Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600675


Cooking methods:

1. Roasting: For roasting over an open fire, use a
covered utensil with a long handle. For roasting in an
oven, try a temperature of 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about
15 minutes. Experiment a bit with oven setting and length
of time to suit your own preference. When properly roasted,
the kernel may be removed with a small fork, dipped lightly
or completely in melted butter, and salted to taste.
CAUTION: Do not roast chestnuts unless you have punctured
the shell with at least 1 or 2 holes. If this is not done,
the build up of steam pressure within the shell can cause
the nut to explode even after they have been removed from
the oven. A sharp-pointed instrument such as an ice pick
or knife is good for putting holes through the shell.
Leaving one nut unpunctured is one way of knowing when the
nuts have roasted long enough - when it explodes, the other
nuts should be done.

2. Boiling: First cut the chestnuts in half with a
sharp knife. Use a rather shallow pan with cover, using
only enough water so nuts are not completely covered. Bring
nuts to a boil, then reduce the heat and boil for 15
to 20 minutes. Drain, allow to cool a bit, the kernels
should come out readily. The longer the nuts are
cooked,the mealier the kernels become and the more they
will crumble upon removal from the shell.

Chestnuts may also be boiled vigorously in a deeper
kettle with more water. After a few minutes, the
kernels will begin to fall out of the half shells. Drain,
remove the rest of the kernels from the shells and cook
as much as desired in another kettle of fresh water.

3. Steaming: Cut chestnuts in half, and try an
initial steaming time of 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and cool a
bit and remove any kernels which haven't already fallen out.
A small fork may then be used to spear the kernels for
dipping in melted butter with salt added if desired.
Steaming is considered by some to be the best method for an
easy removal of the kernel and is probably best for nuts
which have dried a bit too much. Steamed kernels may also
be added to other recipes.

4. Microwave oven: Use of the microwave oven can give
excellent results with the inner skin and outer shell
separating easily from the kernel. Results obtained depend
on the number of nuts being cooked, the degree of dryness of
the nuts, the setting of the oven, and the length of time
involved. Cut nuts in half, and place the cut end
down on a double layer of paper toweling. For a start, try
using 8 medium-sized nuts and a roast setting for 2
minutes. A bit of experimenting is necessary.

Cooked chestnuts may be kept in the refrigerator in
jars for a considerable period of time or in the freezer for
even longer.

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