How to Roast Chestnuts

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Chestnuts are a traditional holiday food in many cultures, and they taste wonderful on a cold winter day! You can roast chestnuts in the oven, over an open fire, or in a frying pan. Use the option that works best for you and enjoy some roasted chestnuts for your next holiday gathering!

EditIngredients

EditIn the Oven

  • of Chestnuts
  • Hot water

EditOver an Open Fire

  • of Chestnuts

EditIn a Frying Pan

  • of Chestnuts
  • Hot water

EditSteps

EditIn the Oven

  1. Preheat the oven to . It will take around 15 minutes for your oven to get to this temperature, so you can do this before you start prepping the chestnuts.[1]
    Roast Chestnuts Step 1 Version 4.jpg
    • Another option is to prep the chestnuts first, put them into the refrigerator, and then turn on the oven when you are ready to roast them.
  2. Cut an X into the round side of each of the chestnuts. Use a sharp paring knife to cut the shape of an X into the round side of each chestnut. Cut all the way through the shell and into the chestnut meat.[2]
    Roast Chestnuts Step 2 Version 4.jpg
    • This is called scoring the chestnuts.
  3. Soak the chestnuts in a bowl of hot water for 1 minute. Place the scored chestnuts into a large bowl and cover them with boiling hot water. Let the chestnuts sit in the hot water for 1 minute and then drain them by pouring the water and chestnuts into a colander.[3]
    Roast Chestnuts Step 3 Version 4.jpg
    • You may notice the shells have opened up slightly around the score marks after you finish soaking the chestnuts. This is normal.
  4. Spread out the chestnuts X side up on a piece of foil on a baking sheet. Wrap the edges of the foil up and around the chestnuts to create a parcel or packet. Keep the foil open so that the chestnuts are visible when you look at them from above.[4]
    Roast Chestnuts Step 4 Version 4.jpg
    • Roasting the chestnuts this way will help to ensure that they get cooked all the way through.
  5. Bake the chestnuts for 15 to 18 minutes. Set a timer for 15 minutes and check the chestnuts after time is up. When they are done, the scored shell should have started to peel back. They will also look darker than they did when you put them into the oven.[5]
    Roast Chestnuts Step 5 Version 4.jpg
    • Let the chestnuts bake for a full 18 minutes if you want to ensure that they are done.
    • It is important not to bake them for too long or they may be charred on the inside of the shells.
  6. Let the chestnuts cool for 5 minutes before you peel them. Put on a pair of oven mitts and remove the chestnuts from the oven. Place the baking sheet onto a potholder or trivet to cool. Use your fingers to peel away the shells from the chestnuts starting at the score marks.[6]
    Roast Chestnuts Step 6 Version 4.jpg
    • Do not wait longer than 5 minutes to peel the chestnuts or it may be more difficult to separate the chestnut meat from the shells.
    • Store the cooked and peeled chestnuts in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.[7] of melted butter, of salt, and of freshly ground black pepper.

      Create savory herb chestnuts by tossing chestnut meat in a combination of of melted butter, of salt, of dried rosemary, and of nutmeg.

      Transform chestnuts into a sweet treat by tossing them in a mixture of of sugar and of cinnamon.}}

EditOver an Open Fire

  1. Get a fire going in a fire pit, fireplace, or grill. You do not need a very large fire, but you will need to have flames and a grill rack positioned just above them to roast chestnuts this way. Place a log into your fireplace, fire pit, or charcoal grill and light it. Use newspaper as kindling to get the fire going.[8]
    Roast Chestnuts Step 7 Version 4.jpg
    • A small amount of lighter fluid may also help to ignite the log.
  2. Wash the chestnuts and cut an X into each 1. Rinse the chestnuts under warm running water for a minute to clean them. Then, cut an X into the round sides of the chestnuts with a sharp paring knife. Make sure that the X goes through the shell and into the chestnut meat.[9]
    Roast Chestnuts Step 8 Version 2.jpg
    • Cutting an X into the chestnuts is called scoring the chestnuts.
  3. Spread the chestnuts out on a piece of tin foil or a heavy metal pan. Use a large sheet of heavy duty tin foil with several small holes poked into it, a cast iron pan, or a slotted grill pan meant for cooking over an open fire. Position the chestnuts with the X facing up and spread them out in a single layer.[10]
    Roast Chestnuts Step 9 Version 2.jpg
    • If you want to poke holes into a piece of tin foil to roast your chestnuts, use a skewer or small knife and poke a hole in the tin foil about every .
  4. Roast the chestnuts over the fire for 20 to 30 minutes. Roast the chestnuts until the shells are blackened, which will take about 20 to 30 minutes depending on the heat of your fire. Put your foil or pan onto a grill rack just above the flames. The flames should be licking the bottom and sides of the foil or pan. Watch the chestnuts closely so you will know when they are done.[11]
    Roast Chestnuts Step 10 Version 2.jpg
    • If possible, keep the fire burning at the same level and avoid getting the fire too hot or the chestnuts may burn.
  5. Let the chestnuts cool for 5 minutes and then peel them. After the chestnut shells are blackened, remove them from the fire, and let them cool before you begin to peel them. Use your fingers to peel away the shells around the scored area of the chestnuts.[12]
    Roast Chestnuts Step 11 Version 2.jpg
    • Make sure to use a fireproof silicone oven mitt to remove the chestnuts from the fire and set the pan onto a potholder or trivet to cool.
    • Place your cooked and peeled chestnuts into an airtight container, and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.[13]

EditIn a Frying Pan

  1. Cut an X into each of the chestnuts. Use a sharp paring knife to cut an X mark into the round side of each of the chestnuts. Cut all the way through the shell and into the chestnut meat.[14]
    Roast Chestnuts Step 12 Version 2.jpg
    • This is known as scoring the chestnuts.
  2. Soak the chestnuts in hot water for 1 minute. Place the chestnuts into a large glass bowl and pour boiling hot water over them. You will need to completely cover the chestnuts with the water. Leave them to soak for 1 minute and then pour the chestnuts into a colander to drain them.[15]
    Roast Chestnuts Step 13 Version 2.jpg
    • Make sure to wear a pair of oven mitts when you do this since the bowl may be hot!
  3. Fry the chestnuts for 15 minutes in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Turn on a burner on your stove and place a cast iron pan onto it. Then, place the chestnuts onto the pan in a single layer. Let them cook for 15 minutes, stirring them every 2 to 3 minutes to prevent them from burning.[16]
    Roast Chestnuts Step 14 Version 2.jpg
    • If your skillet is not large enough to fit all of the chestnuts, then you will need to do this in 2 or 3 batches.
  4. Wrap the chestnuts into a tea towel and let them cool for 10 minutes. After the chestnuts are done, pour them into an open tea towel on your counter. Then fold up the tea towel around the chestnuts like a parcel. Let the chestnuts sit in the tea towel for 10 minutes.[17]
    Roast Chestnuts Step 15 Version 2.jpg
    • Another option is to remove the pan from the heat, place a lid on the skillet, and let the chestnuts cool this way.
  5. Peel the chestnuts after 10 minutes. Once the chestnuts have cooled, begin peeling away the shells using your fingers. Start by peeling the shells away from the chestnuts around the score marks. Remove the shells completely to get at the meat.[18]
    Roast Chestnuts Step 16 Version 2.jpg
    • Don’t wait longer than 10 minutes to peel the chestnuts or it may be more difficult to remove them from their shells. It is bets to peel them while they are still warm.
    • Cooked and peeled chestnuts will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.[19]

EditVideo

in this video Chef Jason Hill shows you how to roast chestnuts.

EditThings You’ll Need

EditIn the Oven

  • Paring knife
  • Foil
  • Baking Sheet
  • Oven mitts
  • A large glass bowl

EditOver an Open Fire

  • Paring knife
  • Foil, oven roasting pan, or cast iron pan
  • Fireproof silicone oven mitts

EditIn a Frying Pan

  • Paring knife
  • Cast iron pan
  • Spatula
  • Clean tea towel

EditSources and Citations

EditQuick Summary

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