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.
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), your return weight will be around 40% -50%. Although, during a “good” year and depending on the variety of the hybrid you could see the higher returns. All this depends on the pecan itself, whether you kept your sizes separated and/or “manage” your trees.
To contact us:
Toll Free: 800-232 6887(nuts)
Tuesday - Friday 10:00 to 6:00
Saturday 9:00 to 5:00
Sunday & Monday Closed (January thru September)
Pecan Cracking & Shelling (or Blowing)
Optimizing the end product:
1) Cracking & Shelling: Because the “crack” is based on the length of the pecan and the “shelling” is based on thickness of the meat, keep different sizes of pecans separated. For optimum return, try not to mix different sized pecans (+ 1/4” difference) together in the same container and don’t mix papershells with natives (or seedlings).
2) Saving Your Hulls: We, like all other “Custom Shellers”, do not ordinarily separate out and save the customers hulls to be given back with their meats. For one, the process does not readily allow for saving the hulls as they are separated during different stages, outside into a pile & into large containers that contain all the previous orders hulls. Trying to “save the hulls” requires changing out several containers and then packaging those hulls for returning to you. This adds considerably to the time and materials required. Second, trying to logistically keep track of and store the additional bags required to “save the hulls” is daunting and can be nearly unfeasible during a busy year as the hulls typically take up to 3 times the space as the nut meats do on a shelf.
3) Pre-Cleaning: We crack & shell dry “PECANS” only! Not pecans with the shuck attached or the shucks, leaves, sticks or heaven forbid ROCKS!!! If your pecans contain any of these items they may be refused or we may impose the “Pre-Cleaning Fee”. When you come in we try to inspect your pecans to alert you that there may be an issue due to different sizes, old pecans, debris, etc… We do not always see what you actually have until we are setting them up for loading in our machines. We will try to contact you in the event we find an issue to get your approval to continue, which will delay processing. Please provide ONLY clean, dry PECANS for processing.
Pricing Schedule (Effective 11/29/15)
Custom Cracking & Blowing
Minimum Charge (20 Lbs.) $10.00 / Order
Pecan Cracking & Blowing $0.50 / Lb.
Pecan Cracking Only $0.45 / Lb.
Pecan Blowing Only $0.35 / Lb.
Save Shells (Not available this year , sorry)
Debris/Trash Removal (Additional Fee)
Blowing to Remove Debris $0.25 / Lb. ($5.00 min)
Hand Clean Debris (Includes Blowing) $0.50 / Lb. ($10.00 min)
Rejection Fee $10.00 / Order
If your pecans have any debris that we deem needs to be
removed the above Removal Fees will be applied and/or your
pecans may be rejected.
If rejected you will be responsible for the Rejection Fee.
Dropping off pecans for cracking &/or shelling and accepting your claim ticket implies:
That you have read and agree to our “Cracking Policy”.
We do not understand why you would want to contaminate your pecans meats with anything other than shell and must insist on this policy to help create a better and safer end product for you. As well as limit the damage/wear & tear to our expensive equipment.
We do not accept pecans in plastic bags, bins or buckets or any large containers that need to be returned.
Paper bags (doubled), mesh bags, feed sacks, burlap or even cloth shopping bags are okay. Boxes too are okay, but please fill the box, don’t bring partially full boxes that may crash due to the weigh of other orders on top of them.
If you want your bags back, be sure to tell us, so we can make a note on your ticket to “Save Bags”! Otherwise we cannot guarantee that you would get your bags back.
We do not process pecans “while you wait”.
We hope to offer that service in the future.
We normally stop processing for the months of July, August & September and continue when the new crop comes in sometime in October. This year (2019) we may stop sooner due to the lack of crop due to the April freeze.