Pumpkin Seeds

Everyone (ok, almost everyone) loves Pumpkin Seeds, but few people know how to get them crisp and salty like they come in the bags.  But we figured it out.  And now I’m sharing it with you…

1) Clean out your pumpkin, and wash the seeds well.

2) Fill a large bowl with enough warm water to cover the seeds.  Add in  enough kosher salt (regular table salt will work) to make that water ridiculously salty.  Dissolve as much salt as the water will take.  This is your “brine”.

3) Dump seeds in, stick the bowl in the fridge, leave them there overnight or longer.  Maybe a second night.  (longer is usually better, you want the seeds to really soak up that salt)

4) Drain, but DO NOT rinse the seeds.  Spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet (or two), and put them in a warm oven – around 200-250F – for a couple hours at least.  Let them dry in that warm oven until they’ve reached the crispness that you want.  Some might get a little brown-tinged around the edges, but you don’t want them to actually brown.

5) Eat the salty, crunchy goodness.

Update, 10/27/11: I’ve discovered that lining the pan with parchment paper helps prevent the seeds from sticking to the pan and browning on the bottom.

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10 Responses to Pumpkin Seeds

  1. Joy says:

    This is just what I do. I always did the seeds over night but no longer. We couldn’t wait. Nikki just sent me a note asking me how to do this. This was great to put here Laura. I’ll have to see if Toby and Sue have any pumpkins leftover. Now I want some.

  2. Nikki says:

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!! This is the first time I have attempted to make them. I googled, and I got very mixed opinions on the soaking part. I didn’t know what to do! LOL Thanks Laura, this is awesome! I can’t wait to eat some tomorrow!

  3. Jenny says:

    Its funny that we were actually looking up how to do this today! Thanks

  4. Laura says:

    You guys are welcome… we’ve been doing this for a couple of years, and it’s worked great every time. The big thing about it is that you just have to be patient. Don’t rush the brining process and don’t rush the baking. Slow and low on the baking works wonders.

    I was thinking about it yesterday when we were cleaning the punkins and figured you guys would like the recipe. I’m glad I posted it! Hope you guys like it as much as we do!

  5. Laura says:

    PS… I *heart* brine. I brine all my chickens, and they turn out wicked good. I even brine the turkey when it’s my turn to make it. The meat turns out soooo juicy and flavorful!

    • DM says:

      When you brine things like turkey, is it just like making the brine for these pumpkin seeds…and are there any tricks for soaking chickens/ turkey’s etc?

      • Laura says:

        When I make the brine for a chicken, I generally use 6-8 cups of broth (I prefer vegetable broth – to me, it’s more flavorful than chicken broth), and dump in a wicked amount of salt. (Sometimes, if I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll throw in a little sugar, too.) Just make sure the brine covers the chicken. You can add a little water/broth to cover, if it doesn’t quite go. It doesn’t have to be exact, though. I usually put the bird in mid-morning, and let it soak most of the day.

        The big thing with the birds is that you MUST (must, must, must) rinse it after!!! Then I massage in a ridiculous amount of butter, hit it with some salt and pepper, stick a beer-can stand up the hoo-ha, and stand it in a pan. Bake at 400 for, oh, 45 min to an hour and change, depending upon the size of the bird.

        I first learned how to do it with a turkey, using Alton Brown’s method, which I found in Bon Appetit Magazine, in like, 2003? (found it! http://www.bonappetit.com/magazine/2003/11/alton_brown_turkey_cooking_class) This month’s Food Network Magazine has a much shortened version of the same thing.

        Since that first try, with the Alton Brown turkey (which turned out AMAZING, I might add), I’ve done my own version of brine for every chicken I make.

        • Laura says:

          I have no idea why that italicized everything. I told it not to and it thumbed its nose at me. So I’m leaving it.

        • DM says:

          I’m going to copy those instructions right now…thank you for taking the time to post that. Chicken is my favorite food group

          • Laura says:

            You’re very welcome! I recommend going and reading the full Alton Brown article – first, because it’s just an entertaining read, but also, because he gives some good tips about brining (and also gives excellent argument to the fact that stuffing a bird is an evil thing).

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