How to peel chestnuts


The chestnuts on an open fire question reminded me: Is there a trick to peeling chestnuts easily? I always end up with bits of hairy skin stuck to the chestnuts (ick), and/or stuck under my fingernails (ouch). We usually roast them in the oven (after slitting them suitably, of course); is there a cooking method that results in easier peeling?

In case it matters, I'd want the chestnuts either for eating out of hand, or for making chestnut puree.

Best Answer

My experience has been that the freshest chestnuts can be peeled pretty easily if I do it while they're still hot (I usually roast them). This does mean that one's fingers can get burned, though! I wonder whether some of the recommended techniques for peeling garlic cloves would help with "sticky" chestnut-skins? [Choosing fresh chestnuts over moldy ones is a problem in itself; off to see if there's a question about that!]