OMG! This just happened tonight 21st century! While I was putting my baby to bed upstairs I fell to a short sleep. I woke to a burnt smell and asked the question before I came down stairs to an explosion scene. I have to put this on record-public. My husband is always concerned about safety, about me setting the house on fire. When I set something in oven and leave to attend children or some other little things for a short moment, only find upon return he has turned off the oven, which puts meals off schedule and sets me on fire every time. And I learned my lesson with chestnuts almost 15 years ago. I'm surprised my husband cooked an explosion many years later, somewhat amused by the fact that he is always concerned about safety, about me setting the house on fire not him, relieved no personal injury to take care.
To anyone who wants to "repeat" or avoid explosion, below are the steps:
Step 1: Cover chestnuts with water, bring it to a boil, turn down heat and keep it on low boil for 30 minutes. If you don't need to use chestnuts right away or have some other things to do, you can leave the nuts in hot water for hours which results in moist nuts instead of dry nuts, makes cutting slit on the shell later easier.
Step 2: Preheat oven to 380F.
Step 3: To "repeat " the explosion, drain water and place boiled chestnuts on cookie sheet on a single layer.
To avoid explosion, drain water and cut a slit on each chestnut, place them on cookie sheet in a single layer. (Cutting the slit on each chestnut is a bit work but it's a sure way to avoid explosion and a promise of getting whole nuts. Sooner or later you have to open and remove the shell to eat the nut, no way to avoid it.)
Step 4: To "repeat " the explosion, set timer at 30 minutes. To avoid explosion, set timer at 25 minutes.
Step 5: To "repeat " the explosion, plug your ears and start to watch movie on your computer. Pretend or thought the noise come from upstairs when you hear the first popping sound. Wait for either the timer or louder popping sound to extract you from the movie.
To avoid explosion, keep your ears and eyes open, stay close to the oven in hearing range. Come to the oven whenever you sense something odd or when the timer beeps. Pick the largest chestnut and check for doneness. If not done, roast a few or several more minutes.
Step 6: If you have successfully "repeated" the explosion, you're rushing to the oven, open the door without thinking, you may be hit by hot flying chestnut. You have to remove the shells of chestnuts that haven't exploded which is painful. Time is never your favor either because as the chestnuts become cooler, it becomes harder to peel them. Also expect spending about 1 hour to clean the oven as nut meal is literally on every surfaces, parts and under heating compartment.
The 4th, 5th and 6th photos show I made an opening on each nut on a batch I did a few days later using the corner of my kitchen knife, it cracked open wider during roasting which made removing the shell as easy as snapping fingers.
My husband did learn that there is a fun way to remove the shell that hasn't been slit open in the initial step. He put a few in a plastic bag, swing and bang it to the counter top to crack open the shell. It did work, I liked it and it partially redeemed him from the explosion. But how to avoid explosion surely without split the shell an opening before roasting? If you know better, please take a moment to leave comments.
Hope you enjoyed this Instructable and please vote it for the Spectacular Failures contest. Any glory belongs to my husband who quietly went to sleep tonight after the cleaning up. Thanks!