How to Roast and Peel Chestnuts

Forget the open fire. It's easy to prepare great roasted chestnuts in the oven.

Freshly roasted chestnuts are a wintertime tradition--but you don't need an open fire or special equipment to make them--just a hot oven and a little patience.

Make sure the chestnuts have tight, shiny skins. Wrinkled nuts are difficult to peel.

How To Roast Chestnuts, as seen on Food Network Kitchen.

Photo by: Felicia Perretti

Felicia Perretti

Make Sure They're Fresh

Some methods call for soaking chestnuts in water before roasting them. But if they are fresh, soaking is unnecessary. Look for whole chestnuts that have tight, shiny skins and are heavy for their size. Wrinkled or dull-looking chestnuts are old and nearly impossible to peel.

Score a shallow "X" shape onto the rounded part of each nut.

How To Roast Chestnuts, as seen on Food Network Kitchen.

Photo by: Felicia Perretti

Felicia Perretti

Score the Chestnuts

Start with a hot oven—about 425 degrees F. Put the chestnuts flat-side down on a steady surface and use a sharp paring knife to "score," or cut an X-shape into the rounded side of each nut. Cut deep enough to pierce the skin without cutting into the nutmeat.

Spread your chestnuts out in a single layer on a baking pan.

How To Roast Chestnuts, as seen on Food Network Kitchen.

Photo by: Felicia Perretti

Felicia Perretti

Place in a Single Layer

Place the chestnuts on a baking sheet in an even layer. Don't crowd your pan.

Roast the chestnuts for 30 to 45 minutes or until done.

How To Roast Chestnuts, as seen on Food Network Kitchen.

Photo by: Felicia Perretti

Felicia Perretti

Roast Until Tender

Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, until the skins have curled and pulled back, and the nutmeats have softened. Cooking time can vary depending on size, so rely on visual cues to determine doneness.

How To Roast Chestnuts, as seen on Food Network Kitchen.

Photo by: Felicia Perretti

Felicia Perretti

Check for Doneness

To check if they're ready, poke your knife through the opening where the skin has pulled back. It should easily pierce through.

When the chestnuts are cool, you should be able to peel them by hand.

How To Roast Chestnuts, as seen on Food Network Kitchen.

Photo by: Felicia Perretti

Felicia Perretti

Use Your Hands

Cool the chestnuts, then peel the skin off with your hands. Use a paring knife, if necessary, for stubborn skins.

Once you're finished peeling, your chestnuts are ready for sharing!

How To Roast Chestnuts, as seen on Food Network Kitchen.

Photo by: Felicia Perretti

Felicia Perretti

Now enjoy your freshly roasted chestnuts with family and friends.

Here are some ways to use your new chestnut skills:

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