We process your pecans in basically 3 steps.

1) Cracking:   The pecans are put into a machine that cracks just the outer shell (ideally) of each nut individually. Much the way you would if you used a hand piston type cracker. But ours are much faster… and as of 2008, even faster with the addition of Savage Equipment’s (Madill, Oklahoma!!!) new high speed crackers. Our older Meyer & Champion style crackers would do about 60 pecans a minute per machine. The Savage will put out up to 500 per machine, using a Gatling gun type apparatus. Much faster and, of course, much more expensive. But worth it when you’re needing to crack some volume. The “crack” is adjusted based on its length so having pecans that differ more than about 1/4” can yield an unsatisfactory “crack”. The newer Savage machine “pre-sizes” each pecan before the crack so it does a substantially better job. 

2) Shelling:   The pecans are then run through a “sheller” which quite simply tumbles the nuts to knock the cracked shell off the meats. If the pecans are cracked perfectly the shell will fall off the meat with very few “stick tights” and will be mostly “halves”. Both the cracking and shelling process can be hampered and yields (the amount/quality of meats you get back) diminished if you did not keep your pecans separated according to size. It’s not good to mix a large papershell (+/- 1 1/2” long x 1” diameter) with your smaller natives (1” x 1/2”). The sheller is adjusted according to the thickness of the pecan meats, so here, different thickness of meats can create poorer results also.

3) Blowing (sometimes referred to as shelling):   We use a 2 leg “blower” to separate the meats from the shell. Air is channeled through chambers where the pecan meat/shell mixture is passed. The first chamber has a bit more air blowing through it than the second chamber. As the mixture passes through the 1st chamber the heavier halves (& larger pieces of shell/stick tights) fall down (due to their weight/density) through what we call the “1st chute” into a catch barrel . The rest then goes through the 2nd chamber where the lighter pecan pieces and larger shell then fall through the “2nd chute” into another catch barrel. The shell and dust are then blown outside the building or into another barrel for future bagging as mulch. In this process we normally bag the “1st chute” and the “2nd chute” separately. The amount (percentage wise) in each bag can depend upon the shape your pecans are in and whether we were able to get a good “crack”. If your pecans are dry and hollow, many of them will blow into the 2nd chute. If you brought them to us with different sizes mixed together, in order for us to get a decent “crack”, the larger may have been crushed or the smaller ones not cracked enough. In which case you may end up with a larger amount of pieces in the second chute and/or “stick tights” in the 1st chute. With the new Savage crackers we have very few nut meats in the second chute, so don’t be surprised if you do not receive the usual “2nd chute” bag.

In a perfect world the pecans we return to you should have at least 80% of the shell blown away. If you brought in mainly natives pecans, your return weight should be around 30% of your original in-shell weight and you would have substantially more shell due to the thick hard/heavy native shell. If you brought in a papershell (a hybrid) return weight will be around 45% -50%. Although, during a “good” year and depending on the variety of the hybrid you could see higher returns. All this depends on the pecan itself, whether you kept your sizes separated and/or “manage” your trees.

2008/2009 Pecan Cracking & Shelling Pricing

· Crack Only                                      $0.40/lb.

· Crack & Shell (blow)                     $0.45/lb.

· Shell Only (blow)                           $0.40/lb.

· Return Your Hulls                         $0.25/lb. additional

Pecan Cracking & Shelling (or Blowing)

Running Squirrel

Mason’s Pecans & Peanuts, LLC

The Biggest Bunch of Nuts in Oklahoma!

Masons Squirrel

Processing