Can You Roast Chestnuts & Other Holiday Treats in Your Wood Fireplace?
We have all heard the song, “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.” But do you actually know how to roast chestnuts & other holiday treats in your wood fireplace? There isn’t much to it. Let’s take a closer look.
Perusing the Chestnuts
Look for firm, glossy, fresh chestnuts that are similar in size for more even cooking. Avoid those chestnuts with mold, cracks, or holes. If you hear a rattling sound when you shake one, it will not be good for roasting.
Planning for Roasting
There are several different instruments that can be used for roasting chestnuts — an actual chestnut roaster, a cast-iron skillet, or just aluminum foil. To make the chestnuts easier to peel after they have been roasted, some people prefer soaking them in cool water for about thirty minutes. That said, others say that soaking them does not really make a difference. Once you’ve selected your chestnuts, cut an x on one side of the shell so that there is room for expansion while roasting.
Preparing the Fire
For roasting chestnuts, you do not want a big fire with large flames. Instead, let the fire burn down until you have a couple of inches of just embers in the bottom of the fireplace. Then, place the chestnuts on the fire.
Time to Get Cooking
Depending on the vessel you chose for roasting, the cooking methods will vary slightly. If you used foil, you can just wrap them and stick the foil packet on the embers. Use tongs to turn the packet every few minutes.
If you are using a cast-iron skillet, you can put the skillet down in the embers. For softer nuts, put a little water in the pan. Cover the bottom of the pan with chestnuts with the x facing upward. Cover the chestnuts with a lid. Stir the chestnuts every few minutes. When the pan is dry, add more water. When the outside of the nut darkens and the nut begins to open where you cut the x, take them off the fire. If you prefer crunchier nuts, roast them dry without a lid.
If you have an actual chestnut roaster, it needs to be held a few inches above the embers. Shake the roaster every few minutes. It takes about twenty minutes for the chestnuts to finish roasting. It is best to peel the chestnuts while they are still warm. As soon as they are cool enough to eat, enjoy! For the best flavor, eat the chestnuts on the same day that you roast them.
Palate Pleasing Fun
Other tasty treats can be baked or roasted in the fireplace as well. Just make sure that your flue is open. Avoid cooking fatty foods, as they tend to create a lot of smoke. You might also want to use a drip tray to catch any grease that might drip down if you are cooking on skewers. Baking in a wood fireplace can even be done, but maintaining a constant temperature can be a challenge.
At IHT Hot Tubs & Fireplaces, we hope you enjoy your wood fireplace this holiday season. Now you know how to roast chestnuts & other holiday treats in your wood fireplace! Call us at 303-755-4772 with any questions you may have regarding your fireplace.