A macadamia cracker is a device specifically designed for removing the shells of the macadamia nut. This is among the most difficult nuts to shell; hence a specialized device is desirable. Several different types of macadamia nut cracker devices are available, and should be used in place of a typical instrument for shelling nuts for the best results. Some are handheld, manual devices, while others use electricity.
Macadamia nuts are considered to be fairly expensive sources of protein, and their price partly reflects the difficulty of shelling the nuts. Owning a macadamia cracker can be helpful to people who enjoy eating these exotic nuts often, and would like to pay a smaller price for nuts that have not yet been shelled. The best macadamia cracker will allow its user to shell the nuts without crushing them, yielding perfectly whole, edible nuts.
Manual crackers can range from extravagant tool sets to single, handheld nut crackers. A regular nut cracker will typically break if used to crack macadamia nuts; it also will likely fail to open them. Handheld, stainless steel macadamia nutcrackers that appear similar to other nutcrackers, are the cheapest way to crack macadamia nuts, and feature a grip for easy use. If a handheld macadamia cracker is purchased, its packaging should specifically indicate that it is intended for macadamia nuts. These crackers are made from higher quality alloys capable of withstanding the extreme pressure needed to penetrate macadamia shells.
Tool sets used for cracking macadamia nuts are often homemade, though kits are also available for purchase. They may consist of some type of hammer along with a device upon which to set the nut during the cracking process. A standard or wooden hammer is usually used. The nut may be held upon a round wooden block or other solid structure. This type of cracker is usually cheaply to moderately priced.
The easiest way to shell macadamia nuts is to use an electric macadamia cracker. Some models have coil-based mechanisms, while others feature fan generated power. They allow users to feed nuts into them, then crack them without any manual human effort required. Nuts can then be deposited into the operator's container for easy use and storage.
While these electric types of crackers are considered the most expensive, the investment could be worth the prices if the buyer frequently uses macadamia nuts, or is a restaurant chef who needs constant access to fresh nuts. They may also come in handy for shelling other types of nuts, such as pecans or English walnuts. Once the macadamia nuts are fully shelled, the shells can also be smashed down into garden mulch if desired.