How to Cook Chestnuts

Ah chestnuts, a staple of Mediterranean cultures for centuries, romanticized in song, prone to exploding – huh?

When prepared properly chestnuts are the perfect snack or recipe ingredient but the trick is all in the scoring of the shell first. They are easy as 1-2-3 to prepare as long as you know the steps. The full method can be found below but this handy infographic is a great reminder!

HowtoPeelChestnutsPhoto Credit: Jennifer Jenner

How to Cook Chestnuts
Recipe Type: How to
Author: [url href=”” target=”_blank” title=”Jennifer Jenner – author”]JJ[/url] as adapted from [url href=”” target=”_blank” title=”How to cook chestnuts”]84th & 3rd[/url]
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Follow a few basic rules and you’ll have perfect roasted chestnuts with very little effort.
  • Fresh chestnuts
  • Utility knife with just the very tip of the blade showing
  • Remember:
  • Chestnuts should be heavy for their size and be very firm – a soft shell with air pockets under it is a sure sign they are no good.
  • Chestnuts are very high in water, store them as you would broccoli – wrapped in a plastic bag in the crisper. Use soon after purchasing.
  • The easiest way to save chestnuts for later is to roast them right away, remove the shells and freeze the meat. Simply defrost to use!
  1. Make an ‘X’ on the flattest side of the chestnut, just deep enough to cut through the shell and inner skin
  2. Place scored chestnuts on a baking tray ‘X’ side up
  3. Roast under a medium-high broiler [griller] for 10 minutes. Flip over and roast a further 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and wrap chestnuts in a tea towel to steam as they cool – 10 to 15 mins.
  5. Crack the shells off using your fingers, remove any inner skin that remains.
Alternative Method
  1. Chestnuts can also be boiled. Score as per above, drop into boiling water and simmer on medium high for 15 minutes until tender. You can cut one in half to check if they are done.
  2. Drain and wrap in a tea towel to cool for 10 – 15 minutes.
  3. Peel and use as desired.
– If the shells don’t crack off right away return them to the oven and roast for another 5 mins, wrap to cool and try again to peel them.[br] – If the meat is dark brown or black it means it is rotten (not burnt) toss it out[br] [b]Stay tuned for a great list of chestnut recipes![/b]

Adapted from 84th & 3rd How to cook chestnuts so they don’t explode and kill you.



Share the love

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
About JJ

JJ is editor and co-founder of Seasonal Sunday Lunch. She is a recipe developer, photographer, stylist, marketing consultant, freelance writer and creator of the popular food blog 84th & 3rd. JJ believes food should be fun, healthy does not mean boring and if all else fails pie makes everything better. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram.


  1. -I have wanted to roast chestnuts but have been told the ones that are on the trees locally are poisonous. Is this true or was someone pulling my leg?

  2. I ddo consider all the ideas you’ve offered in your post.
    They’re very convincing andd will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts aare verty quick for
    novices. Could you please prolonbg them a bit from next time?
    Thabk yoou for the post.


  1. […] had never tasted a chestnut until last year, now I simply adore roasted chestnuts. […]

Speak Your Mind


Please complete the math problem to prove you are human *