Finding and roasting sweet chestnuts

Starting from mid-October to mid-November it’s time for chestnuts! Chestnut trees will drop their chestnuts. Would you like a fun outing with the kids? Then go looking for sweet chestnuts. A fun activity in the month of October. A nice walk combined with a search for chestnuts to roast on an open fire afterwards.

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The difference between sweet chestnuts and horse chestnuts

There are two types of chestnuts: sweet chestnuts and horse chestnuts. Sweet chestnuts taste sweet and can be eaten, unlike horse chestnuts, which are very bitter and can't be eaten. Also in terms of appearance, they different from one another:

  • The hull of a sweet chestnut looks a bit like a hedgehog with long, thin spikes. The horse chestnut has a hull with short spines that are not as sharp.
  • Sweet chestnuts are pointy, horse chestnuts are round.
  • In the hull of sweet chestnut there are usually three chestnuts and in a horse chestnut only one.

Roasting sweet chestnuts

If you’d like to roast sweet chestnuts, proceed as follows:

  • With a sharp knife make a cross in the top of the chestnuts (otherwise they’ll burst).
  • In the oven: Preheat oven at 200°C. Place chestnuts in the oven for 15-20 minutes until they pop open.
  • Outside in a pan over open fire: Put the chestnuts in a special chestnut roasting pan with holes and place it over the fire such as that of a fire pit. Shake occasionally.
  • Roasting can also be done in hot ashes (not in the fire) of, for example, a barbecue or terrace fireplace. Pack the chestnuts in aluminium foil first.
  • You can also cook the peeled chestnuts. Cook for about 30 minutes.

Tip: Warm roasted chestnuts are delicious with a knob of butter, salt and pepper.

Keep chestnuts cool

Chestnuts dry out quickly. You can keep them a little longer by chilling them. The chestnuts can be kept in a paper bag for about 3 to 6 days if cool. If the chestnuts are too damp, they’ll get moldy. So enjoy them sooner rather than later!

Tip: You can’t see on the outside if chestnuts are suitable to roast but there is a trick: put them in a bucket of water. The chestnuts that sink are suitable. If they stay afloat, you can’t roast them. The edible sweet chestnut can be recognised by the pointy shape.

Get started now!

Roasting chestnuts is fun, healthy and above all a cosy family affair. Enjoy the falling leaves and the beautiful autumn colours and go outside. Light a fire pit and use the special Barbecook chestnut roasting pan. With the extra long handle of 35 cm you can safely roast chestnuts. Click here to order this Barbecook Chestnut roasting pan cheaply from


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