Why You Should Never Toast Nuts In A Pan, According To Alex Guarnaschelli

Adding nuts like pecans, pistachios, or walnuts to a dish provides a helping of healthy fats, some protein, and an assortment of important vitamins and nutrients (via Healthline). And, of course, some much-needed crunch, if you're tossing them in a leafy salad or sprinkling them on top of a cheesy casserole. If you want to really go the extra mile with your nuts, however, you should toast them before adding them to the recipe or dish of your choosing. 

Toasted nuts have a richer, deeper flavor that's less bitter than raw nuts and just the right amount of caramelized. A common method for toasting nuts is stirring them in a skillet on the stove for a few minutes. But according to celebrity chef Alex Guarnaschelli, this is a major faux pas. The Chopped judge took to Twitter to explain why toasting nuts in a pan is less than ideal — and what you should be doing instead.

The nuts won't toast evenly in a pan

Guarnaschelli explains that toasting nuts on the stove will result in unevenly cooked bits, with some nuts burnt to a crisp, others perfectly toasted, and yet others still raw. "When you toast [nuts] in a sauté pan, they only toast sporadically where they come in direct contact with the surface of the pan," Alex tweeted. Her solution? Toast them in the oven instead. "Toasting nuts in the oven gives them that all around tan," she added. Bon Appétit agrees, noting that its experts prefer using the oven because the indirect heat cooks the nuts more evenly.

According to The Kitchn, you can toast nuts in the oven one of two ways: dry or tossed in oil. The culinary site cautions that you likely won't need to leave them in the oven for much more than 15 minutes and that you should check them every few minutes to ensure they're not burning.