This Fire Roasted Chestnuts Recipe is a great holiday idea to entertain your guests and give them a buttery, nutty snack! Like many other nuts, roasting or toasting them brings out deep nutty flavors and fills the air with an amazing aroma. Learn to make chestnuts over a roasted fire with this recipe using your charcoal grill.
Why This Recipe Works:
Just like the song implies, chestnuts roasting on an open fire are cozy, aromatic, and delicious. This is a classic holiday recipe that you can make easily using your grill.
Chestnuts are generally not very good raw. They have to be roasted to reduce their tannic acid and bring out the flavors of the chestnut. Roasting them and topping them with a little bit of salt brings out a buttery and soft texture with a hint of saltiness that is so good! Plus, the smell will have you thinking of Christmas and the holidays right away.
- Sharp Knife
- Cast Iron Skillet or Aluminum Pan
- Charcoal Grill
- Heat Resistant Gloves
Welcome to my virtual classroom! Use the guided notes below where I often answer commonly asked questions I get from readers and cooks just like you.
This information is meant to help you have a stronger understanding of this recipe and the process so you can find success all on your own.
Ready to begin cooking? Simply jump to the recipe card below and begin.
What Do Roasted Chestnuts Taste Like?
If you have yet to try chestnuts, this fire roasted chestnuts recipe will make you fall in love! Roasted chestnuts are fairly soft, slightly nutty, and have a buttery texture. They have a higher amount of moisture than other nuts, making them a bit chewier.
They are delicious topped with a high quality crunchy salt like sea salt!
This simple fire roasted chestnut recipe takes very few ingredients and just a bit of effort! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Chestnuts: You can buy chestnuts in your grocery store, sometimes located in the bulk section. Be sure to get fresh chestnuts only a day or so before you plan to make them so they are as fresh as possible!
- Sea Salt: A bit of crunchy salt like sea salt is needed to round out the flavors of the chestnuts after they are roasted.
How To Fire Roast Chestnuts:
- Light the Grill & Prepare the Chestnuts: First, start up your charcoal grill or smoker and bring the grill up to 425-450 degrees F. Prepare the chestnuts by lightly cutting a small X into the round part of the chestnut shell. This helps to release steam during the fire roasting process. Be sure not to make too large of an X.
- Roast: Place the chestnuts into a cast iron skillet or aluminum pan, lay them flat with the cut side up. Place the chestnuts over the coals of the charcoal grill and close the lid. Let them roast over the coals like this for about 10 minutes.
- Stir: Carefully stir the chestnuts. It will be hot near the coals so wear gloves! Allow the chestnuts to roast for another 5-10 minutes as needed. The top of the nutshell should have expanded and the chestnuts should take on a light golden brown color.
- Remove & Rest: Remove the chestnuts from the coals and place the pan somewhere heat safe to rest. Carefully remove the chestnuts from the pan and place them into a clean towel and let them rest wrapped in the towel for about 10 minutes.
- Peel & Enjoy: Peel the shells off all the chestnuts (do this immediately) and then lightly season the fire roasted nuts with a high quality sea salt (like Maldon). Serve & enjoy!
My fire roasted chestnut recipe is fairly easy to follow, but here are a few tips to make sure they come out perfect!
- Be sure to use heat resistant gloves when dealing with the charcoal grill. This can be very hot and will likely burn your hands without them!
- Don’t skip the scoring process! Creating the X on the chestnuts is essential to be able to cook the chestnuts properly and also to be able to peel them. The X will open up slightly and give you a good starting place to peel.
- Try not to overcrowd the pan. Keep the chestnuts in a single layer in the pan. Each one should be touching the pan in order to properly roast!
Frequently Asked Questions:
When at the store, choose American or Italian chestnuts. Look at each chestnut as you choose them to make sure they are smooth and generally free of imperfections like blemishes. Also, try to choose chestnuts that are all roughly the same size so that they all cook evenly.
You can try a chestnut by carefully peeling one (being careful not to burn yourself), and tasting it. If it is soft and buttery, then you are good to go. If the center is still hard then let the chestnuts roast a few minutes longer!
More Holiday Recipes to Try:
- Mini Smoked Cheese Balls
- Herb Smoked Marcona Almonds
- Homemade Chex Party Mix
- Steak & Cranberry Crostini
Fire Roasted Chestnuts Recipe
- 2 lb. Chestnuts fresh
- Sea Salt to taste
- Light the charcoal in a grill or smoker and bring the grill up to about 425-450 F.
- Prepare the chestnuts by lightly cutting a small X into the round part of the chestnut shell. This helps with releasing steam during the fire roasting process (do not make too large of an X).
- Add the chestnuts into a cast iron skillet or aluminum pan, lay them flat with the cut side up.
- Place the chestnuts over the coals of the charcoal grill and close the lid. Let the chestnuts roast over the coals like this for about 10 minutes.
- Carefully stir the chestnuts (it will be very hot near the coals so wear gloves) and allow the chestnuts to roast another 5-10 minutes as needed. The top of the nutshell should have expanded and the chestnuts should take on a lightly golden brown color.
- Remove the chestnuts from the coals and place the pan somewhere heat safe to rest. Carefully remove the chestnuts and place them into a clean towel and let them rest wrapped in the towel for about 10 minutes.
- Peel the shells off all of the chestnuts (do this immediately) and then lightly season the fire roasted nuts with a high quality sea salt (maldon). Serve and enjoy!