peanut is eaten. To make seasoned fried peanuts, salt, chili powder, or another other dried seasoning can be added after the peanuts have been removed from the oil.
One of the most important things to do when making fried peanuts is to choose high-quality, raw peanuts. Though it is possible to refry peanuts that have already been boiled, baked or fried, starting with raw peanuts allows the cook to control all parts of the process. Raw peanuts can be grown in a home garden, purchased from a local farm, or picked up at the grocery store, though locally grown peanuts often have better flavor because they are fresher.
Using a high quality oil will also help make fried peanuts taste better. Vegetable, soy, or canola oil can be used for a clean flavor that does not interfere with the taste of the peanuts. It is also possible to fry peanuts in peanut oil, which can make them more flavorful. Flavored oils, such as chili oil or garlic oil can also be used.
In order to cook peanuts in oil, a pan should be filled with about an inch of oil, though a deep fryer may be used. The oil should be heated to a temperature of about 300 degrees Fahrenheit (149 degrees Celsius) before the peanuts are placed in the oil. It is not necessary to use a thermometer to determine exactly how hot the oil is. A peanut can be dropped into the oil as a test. If it sizzles, the oil is hot enough to make fried peanuts.
Once the oil is hot, the peanuts can be placed in it and fried. The oil should be kept hot but not allowed to burn while the peanuts are cooking. Fried peanuts are fully cooked when they are golden brown, a process that generally takes between 5 and 10 minutes.
After the peanuts are cooked, the excess oil can be removed by placing the peanuts on a paper towel to drain. At this point, salt or other spices can be sprinkled on top of the peanuts to give them more flavor. Any additional flavorings should be added to the cook's taste.