Toasting Pecans

Secrets to Toasting Pecans in the Microwave

Many people have fond childhood memories of their mother or grandmother toasting pecans during the holidays or simply for special treats. Several decades later it would seem that people have forgotten how to make these delicious goodies, or simply have no time to stand over a stove and prepare them in the traditional fashion.

Luckily, one does not have to slave over a hot stove in order to toast some pecans any longer. Toasting pecans can be done right in the microwave, and although it’s the same methods mom once used, toasting pecans in the microwave will still leave your house smelling great and your taste buds singing your praises.

Ingredients and Supplies

Toasting pecans requires little more than the bare essentials. Assuming you have a microwave oven and a microwave safe dish, all you will need to purchase is some pre-shelled pecans, butter, and salt if you haven’t any in your pantry. A measuring cup is helpful as well, and you will need a spoon for certain steps.

Measurements and Ratios

To determine how much butter you will need, first determine how many toasted pecans you are looking to make. If you would simply like to garnish a salad, then one cup of pecans should suffice. If, however, you are planning something a bit more extravagant, find out exactly how much you plan to make in advance.

The relationship between the pecans and butter is a simple 1:1 ratio. For every one cup of pecans you want, you should expect to use one tablespoon of butter. Plan and purchase accordingly. When you have the numbers you need, it is highly recommended that you divide the pecans and butter into portions if you are going to be making large quantities.

Melt Your Butter

Assuming you are making a microwave-friendly amount of toasted pecans, place your butter in a microwave-safe bowl, preferably glass. Heat your butter on high for 20 second intervals. If you stick the butter in the microwave and leave it in there for a longer period of time, you will likely scorch your butter and render it useless. This is a gradual process. If you want the butter to melt faster, then cut it up into pats before placing it in the microwave.

Adding the Pecans

Once your butter is melted, not scorched, add the proper amount of pecans to the bowl. Get a sturdy spoon and stir the pecans in, letting the butter completely coat each individual pecan. This is very important—the butter will allow the pecans to toast evenly and will enhance their flavor.

This may take a minute or two, especially if you underestimated the amount of butter you require.


Popping Them In

When your pecans are sufficiently buttered, stick them in the microwave and cook them on high setting for one minute. Do not cook longer. Like the butter, it is important to do this gradually and in intervals. At the end of each minute, pull the pecans out and stir them, all the while checking their progress.

The pecans will continue cooking from their internal heat, rather like eggs do. Therefore, be careful to not overcook them. Once they are overcooked, you may as well throw them out. Undercooked pecans are salvageable and can be cooked for an extra 30 seconds or so if required.

Finishing Touches

Once the pecans are done toasting, take them out of the microwave and sprinkle them lightly with salt. If you want more of a dessert taste, consider sprinkling them with cinnamon and sugar if you like. These go great on top of oatmeal, in cookies, on a salad, or right out of the bowl.