Recommend a source of pecans?

cloudy_christineSeptember 10, 2012

My freezer is pretty well-stocked with nuts, but pecans are what we use most, and they are running low. I'd like to know a good place to order from, where the pecans are fresh and not any more expensive than they have to be. Thanks!

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I buy my pecans at Costco.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:45PM
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Me too.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 11:01PM
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You might try San Saba Pecan, which is where my family sells their pecans. They are expecting a huge crop this year, and so I am expecting to get several pounds of free pecans this year. The trees were overloaded with pecans when we visited our parents, and we had to cut down some of the branches just to be able to get through the driveway without scratching the rental car.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 1:28AM
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I buy a lot of mine at Sam's Club - no Costco here. I also wait to buy nuts after the holiday's when I can find them 50% off and stock-up then.

For storage, I prepare pecans (and almonds) by sprouting them overnight in lightly-salted water, then dehydrate until crispy dry (method found in the book "Nourishing Traditions"). Now I can store them vacuum-sealed in canning jars for a longer period of time in the food storage room in the basement. The sprouting process makes the nuts easier to digest and they have more available nutrition.

I do the same thing with walnuts, but I keep walnuts either in the refrigerator or freezer. Walnuts contain large amounts of triple unsaturated linolenic acid and are much more susceptible to rancidity, so keep best when vacuum-sealed AND store refrigerated or frozen.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 4:40AM
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I gave up my Costco membership a while ago. I wasn't using it any longer.

I buy nuts at Trader Joe unless I want walnuts. I buy those from a friend whose family grows walnuts. I purchase many pounds of new crop walnuts every year and freeze them.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 7:20AM
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beachlily z9a

My pecans come from Ellis Brothers Pecans in Vienna, GA. I've purchased from them for years--beautiful, fresh and very few broken nuts. My husband picks them up on his way home from a visit up north each year, but I've mail ordered from them too.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 7:35AM
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Lars, I love the idea of trees hanging low with pecans. I have to search Google for an image. I'm in the north and don't even know what that would look like. Thanks for the link to San Saba; I will check it out.
Beachlily, thanks for the Georgia link. I will look into that too.

I can't remember if I ever bought pecans at Costco. I've only been there a few times, because there isn't one close to us. I can get passable pecans at Giant, my regular grocery store, but I thought since it's harvest time now I might try to get them close to the source, if the price permits.
Grainlady, I guess that explains why pecans last longer in the fridge than walnuts do, even though pecans have more fat -- it's the linolenic acid.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 11:28AM
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Grainlady...nuts will 'sprout'???
OMG....I've gotta try it. I know
they are the seed of the tree they
came out of, but whowooda thunk.
But,one quick question, how does
the sprouting make them last any

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 4:20PM
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I always buy mine from Whaley Pecans in Troy, AL. Never had any rancid nuts and they come packed in 1 lb. packages.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 4:30PM
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I have a pee-can in my boat.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 4:31PM
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beachlily z9a

I don't bother with the 1 lb. bags any more. I get the huge 3 lb. bag and divide it up to smaller bags to put in the freezer. I just did a freezer inventory and found a bag from 2009. Next day, made those raspberry chocolate bars that Ann posted and used the pecans after I had toasted them. Delish! The 2009's even looked fresh.

About buying pecans in a grocery store. I love Publix, but the quality of their pecans vs. the nuts from Ellis Bros--it's a no brainer!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 4:55PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Is ten dollars a pound the going rate this year?

I didn't buy many last year because they were too expensive, especially when almonds are around four per pound.

It seems it wasn't that long ago pecans were also around four per pound.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 5:06PM
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Pat, do you buy from Whaley Pecans online or are you near Troy?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 5:21PM
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Our SIL (from Miss.)always gets us Heaton pecans, which seem to be super high in quality. Just looked online and they are $50 for a 5 lb. bag of broken pecans. I don't know if that's a good deal or not.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 7:26PM
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beachlily z9a

I just looked up Ellis Bros. Pecans. They have 5 lb. of their largest pecans for $51.80. Pieces are usually much cheaper ... they show large pieces, 5 lb. for $44.30.

The last two times we've been there (2011 and 2010) their per lb. price in the store was $8.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 8:09PM
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I get mine at Costco, too. What about Trader Joe's?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 8:18PM
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beachlily z9a

Another good place for pecans is J.W. Renfroe Pecan Co. in Tallahassee, FL. A friend gifted me with a couple of pounds of pecans from this place. They also have an extensive list of candied, chocolate covered, etc., pecans and other goodies. I've been pleased with Renfroe's too. Their prices are comparable to slightly higher than Ellis.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 8:39PM
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10/pound may be about as good as you get. Last year the cheapest I saw pecans was 8/pound in a discount grocery store. In the bulk bins at the grocery store I seem to remember something like 13.99/pound not long ago.

I may buy a few for something particular but I won't stock up unless I see a bargain.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 11:14PM
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I was at costco today and the price was $16/2lb so $8/lb. I looked online and saw those $10/lb in 5lb boxes. It looks like costco is the best deal unless you want to get larger quantities. We always get ours at costco.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 11:26PM
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I was going to suggest Pape's Pecan House,
In Seguin,TX.
But then I checked your member page,
And see you are in Canada.
So shipping might be prohibitive.

And, due to the severe drought we've had this year,
Pecans may be scarce.

One thing is for sure, though,
Unless you've had pecans straight from the grower,
You don't know what a really FRESH pecan tastes like!


    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 12:59AM
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Pecans are anything but scarce at my parents' house in central Texas this year. I've attached an old photo (December 23, 2010) of some of my parents' pecan trees - on one side of their house, to show how low the limbs get. My family expects a very large crop this year. Their orchard is on a creek bottom that used to be a swamp, and the tree roots are so deep that they get plenty of water, even in dry years.


    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 1:43AM
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Although I mentioned Sam's Club, I didn't give the price - $15.88 / 2-pounds.

The link below gives specific soaking/sprouting and dehydrating information for a variety of nuts/legumes. It's not a long sprout (although it would be if you let it continue to grow), just the tiny white tail of a sprout. All seeds sprout in order to make a new plant, and a pecan or a walnut is just another seed.

This is yet one more traditional method for food preparation we have left in the past. Unless you are a raw foodist, we typically don't consume a lot of raw nuts so it's not a huge digestion issue. If you do consume a lot of raw nuts you can resort to taking additional digestive enzymes to counteract the digestive issues, or soak and dehydrate them first.

The nuts last longer because they are processed (soaked and dehydrated) which neutralizes the enzyme inhibitors. So it is altered from its raw state - but can be used as such.

The book I'm resourcing says pecans contain about 70% fat, most of it monounsaturated oleic acid. Processed (soaked and dehydrated) pecans will last about 4-months at room temperature (which is considered 70-degrees F). Much longer than that if you also vacuum-seal them, which eliminates the oxygen, and store at even cooler temperatures.

We especially notice the difference in pecans that have been soaked and dehydrated. They have a wonderful buttery flavor and they don't leave that "pinched" sensation in the back of your throat if first processed before eating.

If you like sugared pecans/walnuts, this recipe from "Savoring Today" is GREAT!!! I order palm sugar (aka coconut palm sugar or coconut sugar) on-line (iHerb and other sources - check Amazon for a variety of sources and prices). It's a natural, low-glycemic sugar.


4 cups raw pecans
2 teaspoons sea salt
4 tablespoons palm sugar (I use 5 tablespoons)
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon (I use 1 teaspoon if it's good quality cinnamon)
Filtered water to cover pecans

Soak pecans in a large bowl with filtered water and salt for 8-12 hours. Pour off water and allow to drain well, 5-10 minutes. Place back in bowl. Sprinkle palm sugar and cinnamon over pecans. Mix well. The moisture from the soaked pecans will create a light coating of sugar and cinnamon over the pecans.

Arrange on dehydrator trays and repeat with the remaining pecans. Dry at 150-degrees F until pecans are crisp [check after 5-6 hours, but may take much longer]. Note: To test the nuts, allow a couple to cool for a few minutes first.

This same recipe works great with raw walnuts too. Because of their delicate oils, walnuts should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.


Here is a link that might be useful: Nourishing Gourmet

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 6:53AM
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Cathy - I order them online from Whaley's. Found out about them from my Mom's former boss - he sent us a 3 lb. box of them one year for Christmas. After that, we started ordering from them ourselves.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 7:41AM
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My member page I am in Canada?! Does it really?
I live in Pennsylvania.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 11:22AM
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There was supposed to be a "says" in that last post.

Just looked. Here's what's on my member page:
I live in: United States
My zone is: 6B SE PA

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 11:24AM
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Pat T and Beachlily, thanks for those other links.
I notice on the Ellis site that they have two kinds of pecans, lower-fat "baking pecans" and others for eating. Have you tried both?

Lars, I bet that's a beautiful place when the trees are in leaf.

I think last year's price at Giant was $8/lb, but I could be wrong. Maybe it was $8 for a bag of less than a pound. I haven't looked yet this year.
Trader Joe's is farther away than Costco.
For years I bought my nuts at a nice stand at the farmer's market, but they've moved away from fresh, raw nuts under new management.

Grainlady, the spiced pecan recipe looks delicious.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 1:19PM
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beachlily z9a

Christine, I just go down the row of tables filled with pecans, taste-testing each until I find one that blows me away. In the past, the Pawnee's were great. Last year they didn't have much of a choice and the Stuarts were just fine. They are not as rich tasting as some of the others. In baking, any fresh pecan is really good. I just think that fresh is the key.

I'm in fairly small town FL with no Trader Joe's and certainly no Costco. We have limited access to things like fresh nuts, so when I find a mail order I like, that's what I do.

If anyone wants to wait--Nov. is when my husbands drives to St. Louis and comes back home through Georgia where he picks up the pecans. He could pick some extras up and I could just drop them in a fixed rate box to send. I'd also be open to trading for walnuts.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 1:33PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I do buy pecans from local vendors who have "Nut Tents" set up for the season and fresh pecans are worth the effort.
I'm hoping they're like coffee, the price goes up and down depending on the year.
But even at a low eight dollars a pound, I still will save them for pecan pies and such and continue to use almonds with abandon.

Although I need to seek out some unshelled nuts. In the past, I had a free source of nuts and took them to be cracked (.25 a pound) then spent several evenings shelling them. Now worth the effort!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 1:50PM
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My mother sends me pecans every year from Sunnyland Farms in Albany GA. I don't know how they rate price wise, but the nuts are always fresh and delicious.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 7:07PM
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Sorry, Cloudy Christine, my mistake.
Life has been pretty hectic around here lately,
I have very little computer time anymore,
So have a tendency to rush through things.
Apparently, when I wanted to check where you live,
I clicked on the 'My Page' of the second post
Rather than on your original post.

Pape's has many varieties of pecans,
I don't think they list them all on their web site
But I'll bet if you contacted them & asked,
They'd be glad to send you a list of varieties,
And which is best for different uses.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 1:19AM
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I was just at Sam's Club yesterday and shelled pecans were $13.88 for 2 pounds. Did I check the label to see where thye were from. Heck no. Ugh. Sorry.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 11:08AM
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Yes, Annie, we never know, do we? I would not have thought supermarket applesauce and jarred peaches would be Chinese, but they are! I think all our pecans are American, but we can't take anything for granted. I bought some pine nuts at Costco and returned them because they were from China.

Thank you, everybody, for the links and suggestions. I always like to have recommendations from satisfied customers.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 2:57PM
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I did a bit of research. It's unlikely we'll get pecans from China.

"Commercial production of pecans began in the U.S. in the late 19th century. The leading nut producers are Georgia, Texas and Oklahoma. The U.S. still produces 80 percent to 95 percent of the world's pecans in any given year, with the annual crop sometimes reaching 200,000 tons. Other countries that produce large quantities of pecans include Mexico, Brazil and Australia."

Here is a link that might be useful: Pecans.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 3:05PM
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I just purchased pecans from Sam's Club. On the front label it states they are U.S. #1 Fancy. -Grainlady

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 6:16PM
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As often as I go through Pecan Country (GA), I have never stopped to get the fresh real deal. Obviously years of missed opportunities. I will take advantage of the many pecan farms along I-75.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 6:51PM
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beachlily z9a

My husband just got back from a meeting in which he talked with a man from central Georgia. That man said that the Georgia pecans have a bumper crop this year--big and plentiful! That's good news for all of us who love pecans. And, it confirms what Lars said, too.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 9:24PM
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I'm usually over in the Harvest Forum, but found this thread today and thought I'd chime in, even if a little late.

Here we are (southeast Texas) with a bumper crop of pecans for the second year in a row. We harvested over 600 pounds last year and this year looks just as good. I inherited my family's original homestead (1913), which has a little under 4 acres left and includes 23 pecan trees. My father used to sell his pecans to a family produce stand and candy company in a nearby town, but they are no longer in business. I contacted the nearest pecan buyer and was offered only 50 cents a pound! I almost would rather leave them on the ground than "give" them away for 50 cents!

I love pecans! My husband made me an oil press (which I haven't had time to try out), and want to press my own oil. We eat them plain, plus I make nut milk, nut butter, cookies, cakes, candy, etc. My freezer is getting full! So far we've been living the Blue Bell Ice Cream corporate philosophy of "We eat all we can and sell the rest." I've sold about 100 pounds to friends and family. I haven't put any ads on ebay yet, but it looks like they're doing well there.

During a spell a few years back when I didn't have any home grown pecans, and I had to buy them, it almost killed me to pay the store prices. Not only that, but the quality was terrible. It's the same way when you start raising your own food--you realize how much better it tastes! I've read that China is now the biggest BUYER of U.S. pecans, so it's possible they are buying them for packaging and selling.

Jill in southeast Texas

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 11:21PM
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Jill, how do you shell the nuts?


    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 11:28PM
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I am fortunate to have an antique electric pecan cracker that my grandfather acquired in the 1920's. It was old when he got it, but he took it in payment of a debt someone owed him. It has a big hopper you dump the pecans in. Some mechanical genius designed this thing to rotate the pecans into the cracking part (one at a time) and then the cracked pecan falls down a chute into the bucket. I'll crack about 20 lbs at a time and then shell them out. It won't crack the big papershells because they won't fit in the slots, but since most of our trees are natives, they are perfect for the cracker. My dad used to give shelled pecans to friends and family, but he was a better person than I am! I don't mind shelling them for myself, but my friends and family can shell their own! :-)


    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 11:38PM
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A dear friend of mine has a farm with lot's of pecan trees. She has no idea how to deal with the pecans. I am thinking of building her a motorized cracking machine.


    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 11:45PM
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I'm glad this popped up again. I wanted to tell Lars that I have San Saba pecans, and they are delicious. Maybe from your own family trees, Lars! And I got them at Giant!

I was going to order from a place in Georgia, but because of the shipping cost I decided to check out Costco. Theirs were not fresh enough, and I'm going to return them. Giant had some on sale around Thanksgiving, and I thought I'd give them a shot. They are good! I looked to see where they came from, and saw "San Saba." I thought of Lars immediately.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 8:18AM
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My niece lives in NC and came to visit at Tgiving, bringing along bags of freshly gathered pecans. They were all still in the shell so we spent hours cracking and cleaning them. Wow, are they delicious when they are so fresh. What a difference from what you get in those little bags at the grocery store. We had a good time (Niece, Mom and me) sitting around cracking pecans and chatting. It reminded me of the good old days when I was a kid and we would be sitting around the kitchen table of my grandmother or great aunt either snapping beans, pulling taffy or some other food related activity and talking all the while. Great memories.

I will never be able to settle for grocery store pecans again.

Here is a link that might be useful: pecan cracker we used

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 1:48PM
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I have a nephew that is an Oklahoma pecan grower and all of his pecans go straight to the candy factories except what the family can use. I wait until the price is set then usually buy a hundred pounds in the shell and take them to the 'crack house' myself. The machines not only crack the nut but the air blows most of the shell away if it has separated from the nut. You still have to spend time removing the shells that don't blow away, but it isn't a bad job. I try to get them shelled and into Ziplock freezer bags as soon as possible. Then I put several bags inside a paper grocery bag and tape it closed. I normally buy every other year and they remain in great shape for those 2 years or even longer. I keep them in the freezer until I am ready to use them because after being removed from the freezer they begin to change more rapidly.

I buy walnuts, black walnuts, and almonds at Sam's Club, and cashews and pistachios at Aldi.

Sorry to say, that I have eaten pecans from Georgia, but I much prefer those grown in Oklahoma and Texas.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 9:47PM
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What a wonderful surprise. I've gotten very leery of some of the products at Sam's and Costco lately - so much comes from China and is either not what it says it is or is adulterated. I just don't buy certain things there any more.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 9:52AM
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