Heat the oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) or fire up the grill. If
you're going to use a campfire or a fireplace, get the fire established.
Carefully cut an X into the flat side of each nut with a sharp, pointy
knife, cutting through the shell. This allows steam to escape so that the
chestnuts will not explode.! Alternatively, you can stab them with a fork,
making sure it goes through the shell.
Spread the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet for the oven or directly on the
grill, cut side up. Sprinkle lightly with water. If roasting over an open
flame, including a gas stove, put them in a pan with a long handle and
cover. Some people prefer to lay the chestnuts slit side down so that the
shell is cooked, dried and separated from the nut for optimal crispiness.
Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until they're tender and the shell comes
off easily. Move them around frequently so they don't burn.
Wrap the hot chestnuts in a towel and squeeze them to crush the skins.
Leave them wrapped in the towel for five minutes.
Peel while nuts are warm. Remove the inner skin along with the shell.
Reheat briefly if the nuts become hard to peel.