Can you boil chestnuts

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “Can you boil chestnuts?” We will also discuss how long you should boil chestnuts, what is the best way to boil them and how to test if the chestnuts are properly boiled and peel them.

Can you boil chestnuts?

Yes, you can boil chestnuts and enjoy these incredibly sweet, delicate, and low in fat nuts as ideal snacks or special treats for you and your family during the cold weather and holiday season. They are also one of the best ingredients you can use to make both sweet (cakes, cookies) and savoury dishes (soups, purees).

But have you ever wondered how you can eat chestnuts and peel both their shells and prickly cover so that you can enjoy the sweet taste of fresh nuts and benefit from their high fibre content in a healthy yet tasty way?

 If yes then we will tell you that boiling chestnut is a perfect choice and one of the best options you have when it comes to chestnut and it is easily achievable because we are going to give you in his article some helpful hints and tricks that will help you attain the best perfect boiled chestnut ever, so keep reading till the end.

How long should you boil chestnuts?

The boiling time of chestnuts depends mainly on two main factors:

  • The chestnuts size
  • The purpose or plan of boiling chestnuts whether it is eating them as a snack or using them as a cooking ingredient

However, it is estimated that the ideal boiling time for raw fresh chestnuts to be well cooked is:

  • Between 15-20 minutes if you plan to use chestnuts as an ingredient in another cooking recipe 
  • No fixed time, but you should keep cooking your chestnuts completely by continuously checking them until they open up and show their fuzzy skin if you plan to eat them as a snack or to make a salad.

What is the best way to boil chestnuts?

Boiling chestnuts is super easy you do not need any special equipment only heat, water, and a pot, here are the main steps to follow:

  • Make a small incision at the end of each chestnut or score them horizontally in half using a sharp knife
  • Put the desired amount of chestnuts in a large pot and cover entirely with water
  • Add optional seasoning such as herbs(bay leaf), orange peels, or cinnamon sticks to the boiling water to flavour the chestnuts if you plan to eat them as a snack
  • Bring your nuts to a boil with the lid on the pot for 35-45 minutes until the flesh is tender and well cooked, check the boiling water every few minutes to avoid drying out completely by evaporation, and add more water if necessary
  • Turn off the heat and let your chestnuts sit for 5-10 minutes in the hot water until the flesh is tender and easily separates from the shell then drain
  • Peel the shell and outer skin of your chestnuts as will be explained in the following section then serve in a bowl
  • Pamper yourself and enjoy eating your handmade boiled chestnuts 

How to test if the chestnuts are properly boiled?

You can test if your chestnuts are properly boiled by simply taking one out of the pot and try cutting it in half using a sharp knife and sucking out its filling. If it is still hard, keep boiling for a few more minutes. However, be cautious not to boil your tongue.

For more detailed guidance, please click the link here

How to peel boiled chestnuts? 

Pick your hot chestnuts after draining them whenever you can handle them, then try peeling them one by one using your fingers or a knife starting with the external shell and then the interior skin.

 If you find that peeling the shell or the skin is still hard, you can choose one of these options to peel the remaining cover based on the chestnut condition:

  • Put the chest back in the water for a few more minutes so that the shell will loosen 
  • Use a knife to force unpeeling of the shell, however, note that in this case the result may be broken pieces and not a whole chestnut


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “Can you boil chestnuts?” We have also discussed how long you should boil chestnuts, what is the best way to boil them and how to test if the chestnuts are properly boiled and peel them.

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.


What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.