The smell of roasting chestnuts is one of my favorite holiday aromas! If you aren't lucky enough to have an open fire to cook them over, here are simple instructions on how to roast them in the oven!

Step 1: Choosing your Chestnuts

To ensure that you're getting fresh, healthy chestnuts, avoid wrinkled, mottled, or dingy shells. These things can indicate mold or that they're past their prime. Also check for pinholes as those can indicate worms. (blech!)
The chestnut season is October through the end of December, so any for sale outside that window will likely be either too young or too old. Neither are desirable.

You want glossy, firm nuts that have little, if any, space between the shell and the meat inside.
<p>Wonderful :D Thanks for all the help!!</p>
<p>If you want to check if your chestnuts are moldy before cutting them squeeze them. If you can bend them like a half empty waterbottle, they will be moldy. Another thing you can dois shake them. If you can shake the nut and hear a ball like thing inside its moldy</p>
awesome :)
great! thanks!
Excellent! <br>Thank You!
to use as a handwarmer, how do you heat it? Would a microwave do it, and how long do you heat it? I'd be afraid of making it too hot. Also, what happens to a chestnut that you baked and baked, then couldn't open and kept heating for handwarmers?
the way im doing it its by making a cross like with the knife on the top of the chestnuts. So the end result should be something like this...
Martha Stewart was flogging some sort of device that poked an &quot;X&quot; into the shells--I never used it but might be an idea if you can find one. <br> <br>IF you have one that the shell did not open on and refuse to peel they make great handwarmers---just heat them up the next time it is cold and stash in your pockets. I used to walk to school with these in my pockets in the US Northeast.
I really like roasting chestnuts but I'll only buy the first ones that come in during the year. If not stored exactly right the nuts will start to mold and as far as I can tell there is no way to tell by looking at the shell that the nut inside is moldy. I've had perfect looking glossy beautiful shells reveal a moldy nut. It really takes a lot of fun out of it to roast them and then have to throw out half of them, particularly at $8/lb.
I love that you are bringing back this tradition. They are sooooo good. We also soak the cut nuts in a little salty water for an hour. It really helps the flavor. Oh yeah, they do explode, and I mean explode, if you don't cut them. I only had to learn that lesson once.
we add one glass of water and salt during roasting.
I always put a little water on the baking tray as this stops them drying out too much. :)
if you put them into a cup with full of water before cutting; it helps to cut shell more easier and also cooking result will be better with humidified chestnuts:)
Ooh! This seems much better (and safer) than chestnuts roasting on an open fire! Very festive instructable!
Pro Tip: Not doing this means they explode showering you with molten nuts.

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Bio: Made in Canada, I have a BFA in product design from Parsons School of Design in NYC. I've done work for Martha Stewart Living ... More »
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