Total Time
Prep 0 mins
Cook 30 mins

All you need is a stove. I went to the British for this because if anyone knows how to roast a chestnut, they do. From the BBC. I needed plain for a recipe and don't use oils.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Since the computer will NOT let this run with one ingredient, we will add one. The optional wine, Drink it while the nuts are cooking however if you don't drink it is optional.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. cut a cross in the top each nut into the top of the flesh. Put in roasting pan and bake until skins open and insides are tender about 30 minutes [check, can vary from 10 to 30 minutes].
  4. To serve place in paper bags. Peel away skin and pith [white stuff]. Eat the kernel.
  5. Note: You can leave a test chestnut. Do not put the cross in this one when you put them in the oven, then when it blows, it bounces off the side of the stove, causes the cat who is sleeping on the rug next to the stove to have a heart attack, they are done.
  6. Also note: as reviewed other pets also work such as dogs. I am not sure about ferrets. They tend to be a bit nervous anyway.
  7. However as noted, Bassetts or Beagles or other 'hunting' breeds may not react. They were bred for loud sudden noises.


Most Helpful

What a disaster! I had neither wine nor household pet, so, in the interests of following the recipe reasonably closely, I went out and bought a cat. However, on my tight budget, made even tighter by my recent purchase, I had to make do with some methylated spirits ( White spirits for American readers), instead of the wine. I drank some of the Methylated, which tasted surprisingly good, so I had a little more whilst I cut crosses in all but one of the chestnuts as you suggested. I heated the oven to the required temperature and put the chestnuts in a cast iron pan into the hot oven. Ahh... the deliciousness of anticipation! After about 15 or 20 minutes, the pressure inside the un-crossed chestnut built up enough pressure to explode the tough skin of the nut. It let go with all the force (and the exact same physics principle) that drives massive ships and railway carriages; the irresistible force of steam. The explosion of that single chestnut was heard by neighbours in the next street. Someone rang the fire and emergency services. I had no need to open the oven, as the force had blown the heatproof glass door right off its hinges. The oven cavity was covered in a very thin film of chestnut meat, but there was nothing else left of the exploded nut. I couldn't even find fragments of skin! It took days to clean up later, but I was quite calm throughout, as the Methylated spirits had soothed my nerves so much, that I just though it was funny, after I had recovered from the bowel-loosening shock of the unbelievably loud explosion made by the detonating chestnut. After the ambulance officers had treated me for mild alcohol poisoning, and suggested that I never again try this chestnut-readiness testing method at home or anywhere else for that matter, they left, happily clutching a few of the remaining nuts, which, by the way, were delicious, with a touch of salt. I had almost forgotten about the chestnuts. The cat?... He flew through an open window with a screech I will never forget. I have never seen that cat again.

lginley July 24, 2008

Never knew the "right" way to make chestnuts and have tried just about everything on them in the past lol Used 2 cats + a sleeping father for foolproof timing and went with a nice bottle of Blackberry Merlot. I appreciate the tip about serving them out of a paper bag. Keeps them warm longer and adds a very nice old timey touch.

Nikoma January 06, 2009

I actually have never had roast chestnuts before, but since it's that time of year there were bags of chestnuts at the grocery store. Unfortunately, I was out of wine so I had to go with the optional martini. I can confirm the whole cat thing, though. Works even better with TWO cats, both of which were sleeping near the stove when the unintended test chestnut went rocketing around inside. Oh, that was fun. Not. The chestnuts tasted great. Now I know what I've been missing. The martinis (okay, I got stuck on that first instruction and wound up repeating it twice) were great, too.

VenomousKate December 17, 2007

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