How to Process Acorns

Everyone has their own method of processing acorns to make them edible. However the method used is usually a variation of each other. Here is my preferred way to process acorns.

  1. Pour boiling water onto whole shelled acorns and allow to soak for a few hours, then strain off the water (this removes the tannins). Repeat throughout the day. I normally do 3 or 4 changes of water.
  2. Do as above for 4-5 days. The coloured water will get clearer the more times you do it.
  3. Then on the last day put acorns in a pan of water, bring up to boil, then simmer for 10-20 minutes. Take off heat and allow to cool. Then strain.
  4. Either use immediately or freeze.


  1. Christine says

    I have tons in my yard and just want to use them as fall decorations. I heard you should bake them to kill anything in there, is this true ? If so what temperature and how long ? Thank you

  2. Robin says

    No idea. Wouldn’t have thought of wanting to “kill anything” in an acorn if you’re using it just for decoration. Wotcha afraid of, an iddy-biddy insect?

  3. says

    Actually, acorns can house wood-boring insects and even deathwatch beetles. For anyone living in a Tudor-style, timbered cottage, that could spell trouble!

    I have found the best way to treat acorns is to put them all into a bucket of cold water. Those that float are no good (hollow, unfertilised, possibly eaten). Then, put them all to soak in a pot of cold water for 2 hours. This softens the outer casing.
    Drain, remove the shells and you’re left with all the kernels.
    Take two, fairly een-sized pans. Fill with water, and bring to the boil. Put the acorns in one pan, and simmer for 15 minutes. The water should turn dark, as the tannins leach out of the nuts. Drain off this water. Put the acorns into the second pan of water and repeat the exercise, while re-filling the first pan with fresh water, and bringing that one to the boil again… Keep boiling and draining off the water, until the water remains clear. This means you have removed all the tannin from the nuts. Drain, dry in a teacloth, then roast in a hot oven (180 degrees C, Gas Mark 4) for around an hour, until golden brown. You can grind them to a flour, or roast them until much darker, and use them as a coffee substitute…. I chop mine up, mix with salt and chilli flakes and use them as a topping for savoury dishes….

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