Asked by: Vitorino Leaniz
food and drink barbecues and grilling

Can you cook horse chestnuts?

Last Updated: 20th March, 2020

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Even though conkers might look appealing, there's no sensible way you can eat one. And yes, that applies even if you fry, boil or roast them. A friend of mine once actually broke a microwave by cooking a conker in it – it exploded with such force that the glass was shattered.

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In this manner, are horse chestnuts poisonous to humans?

No, you cannot consume these nuts safely. Toxic horse chestnuts cause serious gastrointestinal problems if consumed by humans. Consuming the nuts or leaves of horse chestnut trees causes bad colic in horses and other animals develop vomiting and abdominal pain.

Likewise, do you have to soak chestnuts before roasting? You're going to touch the shell to peel them when you eat them, so be sure to wash them properly before cooking! Some people recommend soaking your chestnuts before roasting them, which allows the meat inside to steam. I haven't found that soaking makes a big difference though, but feel free to try it out.

Also to know is, can you eat horse chestnuts?

Difference between Chestnuts and Conker. One thing we need to understand is that chestnuts are sweet and they are edible but conkers or horse chestnuts are poisonous, and they are not for eating purposes. Horse chestnuts may look very desirable to eat but it is toxic, and it can even cause paralysis.

How do you cook chestnuts so they peel easily?

Wrap the roasted or steamed chestnuts in a clean kitchen towel to keep them warm—it will make them easier to peel. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, grab a seat and get to peeling. Pull and snap off the shells, being sure to also take off the skin between the shell and the chestnut.

Related Question Answers

Jinli Chrysanthopoulos

Professional

Are chestnuts good for you?

You should eat up to 3 ounces of chestnuts a day to maximize their benefits. Chestnuts are an excellent source of manganese, molybdenum, and copper and a good source of magnesium. However, unlike other nuts, chestnuts are a low-fat variety and do not provide the benefits of a high level of monounsaturated fat.

Dorthey Olenew

Professional

How can you tell if chestnuts are edible?

Another easy way to tell them apart is to look at the nut itself. Both are brown with a light-colored spot on them. However, edible chestnuts always have a tassel or point on the nut—something that your finger can feel as a point. The toxic chestnut has no point—it is smooth and roundish all over.

Younoussa Molyneux

Professional

Can you eat chestnuts off the tree?

Chestnuts are part of a group consisting of about nine species of trees and shrubs in the Fagaceae family. Although the shell is very difficult to remove, chestnuts are edible. However, it is rare to eat them raw and can even be dangerous for certain people.

Marca Villasclaras

Explainer

Can you eat raw chestnuts?

You can eat them raw, but they may cause gastrointestinal distress due to the high content of tannic acid. They're almost impossible to peel without softening the shell first, and they taste much better cooked. However, if you must try a raw chestnut, here's how to peel one.

Chenyang Creutz

Explainer

Aranxa Macheleidt

Explainer

How do you tell chestnuts from horse chestnuts?

The toxic, inedible horse chestnuts have a fleshy, bumpy husk with a wart-covered appearance. Both horse chestnut and edible chestnuts produce a brown nut, but edible chestnuts always have a tassel or point on the nut. The toxic horse chestnut is rounded and smooth with no point or tassel.

Annita Helios

Pundit

What is Horse Chestnut good for?

This information applies to aesculus hippocastanum. Horse chestnut seed and leaf are used for treating varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and swollen veins (phlebitis). Horse chestnut leaf is used for eczema, menstrual pain, soft tissue swelling from bone fracture and sprains, cough, arthritis, and joint pain.

Leticia Pechkovsky

Pundit

Is Horse Chestnut toxic?

Raw horse chestnut seed, leaf, bark and flower are toxic due to the presence of esculin and should not be ingested. Horse chestnut seed is classified by the FDA as an unsafe herb. The glycoside and saponin constituents are considered toxic. Aesculus hippocastanum is used in the pseudoscientific Bach flower remedies.

Azahra Galguera

Pundit

Do conkers keep spiders away?

Conkers might not repel spiders
Unfortunately, there's no proof this is true. The story goes that conkers contain a noxious chemical that repels spiders but no-one's ever been able to scientifically prove it. There's hearsay that if a spider gets close to a conker it will curl its legs up and die within one day.

Jingwen Reizabal

Pundit

Can squirrels eat conkers?

Though mildly poisonous, deer do seek out and eat conkers. The fact that they are hard, bitter and poisonous means that they are not meant to be eaten. Instead, in the overabundance of fruit at this time of year, they get carried away by squirrels and birds, buried for the rainy day and forgotten.

Nico Estorach

Pundit

Can you eat horse meat?

Making horses into meat was effectively illegal in the U.S. from 2006-2011, but for years the U.S. has allowed horses to be shipped to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada, where eating horse meat is more popular. A proposed law would end the practice of shipping horses outside the U.S for slaughter.

Ovidio Geldmacher

Teacher

Can squirrels eat horse chestnuts?

So horse chestnuts are named for that trait, not because horses eat them. I also saw reports that squirrels, deer, racoons, wild turkeys, and domestic cows like to eat raw horse chestnuts without being harmed by the chemical compounds in question, but that pigs won't touch them.

Alesandro Zweijpfennig

Teacher

Are sweet chestnuts poisonous to dogs?

Conkers are horse chestnuts, which are different to edible chestnuts, and they're toxic. The bottom line on chestnuts is that while it's fine to feed your dog occasional treats of edible chestnuts, if your dog has a propensity to devour conkers, you should prevent them from doing so.

Blanca Vianel

Teacher

Can you cook and eat conkers?

Can you eat conkers? No. It's not a good idea to eat conkers because they contain a chemical called aesculin, which is poisonous. You'd have to eat an awful lot of conkers before it killed you, but you'd probably be sick.

Rishikesh Belmont

Teacher

What animal eats horse chestnuts?

Despite being called horse chestnuts, conkers can actually be mildly poisonous to some animals. Other animals, such as deer and wild boar, can safely consume them.

Marilyn Dirkschnieder

Reviewer

Can dogs eat chestnuts?

So, by extension chestnuts are really good for dogs. Dogs can eat chestnuts, but you should probably consider feeding them in small portions, especially if the starch count in their diet is high.

Lotte Vignau

Reviewer

How do u cook chestnuts?

Place the chestnuts in a pot of cold water. As soon as the water begins to boil, remove the chestnuts with a slotted spoon and place on a shallow baking pan. Place the chestnuts with the flat side down, the cut side up in a single layer in your baking pan. Roast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.

Jhonathan Usina

Reviewer

How do you roast chestnuts like a street vendor?

Roasting Chestnuts at Home to Rival any Street Vendor…
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread “scored” chestnuts evenly onto a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice during the cooking.
  3. Remove from heat and dump into a bowl and cover with a towel for 15 minutes.
  4. Carefully peel the flesh from the shell and enjoy hot.

Talal Gutterman

Reviewer

At what temperature do you cook chestnuts?

How do I serve roasted chestnuts?
  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Lay chestnut flat side down on a cutting board and use a serrated knife to cut an "x" about 1/3 of the way through the chestnut.
  2. Place chestnuts flat side down on a small baking sheet.
  3. Bake until skin peels away from chestnut, 20 to 25 minutes.