Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best way to cook chestnuts?
2. Why are my chestnuts hard to peel?
3. Can chestnuts be eaten raw?
4. What is the best way to store chestnuts?
5. Can chestnuts be frozen?
6. How long should I cook my chestnuts for?

1. What is the best way to cook chestnuts?

It depends on how you want to eat them. If you using them in recipes such as soups, purees, desserts, cakes and so on, then boil them for about 10 mins.
If you just like to eat them roasted, then a BBQ plate or the top of a wood stove give good results. In a frying pan on ( no oil or water) the stove top or on anything that allows contact with a hot metal surface.

2. Why are my chestnuts hard to peel?

Some varieties are easier to peel than others. The premium easy peel variety is De Coppi Marone, so buying the right variety contributes significantly to ease of peeling. However here are some tips which improve the 'peelability' of any variety:
  • Keep the chestnuts warm whilst you are peeling them.
  • If you have boiled the chestnuts, leave them in the hot water and just remove a few at a time with a slotted spoon.
  • If the chestnuts have been roasted, wrap them in a damp tea towel and remove a few at a time to peel.
  • Use the point of a small sharp knife to slit the skin, then slide the blade partially under the skin and pull the skin away.
  • If you are using the chestnuts in a recipe where they need to put in a food processer, or any recipe that does not require a whole peeled chestnut, consider buying a large or jumbo sized chestnut, boil them, then drain and cut in half and scoop out with a teaspoon.

3. Can chestnuts be eaten raw?

Yes, but we think they taste much better cooked! They are also very difficult to peel unless they have been cooked. Heat causes the skin to separate from the nut.

4. What is the best way to store chestnuts?

Unlike other nuts, chestnuts do not have the oil content which acts like a preservative to give other nuts a longer shelf life. Chestnuts are more like a fruit- they will go mouldy unless stored in the fridge. Keep them in an open plastic bag to allow some air movement. If surface mould appears it can be washed off with a 4:1 mix of water/vinegar.

5. Can chestnuts be frozen?

Yes- we love chestnuts as part of our Christmas feast and always freeze plenty for stuffing the turkey, tossing with the brussel sprouts and for special dessert treats. Just cook & peel, then pack in freezer bags.
Tip: Make sure the chestnuts are completely cool & dry before freezing.

6. How long should I cook my chestnuts for?

A lot depends on the size of the nuts and the method of cooking. The larger the nut, the longer they take to cook through. Generally medium sized nuts take about 5-10 minutes, whilst jumbo sized take 20-25minutes. The best way is to sample them as they are cooking- if the skin is starting to pull away and they are hot in the centre, they are done!

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