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Jan 4, 2009 01:26 PM

Experience with dried or jarred chestnuts?

Hi all—

Having not used fresh chestnuts in a long time, I was reminded this year how much I love them. Now that their short season is over, I guess I've got to rely on the preserved versions.

Who has used dried or jarred, and how? Above all, if you were using them in a recipe that called for roasted chestnuts, what adaptations did you have to make?

Thanks so much!

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  1. I really only eat fresh chestnuts (roasted) as a snack. For cooking, I use tinned. I think I use them in a recipe exactly as I would with fresh roasted (but without all the hassle of roasting, of course )

    1. I've never had much success with dried chestnuts but I use the bottled ones all the time. No adaptations necessary. I just use them as they are..

      1 Reply
      1. re: JoanN

        Bottled ones are fine for just about all applications. One exception might be a dish where you wanted their texture to stand out (like stuffing, perhaps?)--the bottled ones can be a bit soft and tend to fall apart/dissolve pretty easily.

      2. I use the vacuum packed ones all the time. Very handy storecupboard item, if a tad expensive.

        2 Replies
        1. re: greedygirl

          I use bottled chestnuts all the time, the latest being in stuffing (dressing) for the turkey. They were excellent. Expensive, yes, but one of the items in life that are worth it.

          1. I've used dried chestnuts in braises and like them. 2 points: if soaking (I always have), cook immediately after soaking, don't think they can sit around drained--texture goes to hell; use relatively quickly, last year's dried chestnuts were not very good.

            ETA: Anybody used the frozen ones? I assume they're fully cooked--are they?

            1. I experimented with number of vacuumed sealed and bottled chestnut brands before making stuffing this year. Consistently the bottled had far superior taste. Of course non as good as fresh roasted.