4 Ways to Prepare Chestnuts

While we love to experiment with new ways to prepare chestnuts, we found early on that there are four easy, fundamental methods that we continually come back to: microwaving, roasting in the oven, roasting over a fire, and boiling. When we first got started, we scoured the internet for how-to’s and ultimately found that WikiHow had everything we needed to know, so we felt it best to share what’s always worked for us.

A quick overview:


Cut some chestnuts in half. Place them in a bowl. Microwave them for 2 to 5 minutes.


Cut “X” shapes into the chestnuts. Place them on a baking sheet and sprinkle with water. Bake at 400ºF (205ºC) for 15 to 20 minutes.

Open Fire

Cut “X” shapes into the chestnuts. Cook them in a cast-iron pan over an open fire for 5 minutes. Turn the chestnuts over, and cook for another 5 minutes.


Cut “X” shapes into the chestnuts. Put them into a pot filled with water. Boil them for 5 to 10 minutes.



Microwaving chestnuts

Grab a handful of chestnuts. Five or six at a time will do.

Chop each chestnut in half. Place it on a cutting board and cut it with a sharp knife. Cutting it in half will help it cook faster.

Cook them in the microwave on the “potato” setting. The chestnut is similar to the potato when it comes to cooking. This should take between 2-5 minutes, depending on the strength of your microwave.

Serve. Enjoy these chestnuts plain and bite the nut directly off the shell or scoop it out with a small spoon first.



Roasting chestnuts in the oven

Preheat your oven to 400ºF (205ºC).

Cut an “X” shape into the flat side of each chestnut. Use a sharp knife to do this. This will make the chestnuts roast faster, allowing the steam to escape from the chestnuts. You can also just pierce each chestnut several times with a fork.

Place the chestnuts on a baking sheet. You can also just place them right on the grill, with the cut side facing up. Sprinkle them lightly with water to help them roast.

Roast the chestnuts for 15-20 minutes. Roast them until they’re tender and the shell comes off easily. While they’re roasting, use a spoon or spatula to move them around every few minutes so they don’t burn. When they’re done roasting, remove them from the oven.

Crush their skins. Wait 2-3 minutes for the chestnuts to cool off and then wrap them in a towel and squeeze them until the skin is crushed. Leave them in the towel for another five minutes.

Peel the nuts. Do this while they’re still warm to make the process easier. Take out the inner skin along with the shell. If any nuts are hard to peel, you can heat them briefly for a few more minutes until they’re ready.

Serve. Enjoy these nuts on their own while they’re nice and hot.



Roasting over an open fire

Rinse the chestnuts. Rinse them off under cool water to remove any dirt.

Score the shells. Score the shells before you place them in a pan.

Put the nuts in a cast iron frying pan. Place the flat sides of the chestnuts down.

Prepare the fire. Make sure that there’s a bed of glowing coals that you can rest the pan on, whether you’ve lit a fireplace or a campfire.

Place the pan on the coals for 5 minutes. This should be enough to roast one side of the chestnuts. Lightly shake the pan around every minute or so to distribute the heat.

Turn the nuts over. After five minutes, use a potholder to remove the pan, roll over the nuts, and place them back on the fire.

Roast the nuts for another 5 minutes.

Serve. Once you’ve roasted the nuts, wait 2-3 minutes for them to cool down and enjoy them while they’re nice and hot.



Boiling chestnuts

Bring a pot of water to a boil.

Cut an X into one side of two cups of chestnuts. Use a sharp knife to cut the “X” shape into the chestnuts. This will make them boil more easily. Boiling chestnuts won’t make them quite as tasty or aromatic, but it’s a great way to quickly soften them.

Boil the chestnuts for 5-10 minutes.

Let the chestnuts cool. Wait at least 2-3 minutes until the chestnuts are cool enough for you to handle them.

Peel the shells and the skins off the nuts.

Serve. Enjoy these chestnuts plain or with 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon and one tablespoon of melted butter.


Recipes from WikiHow