1. Food

Roasting Chestnuts in the Oven

By November 30, 2003

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The best way to roast chestnuts is over the coals, but if that's not practical Italians generally roast them over a gas burner, in a simple iron pan that has many holes punched through it to allow the flames to touch the chestnuts -- see my article for instruction. However, you may not have the pan (or want to sacrifice one to the cause) or may not have a gas burner. At this point the oven is your only option.
Preheat your oven to 425 F (210 C). Take your chestnuts and make a cut across the round side of each to keep them from exploding, and arrange them either on a rack or on a cookie sheet. Roast them until the skins have pulled back from the cuts and the nutmeats have softened (exactly how long will depend upon the chestnuts, but at least 15-20 minutes. Remove the nuts from the oven, make a mound of them in an old towel, wrap them up, squeeze them hard -- they should crackle -- and let them sit for a few minutes.
Open a bottle of vino Novello (or Beaujolais Nouveau), open the towel, pour yourself a glass, peel the skin off the first chestnut, and enjoy.

Comments

May 22, 2006 at 7:48 pm
(1) Sue says:

How do you safely cut them though? When we try the skin is way too hard.

October 28, 2011 at 11:39 pm
(2) KT says:

you can use a pair of plyer to hold the chestnut and cut with the other hand. Better yet, wear garden gloves for the task just in case. I use newspaper or a pickle jar as a platform to elevate the chextnut and to protect the table.
Hint: Inspect and feel the chestnut before you cut. Discard any with tiny worm holes or those feeling too soft.

September 29, 2006 at 9:24 pm
(3) carliss says:

We did this today and used a box cutter; our neighbor showed us how.

October 25, 2006 at 4:10 pm
(4) Michelle says:

Use a proper knife! Too many people are frightened by knives… but a dull knife is in many ways riskier than a sharp one!

We roast chestnuts every year – never have a problem!

October 28, 2006 at 1:56 pm
(5) Eva says:

Yup.. use a sharp pointy knife. I have done this for years too and have never had a problem. I got more paper cuts from paper in the office than from roasting chestnuts!

October 28, 2006 at 3:27 pm
(6) Kyle says:

I use a cheap plastic-handled knife of the sort Italians used to put on their tables in the 60s that has a serrated blade whose scalloped indents cut cleanly through the skin of the chestnut. Never had a problem, nor cut myself.

Kyle

November 9, 2006 at 2:09 pm
(7) Dawn says:

My question is: After roasting them how long can I keep them and do the have to be refrigerated?

November 9, 2006 at 4:20 pm
(8) Kyle says:

They’re best eaten hot immediately after roasting. I’d be afraid they’d dry out in the reheating if I put them in the fridge.

Kyle

November 22, 2006 at 9:18 pm
(9) spike says:

I’ve always cut the “X” on the flat side, which is much easier in my opinion. Why bother cutting on the round side, as suggested here.

November 23, 2006 at 3:59 am
(10) Kyle says:

I cut the round side because as the cestnuts roast the skin pulls back, esposing the chestnuts and making them easier to peel after they’re roasted.

Kyle

November 23, 2006 at 12:34 pm
(11) V. Gassi says:

Your article states “Preheat oven to 425F”, but at what temperature do you continue to roast the chestnuts?
Thanks & Happy Thanksgiving
V.Gassi

November 24, 2006 at 3:29 am
(12) Kyle says:

At 425. Happiest Thanksgiving to you too!

Kyle

November 24, 2006 at 5:40 pm
(13) Ruth says:

My chestnuts were impossible to remove from the shell. I was told to soak them (which I did) before roasting. Anyone else have this problem? Solutions?

December 8, 2006 at 1:12 pm
(14) Lisa says:

My Italian grandmother always soaked them before roasting, and her cuts were in thr flat side. We never had a problem with peeling them, save a few scorched fingers from the heat.
They can be saved, and used in recipes in place of other nuts, but I wouldn’t refrigerate them. Gramma put them in a container which could be sealed, and the air removed. It’s the air that makes them get hard and inedible. If she wasn’t going to use them within a few days, she’d put them on a cookie sheet, freeze them, then put them in a freezer container. This is, of course, if there were any left after we grandchildren got at them hot!

December 14, 2006 at 2:20 pm
(15) Doug says:

Williams Sonoma sells a hand-held chestnut press that easily scores the nut without cutting anything else by mistake (like you). At about $25 you need to like chestnuts (we do). But it really works great. If you can, roast them over a charcoal fire outside, they do taste better.

December 19, 2006 at 3:36 pm
(16) Julie says:

Do you cut all the way through the shell, half way or just a line?

December 19, 2006 at 4:08 pm
(17) Kyle says:

Not far — about an eighth of an inch, or 2-3 millimiters 9sp?). You simply want to allow the steam that will form as the nuts cooks to escape. If you don’t they can explode.

Kyle

December 23, 2006 at 7:39 pm
(18) Rodney says:

What a great set of comments and answers. Thank you!!

December 23, 2006 at 8:02 pm
(19) james c leveroni says:

I believe it is necessary to soak the chestnuts in a solution of coyote urine and apple cider while playing Barry Manilo at a high volume. This is just what I have heard.

December 24, 2006 at 5:36 am
(20) Kyle says:

This has been a fun thread. I didn’t know about the coyote urine, however. We don’t have any around here, and will have to make do somehow. Perhaps wild boar? Problem is getting them to produce. Also, no Barry Manilo. Will Liberace do? :-/

Happy Christmas!

Kyle

Kyle

December 24, 2006 at 3:33 pm
(21) Sue says:

Our chestnuts never got soft. They were like rocks after 40 minutes and they were of a small size. We baked them in the oven. Did not soak them and did cut tbem before baking. What else should be have done? Leave them longer?

October 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm
(22) josh says:

wrong kind of chestnuts.

December 24, 2006 at 9:12 pm
(23) Kyle says:

If your chrstnuts never softenend, they were probably too old and too dry to begin with — I had this happen last week when I roasted some nuts I had bought a month ago. They were drier than they should have been going into the process and became very hard by the time I decided they were done. With older nuts you’re better off boiling them with some fennel seeds added to the water.

Kyle

January 5, 2007 at 12:54 pm
(24) Kathy says:

Help I have already roasted and peeled my chestnuts and now I want to use them in a recipe which calls for 1 1/2 lbs (before roasting) chestnuts. Is there a chart some where to tell me how many cups of reasted and peeled chestnuts you get from a pound of unroasted ones?

January 5, 2007 at 1:32 pm
(25) Kyle says:

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a chart that gives weight losses, and would wonder about one in any case, because results will vary with heat of fire and such. I’d guess a 20-30% decrease in weight by the time you’re done roasting and peeleing, and go with that.
I’d weigh, in any case, because with cups you’d also have to deal with shrinkage, and nut size — fewer big nuts will fit into a cup, and there will be proportianally more air in a cup filled with big nuts, if this makes any sense.

Kyle

December 1, 2007 at 9:11 pm
(26) Daniel says:

It’s actually a fun experience to roast the chestnuts without scoring them. Once. It makes an unbelievably loud bang in the oven and is an experience you shouldn’t miss. For extra credit, try doing the same using hot oil to cook the chestnuts. Ouch.

November 21, 2011 at 11:58 pm
(27) susan says:

holy CRAP does it make a loud noise. i thought a bomb went off in my oven the first time i roasted them and didn’t bother to look up the process first. didn’t score them and boom.

November 22, 2011 at 6:20 am
(28) italianfood says:

It’s like cooking an egg in the microwave…

October 5, 2008 at 5:59 pm
(29) Deepo says:

use a simple paring knife to make the cuts; flat side OK. When roasted, peel and make chestnut risotto…ambrosia!

October 6, 2008 at 3:56 am
(30) Kyle says:

The reason I use the knife with the serrated blade is that the chestnut skins are hard enough to dull paring knives quickly, and then I have to resharpen them :-(

October 9, 2008 at 10:56 am
(31) Wendy says:

I want to know what happened to our chestnuts — I prepared and cooked them as instructed — some exploded before the cooking time was up and made quite a mess in the oven I must say and then the others that were still in tact had the consistency of dry potatoes and had a bitter taste. They were fresh because I had gone to pick them earier that day and others were just falling from the trees — I think it was with the cooking process — but not sure — any suggestions so the next batch are better??? Thanks I appreciate it!!

October 14, 2008 at 4:57 am
(32) italianfood says:

I’m not sure. In my experience, chestnuts only explode if the cuts aren’t deep enough to make clean slices through the chestnut rinds – the slice should be about a half-inch, in other words close to completely across the nut.
Not sure about the flavor either, because the chestnuts we have in Italy are sweet even if they’re raw, at which point they do have a dry potato sort of texture – they soften with cooking.
If they’re bitter, however, there’s something wrong with them. Are you certain you picked edible chestnuts? There are trees that drop beautiful looking chestnuts in the parks of a town not far from where I am in Tuscany, but the old men who sit on the park benches told me they’re inedible (horse chestnuts, perhaps?). I wonder if your trees are like those.
Sorry not to be more helpful,
Kyle

November 26, 2008 at 11:33 pm
(33) maggie says:

Thank you for this fabulous posting!
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I bought chestnuts last Monday, per my mother’s request to bring to our pot-luck gathering. I asked her how she did it back when we were kids, and she told me her secret….they were bought from the vendors who roasted them in the market. LOL! By the time they got home, they were the perfect temperature to crack the shell and eat. Here’s what I did. I had placed the chestnuts in the freezer after I bought them, in fear that it would go bad before Thanksgiving. I spent a good 2 hours researching the appropriate way to roast them in the oven, and THIS SITE fits the bill! I tested 10 pieces tonight, and cut the “X” on the round of half of it, and on the flat side on the other half. I’ll conclude that it doesn’t matter where you cut. As long you cut, there won’t be any explosions! Also, line the baking sheet with foil as these things tend to get messy after wards. 425 degrees for 20 mins, and it’s done. I’m eating #6 right now, 4 more to go! Eating these chestnuts brings back great family memories.

Happy Thanksgiving!

December 20, 2008 at 2:16 am
(34) mike says:

I didn’t have any problem with the roasting of ‘em. Seems like they’ll be pretty good when they’re done in 20 mins… We’ll see.

October 6, 2009 at 9:11 am
(35) Donna says:

We have the ability to pick chestnuts here where I live (Portugal: chestnuts=castanhas) and love to get them out of their furry outer coat and then prepare them as described here.

October 14, 2009 at 6:43 am
(36) Monica says:

I find that using a serrated knife makes cutting easier.

November 8, 2009 at 10:54 am
(37) Ribbed says:

Great advice. Thanks everyone who posted. I just roasted a load and made an awesome chesnut and chorizo soup. Cheers from London for the help!

November 10, 2009 at 4:50 pm
(38) Sharyn says:

We always put our roasted chestnust after roasting in a dishe towel with some red wine poured over them, leave for about ten mintues yum.Close dish towel around the nuts

November 13, 2009 at 2:54 pm
(39) susan says:

I make a X across top with flat side down for easier cutting and placement on baking shhet. I use a pairing knife short and sharp.

November 13, 2009 at 4:54 pm
(40) susan says:

Helpful hint you should open the cooked chestnut asap if they cool too long they tend to stick to the shell and come out in pieces . If you have made a proper x and open warm they usually stay in whole pieces. Any extras can be stored and used for stuffing YUM

November 15, 2009 at 4:26 pm
(41) Germaine says:

This discussion was extremely helpful! Thanks everyone! I bought some today because I felt like it and then was not certain about the cooking so this was just what I needed.

November 19, 2009 at 2:35 pm
(42) Danielle says:

I’m interested in jarring my own chestnuts. Buying then already jarred is outrageous. Any suggestion on how I might go about this or find directions on it?

November 20, 2009 at 10:00 am
(43) italianfood says:

What do you mean by jarring? If you mean making marrons glacees (sorry about the missing accent), see http://italianfood.about.com/od/tastysweettreats/r/blr0664.htm.

Kyle

November 22, 2009 at 2:53 pm
(44) diane says:

I just roasted chestnuts last night and the inner brown skin would not come off the nut. I wonder if there is a trick to getting the skin to come off. It definitely decreased the pleasure of eating the chestnut. Any suggestions? The chestnuts were fresh and meaty.

November 22, 2009 at 4:31 pm
(45) italianfood says:

The nuts may not have been roasted quite long enough. Were they also slightly crunchy? If they were they weren’t cooked quite enough.

November 25, 2009 at 8:26 pm
(46) loree says:

i roasted large, meaty chestnuts from chinatown in s.f. at 450 for 15, 16 min. i had scored an x on flat side.
some exploded.
they ALL resisted peeling the inner shell after they had cooled about 20 min. almost tossed the lot. insides were soft but tough.
also there were black spots inside and outside of meat. impossible!
and i had been successful with smaller ones a couple months before. any idea on what went wrong?

November 27, 2009 at 5:02 pm
(47) Jo says:

Thanks for the tips. I roasted them at 425 but it took about 40 minutes. I wrapped them in a towel, then peeled them about 10 minutes after I took them out. About 90% perfect. Not sure if my dad will like they are already out of their shells BUT having left them in the shell in the past I never got very much because of the skin. Thanks for the help ! ! !

December 4, 2009 at 10:03 am
(48) Cynthia says:

We use a wood handled chestnut scorer knife. It looks like the Lamson model on Amazon. Has worked great for the last 9 years! Also good to use for removing the foil on wine bottles,and as of 0630 this morning, pulling those darned little burned out lights from the string on the Christmas tree. This knife is tough yet doesn’t give you the fear of slicing yourself!

December 4, 2009 at 10:34 pm
(49) BB says:

Loree, I’m having a similar problem with the large chestnuts I got at the grocery story. Cutting x’s using a soft towel under them so they don’t slip. Roasting at pre-heated 425 for 15-20 min, and the inner skin is sticking, and the center is brown. Wondering if they are old?

I’m going to the farmers’ market tomorrow to hope I can find the good ones! But any idea if I’m doing something wrong would be appreciated.

December 5, 2009 at 9:01 am
(50) italianfood says:

I wonder where your chestnuts are from, too. Different chestnut cultivars from different places may behave differently. Just guessing, because what’s happening to you isn’t usually a problem with the chestnuts I buy in Italy.

December 22, 2009 at 1:20 am
(51) TIM H says:

I roasted mine in a convection oven for about 25 min @ 425 and they came out WAYYYY over done, hard as rocks, and quite bitter. I am going to try another batch, shorter time and no convection. hopefully with better results. Thanks for all the info. TH

January 2, 2010 at 5:39 pm
(52) Michelle says:

Instead of knife, I use thread snip. Just gently push in the tip and snip. Fast and safe. I roast them on 420F for 20 minutes. Just perfect!

Something like this.
http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog/productdetail.jsp?pageName=search&flag=true&PRODID=prd59198

January 18, 2010 at 6:37 pm
(53) Ed says:

Sounds like some people are picking chestnuts from their back yard. You can not eat chestnuts from North American trees! The chestnuts sold at grocery stores are a different variety (that’s why the ones picked locally taste horrible). No amount of experimenting will get those kind of chestnuts to taste good. Buy them from the grocery store and cook them fresh.

My mother would make an Austrian version called “Maroni Reis” or chestnut rice. The cooked chestnuts would get coarsely ground, mixed with white sugar and then topped with whipped cream. Very unique flavor.

January 22, 2010 at 11:42 pm
(54) yuyu says:

The directions were awesome! Today was my first time roasting chestnuts and I’m just amazed how perfect they came out. I say this because the majority of times Iíve had chestnuts they usually donít come out in one piece.

I bought a pound of chestnuts in NYC’s Chinatown today and picked out 15 to test (since it was my first go). Scored an X on each chestnut randomly, just to test which side would be better, and then popped them in a convection oven for 20 min on 400 degrees. Afterward I left them in the oven for 5-10 min for the temperature to drop a bit. Then took them out, dropped them into a damp towel and just pounded at them with my hand. Nearly all came out perfect! Which side to score didnít seem to matter but make sure the knife cuts past the shell. So glad to have come upon this posting. Thank you for the awesome directions!

May 8, 2010 at 6:47 pm
(55) Cathy Viviano says:

Love this idea.
There’s nothing satisfying than “chestnuts roasting on open fire”. Just be careful with the fire.
Happy Christmas Greetings :)

October 8, 2010 at 11:11 am
(56) ch says:

I ate a chestnut yesterday from a North American tree and it was fine. Gonna roast some this evening and see what happens.

October 31, 2010 at 1:51 pm
(57) Amy says:

Can you roast chestnuts on the BBQ? We’re hosting a chestnut and novello party soon!
Tx

October 31, 2010 at 7:23 pm
(58) italianfood says:

Amy,

The BBQ wull work just fine for roasting chestnuts, provided you stir them about often to make certain they cook evenly. Truth be told, there’s not much difference between bbq and a pan with holes in the bottom over a gas flame.

All best,

Kyle

November 21, 2010 at 1:33 pm
(59) chester says:

try using the bottom sharp end of a large chef knife. the sharp end tip just above the handle. just hold it over the chest nut and push down on the blunt top of the knife. you have more control and i find it safer than using the top tip of the knife.

November 21, 2010 at 4:21 pm
(60) Agnes says:

Invest in a little gizmo called the chestnutter. I bought one 4 years ago and I love it. You put the chestnut in the hole, close it and a perfect x is cut into the chestnut.

November 24, 2010 at 6:10 pm
(61) janine says:

I have been roasting chestnuts since I was a kid. Freshness counts and I find if I cook them cut side down with a bit of water, it moistens the meat and the shells remove better. They never dry out this way and maintain their flavor. As an experiment I will add turkey stock instead of water and let you know how it turns out. Happy Turkey day.

November 25, 2010 at 12:56 am
(62) Lorraine says:

For the first time in 50 years I finally roasted perfect chestnuts! I bought 30 and I was able to use all 30! They cooked to perfection with that temp & time. Then rolling them in the towel was the real trick. All came out of the shell whole, without loosing even one. It was a beautiful sight to behold! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!

November 29, 2010 at 12:21 am
(63) Ceci says:

Followed directions, soaked, baked in 425 oven 40 min. My chestnuts stuck to the sides, tried waiting until they cooled down more, still stuck. This never happened when we made them back in New York as a kid … could it have been my electric oven ? We had a gas oven as a kid. Anyone know. I am sooo disappointed.

November 29, 2010 at 11:56 am
(64) italianfood says:

I’m not sure what went wrong, though I wonder, how fresh were the chestnuts? I’m asking this because when i roast fresh chestnuts in the oven (electric) they come out fine. When they’re older, they’re nowhere near as good.

November 29, 2010 at 2:44 am
(65) Mark says:

it seems some are trying to cook the American nut or horse chestnut. these are harder to shell and have a bitter taste to them. the taste comes from the POSION in them. it would take a lot of nuts to kill a adult but the bitter taste should be noted and then not eaten..

December 6, 2010 at 9:17 pm
(66) Gordon says:

Try a dremmel with a cutting wheel. That does the trick!

December 11, 2010 at 9:37 pm
(67) ginette says:

These are great! Fun to eat when you have people over. This is the third time we make them now…

December 19, 2010 at 5:17 pm
(68) Amy says:

We roasted chesnuts on the BBQ and they turned out great–thanks!

December 23, 2010 at 11:41 am
(69) beeredup says:

how do you get the wild boar to sit still while your collecting the urine? i have tried riding him but holding the bucket is very hard now i have broken my arm!!

December 23, 2010 at 2:52 pm
(70) Julia says:

Regarding the knife – if you hod the nut in nutcrackers while you cut there’s no risk if you slip!

I just roasted some by instruciotns from another site that said 30 mins – too long! I’ll try again with your timings!

December 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm
(71) JohnE says:

Has anyone ever thought of steaming chestnuts after scoring the outer skin. This would surely moisten the flesh?

December 24, 2010 at 7:28 pm
(72) Jim says:

The folks that are soaking their nuts before baking, but having bad results…. Don’t soak them. They come out perfectly following the authors instructions above. Once you master that, then I’d start experimenting but if you want to get a perfect batch at first, just follow what he says in this recipe. It works everytime for me!

Thanks Kyle!

December 25, 2010 at 8:21 pm
(73) Las says:

I just roasted some in the oven for more than about 30 minutes. Some came out fine, others were half soft and half like rock, still others very crunchy. I wonder if I baked them too long, or whether they were too old after sitting in the frig for about a month.
Read an earlier comment warning about trying to roast chestnuts that are too old. Perhaps that is my problem.
Any ideas? Can they be over-roasted?

December 3, 2011 at 9:39 pm
(74) Patricia says:

Has no one heard of a chestnut cutter? Bought one just recently and its a great invention. Live in Toronto and found it at Freshco Grocery Store. The best thing I’ve purchased in a long time.

December 5, 2011 at 4:31 am
(75) italianfood says:

Hazelnut butter, but never encountered chestnut. Sounds good!

December 20, 2011 at 5:41 pm
(76) Richard says:

I have found that after you cook the chestnuts, if you slam your flat open hand on the side without the x cut, the chestnut will open up. Then you can use a teaspoon to remove the chestnut from its shell without the fibrous lining, much the same as you would remove an egg from its shell.

December 24, 2011 at 4:55 pm
(77) laurence says:

Thank you all for the imformation, will be trying to cook some tomorrow.

December 31, 2011 at 1:19 pm
(78) John says:

I see all the discussion about using a knife to cut an X in the shell, but I’m just wondering why you can’t just use a regular nut cracker … vertically across the 2 ends (rather than horizontally around the middle which just smashes them).

I just tried this method with a nut cracker and it makes a nice split in the shell which seems like it achieves the same effect that cutting an X with a knife would accomplish.

I haven’t roast them yet to see how they’ll turn out, but I was wondering if a chestnut roasting afficianado could tell me why this “scoring” method wouldn’t work? Is it because I maybe am only breaking the shell, but not actually cutting the surface of the nutmeat itself?

December 31, 2011 at 7:42 pm
(79) Nancy B says:

It looks like I am not the only one looking for answers Dec 31, 2011. Got some Chestnuts today. I took a bag and scooped some up however I noticed some Italian older gentlemen inspecting each one before selecting them. From the text, Kyle, it looks like I should be more choosy! Next time. I am grateful for your clear descriptions and will proceed as directed. I will be doing a spot on my show In the Kitchen with Nancy and will refer my audience to the source!

January 3, 2012 at 11:33 am
(80) Kyle says:

John, I’ve never tried a nut cracker — just use a simple Italian cheap knife with a yellow plastic handle and a serrated blade (the cheapest of table settings) and make a cut across the chestnut, not all the way around. The goal is to go through the skin so steam can escape, and if I cut a little ways into the nutmeat I do, though I’m not trying to.

I’ll try using a nut cracker.

September 22, 2012 at 12:40 pm
(81) Lisa says:

We bought my husbands uncles place and have been cusing him for planting 2 chestnut trees near the house. We have so many, we shovel them into barrels and send to the dump. We never tried roasting them. We saved a few and plan to give it a try this fall. Wish us luck.

September 25, 2012 at 5:51 am
(82) italianfood says:

They do tend to drop lots of nuts. But it could be worse — we have oaks, and acorns aren’t edible, at least not by humans. A friend suggested we procure either a goat or a small pig to clean up the yard, but either would greatly upset our rather anxious dog.

September 28, 2012 at 11:15 am
(83) Ruben says:

I always soak and rinse the chestnuts several times before I make cuts on the round side and roast them. Chestnuts fall from the tree so we do not know where they land especially when purchased from stores.

September 29, 2012 at 4:31 pm
(84) italianfood says:

If you rinse them that will probably be enough. The chestnut rind is pretty hard, and unless a boring insect gets though it (at which point you won’t want to eat the chestnut regardless) I don’t see how dirt could reach the nutmeats. Keep in mind that people gather them quickly because they can get moldy if left on the ground, but if that happens and the mold taints the chestnuts, cooking probably won’t eliminate it completely.

September 28, 2012 at 12:53 pm
(85) Kathe says:

I have a huge, bumper crop of chestnuts this year in my backyard. I have frozen some whole in their shells because I can’t process them in time. The rest I will be roasting according to the above directions. In the past I have had a problem with getting them out of their inner, papery skins and have poured boiling water over them to keep the skins soft after roasting. As for the X cut, I make the cut in the top by using a little inexpensive sharp knife but I don’t hold onto the nut. I just place the knife on top and give it a sharp tap with a meat tenderiser or mallet, just enough to cut about 3/4″ long and just deep enough to cut the leathery shell. That way I don’t slice my fingers. Works like a charm.

October 2, 2012 at 1:05 pm
(86) AnnieC says:

I am feeling a bit frustrated as now I have bought 2 pints of imported Italian chestnuts from Walmart and the processing of them have been EPIC fails….the first method to roast that I used was to place a X on the flat side. I roasted for 15 minutes at 425 degrees and they came out hard as a rock. The second batch, I cut across the round side then simmered with a pinch of salt in water. After I fished them out of the water with a spoon strainer I roasted on 425 degrees for 15 minutes. All but one of the chestnuts was hard. The one I had was soft and meaty and delicious…I am guessing that my problem is that buying them from Walmart they are not fresh…so in this case how should I prepare them(I live in a rural community in Utah with no opportunity to pick my own)? Should I reduce the roasting time from 15 to 10 minutes or should I reduce the degree setting? I would like to use chestnuts in another recipe but need to figure out the correct method to roast….thank in advance for any advice.

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