wikiHow to Roast Chestnuts

What would a crisp winter day be without the wonderful aroma of roasted chestnuts? If you're enchanted by the smell of roasting, you can do it at home. You won't even need an open fire, because you'll be roasting these in the oven!


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    Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF (205ºC) or fire up the Grill. If you're going to use a campfire or a fireplace, get the fire established.
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    Carefully cut an X into the flat side of each nut with a sharp, pointy knife, cutting through the shell. This will allow steam to escape, otherwise the chestnuts can explode! Alternatively, you can stab them with a fork, making sure it goes through the shell.
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    Spread the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet for the oven or directly on the grill, cut side up. Sprinkle lightly with water. If roasting over an open flame, including a gas stove, put them in a pan with a long handle and cover.
    • Some people prefer to lay the chestnuts slit side down so that the shell is cooked, dried and separated from the nut for optimal crispiness.
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    Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until they're tender and the shell comes off easily. Move them around frequently so they don't burn.
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    Wrap the hot chestnuts in a towel and squeeze them to crush the skins. Leave them wrapped in the towel for five minutes afterwards.
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    Peel while nuts are warm. Remove the inner skin along with the shell. Reheat briefly if the nuts become hard to peel.
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  • Soak the chestnuts in cold water after you've pierced the shell for about 30 minutes to make them easier to peel.
  • Cover chestnuts with a towel after they come out of oven to let them cool off.
  • Nonstick pans usually don't fare well over an open flame.
  • Your fingers might turn black while shelling, so be sure to wash them as soon as you're done.
  • Choose chestnuts with a nice, brown shine and a firm feel. Avoid any chestnuts with blemishes, mottling or pinholes.[1]


  • Watch carefully. The nuts can turn from crispy to burned within a minute.
  • Use caution when making score marks into nuts with the sharp knife.
  • Use even more caution when slicing through the tough shell.

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