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Muddy Faces

Roasting sweet chestnuts in a sieve cooker

A perfect combination of a foraging and campfire cooking activity.

Introduction

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire... a campfire food activity that works really well in a homemade sieve popcorn cooker!


What you'll need

  • campfire (embers ready for cooking)
  • popcorn sieve cooker
  • sweet chestnuts
  • knife (optional)

This activity has been provided by

Environmental Considerations

Consider the environmental impact of preparing, carrying out & completing this activity. Could this impact be reduced? Specific considerations for this activity could include:

Health & Safety Considerations

Follow your usual operating procedures and carry out appropriate risk benefit assessments.
Some considerations particular to this activity include:

  • use of open fire
  • food hygiene
  • handling prickly sweet chestnut husk

Sweet chestnut (castanea satvia)

The sweet chestnut belongs to the same family as oaks and beeches and they can live for up to 700 years! Identifying features include the wide-spaced teeth around the edge of the leaves and the prickly, green seed cases seen in the autumn.

Did you know that sweet chestnuts are a rich source of vitamin C and B?

Use our trail discs (scroll down for links) and go on a tree ID trail.

Roasting chestnuts has been a popular pastime since the Roman times.

Here is a Victorian brass chestnut pan, slightly more elegant and shiny than our popcorn sieve cooker!

Victorian chestnut pan
What's New

Step #1 Find some sweet chestnuts

If the squirrels haven't got there before you, collect some sweet chestnuts. Choose the bigger ones, some years are better than others for getting a decent size.

Top tip

  • wear gloves to get the spiky outer layer off
  • sometimes they burst open and you don't need to do this if they land on a pavement
What's New

Step #2 Get your popcorn sieve cooker ready

If you haven't got one then you can learn how to make one here.

What's New

Step #3 Get your cooking fire ready

This activity works best on embers rather than flames so get your bed of embers ready. Check out our building a cooking fire activity.

What's New

Step #4 score the sweet chestnut

This stops them exploding and allows the release of steam.

Place them flat side down on a flat surface and gently score a cross through the brown outer layer.

You can roast them without scoring; just allow extra time to cool before opening and the exploding ones are a good indication that they are ready!

Listen to an exploding one on the video above!

What's New

Step #5 Time to roast

Place a handful of sweet chestnuts into the sieve cooker and close the sieves together. Hold them over the embers and shake them from time to time. This may take approx. 5 mins depending on the heat coming from the embers. If you hear them pop and explode they will be ready. The outer skin will also discolour (not burn).

Step #6 time to eat

Turn them out onto a clean surface and leave to cool. Have an adult test one as the joy is in eating them warm so you don't want to wait too long. Picking the outer skin off is fun and well worth the tasty treat inside. Enjoy!

Trail Disc - Fruit - Sweet Chestnut

£1.66 exVAT

This hardwood sweet chestnut trail disc would be perfect to use in early years settings to create a nature trail activity. Nature trails are a great way for children to keep active and be connected to nature. These are sold individually so ...


Buy now

Trail Disc - Leaf - Sweet Chestnut

£1.66 exVAT

This hardwood sweet chestnut trail disc would be perfect to use in early years settings to create a nature trail activity. Nature trails are a great way for children to keep active and be connected to nature. These are sold individually so ...


Buy now

Netherton Chestnut Roaster

£51.99 exVAT

Ideal for roasting chestnuts over an open fire. Made from spun iron in the UK. The pan is suitable for high temperature frying and it has been pre-seasoned with flax oil for a natural non-stick finish that is PTFE and chemical free. Spun ...


Buy now

Netherton Chestnut Pan

£89.99 exVAT

A traditional 26cm diameter chestnut pan made from spun iron that is ideal for cooking chestnuts on an open fire, BBQ or firepit. The Chestnut Pan has a long handle to keep the user at a safe distance from the heat; ...


Buy now

Disclaimer: Muddy Faces cannot take any responsibility for accidents or damage that occurs as a result of following this activity.You are responsible for making sure the activity is conducted safely.



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