01 of 05
Cutting the Chestnuts - Roasting Chestnuts on the Grill
Chestnuts have always been one of the most popular holiday treats. However, today few people seem to know how to prepare them. What you need is a high, intense heat to cook the chestnuts to make them sweet and wonderful. Chances are you have the perfect piece of cooking equipment sitting on your patio. Your grill, whether gas or charcoal, will provide the kind of heat needed to cook chestnuts.
You may have heard of chestnuts popping on an open fire. Actually, you don't want them popping too... much. To keep them from literally exploding, cut a little X in the shell of the chestnut to let out the steam as they cook. This is easily done by pushing the point of a paring knife through the shell.
Make sure to inspect the chestnuts and throw out any that are cracked, moldy or rattle. If the meat inside is dried out the chestnuts will rattle with a hard sound like a marble inside. These are no good.Continue to 2 of 5 below.
02 of 05
Washing Chestnuts - Roasting Chestnuts on the Grill
Before the chestnuts hit the grill give them a good rinse. This will help soften the shells for later on and reduce the charring on the surface as they roast. It also washes off any remaining dirt and dust on the chestnuts.
Continue to 3 of 5 below.
03 of 05
Grilling Chestnuts - Roasting Chestnuts on the Grill
Preheat your grill to 400 degrees F. If the chestnuts can fall through the cooking grate, place them in a grill topper (i.e. Grill Wok) or in a pie tin with holes punched in the bottom. Otherwise, place the chestnuts directly on the cooking grate. The cooking time is roughly 15 minutes but watch them carefully to prevent burning. Chestnuts should be turned or tossed around on the grill every 5 minutes so that they cook evenly and the shells do not burn excessively.
This process works the same on... both gas and charcoal grills. Just watch the temperature to keep it as close to 400 degrees F as possible.
Continue to 4 of 5 below.
04 of 05
When the Chestnuts are Done - Roasting Chestnuts on the Grill
After about 15 minutes, the chestnuts should be cooked. Remember that underdone chestnuts taste bitter, but properly cooked they have a slightly sweet, buttery flavor. The chestnuts are done when the shells have a little charring on the surface and the X you made in the first step is opened up and you can start to see the meat of the chestnut inside.
When done, removed the chestnuts from the grill and allow to cool to the point where you can handle them comfortably.
Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
Shelling Chestnuts - Roasting Chestnuts on the Grill
Once the chestnuts have cooled down sufficiently, it is time to get them out of their shells. Don't let them cool down too much. Chestnuts are best served warm. The shells of the chestnuts should be hard and easily broken. Crack open the shells and pull out the meat. These are delicious straight from the shell or perfect in any number of dishes, including stuffings and soups.