How to Clean Chestnuts

Roasted chestnuts are a special treat.
Roasted chestnuts are a special treat. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Chestnuts are a meaty tree nut that are traditionally associated with the winter holidays. Often eaten roasted as a treat, they are sometimes also used in recipes from soups to turkey dressing. Chestnuts' reputation for being difficult to peel might keep you from purchasing them, but once you get the hang of the process, the nuts are easy to remove from their leathery skins.

Things You'll Need

  • Small, sharp knife
  • Cookie sheet

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Score each nut with a small, sharp knife. Chestnuts have a curved and a flat side. Scoring the flat side is easier and safer. Cut an X over the whole surface, making sure the knife goes through to the hollow between the skin and the nut.

Place the scored nuts on a cookie sheet. Bake the nuts for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The skin will be peeled back at the scoring when you take the nuts out of the oven.

Let the nuts cool enough to handle. Peel the chestnut skins back from the nuts. Use a knife to peel back any part of the skin that sticks, much like paring an apple.


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