Test Kitchen tips: Peeling chestnuts


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You know the holidays are just around the corner when you start spotting fresh chestnuts in the market. Wonderful as they may be to eat, chestnuts can be tricky to peel and if you’ve never worked with them before (or are feeling a bit rusty at the start of the season).

Food editor Russ Parsons has a simple but great guide for roasting, peeling and using chestnuts. We also include a helpful step-by-step photo gallery to help you figure out how to score and peel them.


You might also want to consider purchasing a chestnut knife to help you tackle the nuts. The little knife looks a lot like a curved tourné or birds beak knife, though the blade is smaller, with more of a curved point. You can find them at select cooking and gourmet stores; they’re also available online. Prices vary, but a chestnut knife should set you back about $10. They make the whole job of scoring chestnuts so much easier, so you can focus on the important things, like roasting them over an open fire.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you’d like me to explore, leave a comment below or email me at


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