Oregon Hazelnuts (filberts)

It is October now and a fresh crop of hazelnuts are popping up at farm stands and farmer’s markets. These versatile little nuts (also called filberts) are absolutely delicious roasted and can also be used in baked goods as well as savory dishes. Today I will show you the easiest way to shell hazelnuts so they are ready for roasting and using in your favorite recipes!

The BEST Way Shell Hazelnuts

While there are a few ways to crack hazelnuts, my preferred method is to use a hammer, with a few tips and tricks to make the process easier. I have been shelling and eating hazelnuts since I was a kid, and literally grew up right next to a hazelnut orchard. From my experience, using a hammer instead of a nutcracker is the absolute easiest and fastest way to shell hazelnuts.

Advantages to this method:

  • No special tools required
  • Fast
  • The hazelnuts won’t roll around
  • Easy cleanup
  • Fun 🙂

Now we will go through the process step-by-step. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

You only need a few materials to shell hazelnuts. Grab an old sheet or a clean rag, a hammer, and a bowl to collect the shelled nuts. You may also want to grab a pair of safety glasses in case the shells go flying!

Materials to shell hazelnuts: a hammer, a sheet, and a bowl

Step 2: Find a Place to Crack the Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts crack best on a firm surface, such as concrete. Go outside and find a groove in your patio or driveway. When you crack the hazelnuts you will line them up in this groove to keep them from rolling around as you crack them.

Find a groove in your patio

Step 3: Place the Sheet Down and Line up the Hazelnuts

Place the old sheet down over the groove in your patio. This will make it easy to collect the shells when you are finished.

After your sheet is in place put a line of hazelnuts in the groove to get them ready to crack. You can do 10-20 at a time, which is why this method is so fast. Have them a little apart so they don’t bump each other when you go to crack them.

Place the hazelnuts in a line.

Step 4: Crack the Hazelnuts

It’s time to shell the hazelnuts! Put on your safety glasses if you are using them and then go down the line with the hammer and crack, crack, crack! One good whack is usually all it takes to break the shell enough to remove the nut inside. It takes a little practice to do this well without crushing the nut inside.

Crack the hazelnut shell using a hammer

Step 5: Sort Through the Hazelnuts

After the shells are mostly cracked go down the line, pick out the nuts, and place them in your bowl. If you did not get a hazelnut cracked all the way gently tap it with your hammer so you can break the shell enough to get the nut out.

Remove the hazelnuts from their shells

Step 6: Repeat the Process with the Remaining Hazelnuts

After your first row of hazelnuts is cracked, lift up one side of the sheet so the shells fall to the side. Then put out a new row of hazelnuts and repeat the process.

When you are finished with all of your hazelnuts, lift up the corners of the sheet and take it to the garbage to dispose of the shells. Your patio should be mostly clean and you have a bowl full of hazelnuts!

Oregon hazelnuts

Final Thoughts

There you have it…the easiest way to a bowl full of beautiful cracked hazelnuts! You can enjoy them right now or roast them for absolutely superior flavor and crunch. Enjoy!

Don’t forget to pin for later!