How to Roast and Peel Chile Peppers

Green Chiles, Ready to Use
Molly Watson
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Resting Time: 15 mins
Total: 50 mins

Roasting softens the intense flavor of chiles, bringing out their earthy, smoky goodness. This common process is often overlooked but is well used in Hispanic and Mediterranean cuisines to bring out the flavor in bell peppers and tomatoes. By burning and removing the peel of the chile, you're enhancing its flavor and also giving it a softer and smoother texture. Also, by removing the seeds and pith of the chile, you're getting rid of the part where the heat is concentrated.

In our recipe, you'll blacken the skins of the chiles until they are blistered and easy to peel off. You can choose to use an open flame, a gas stove, a grill, or a broiler. Use fresh, firm chiles for roasting. Choosing chiles with smooth and unblemished skins will make even roasting and peeling that much easier.

Note that this method works for any kind of pepper, from jalapeños to bell peppers. If you haven't worked before with spicy chiles, wear gloves and avoid any steam or smoke from getting too close to your eyes and nose. Abstain from rubbing your face.

Ingredients

  • 10 to 12 chiles (washed, pat dried)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Green Chiles
    Molly Watson
  2. Arrange the chiles over fire on a gas stove, a grill, a hot griddle, or under a broiler.

    Roasting Chiles
    Molly Watson
  3. Cook, turning to roast evenly until the skin is blistering and blackened all over as much as possible. If you're making lots of chiles, do it in manageable batches so you can pay close attention to all the chiles that are on the fire.

    Chiles on the Flame
    Molly Watson
  4. Once they're blackened all over, let the chiles sit for at least 15 minutes or until they're cool enough to handle. This will also make the chiles easier to peel.

    Roasted Chiles to Peel
    Molly Watson
  5. Working with one chile at a time, peel off and discard the blackened skin. The skins should come off very easily. If you'd prefer, use a paper towel instead of bare hands to rub off the skin, or for a faster process, rub the skin and blackened bits off under cool running water.

    Peeled Chile
    Molly Watson
  6. Finally, use your fingers to open up the roasted chile and pull off and discard the stem end and the seeds. If it hasn't been underwater prior during the peeling, rinse the peeled chile under cool water to remove any bits of peel or seeds.

    How to Peel Chiles
    Molly Watson
  7. The roasted and peeled chiles are now ready to chop up and use in recipes. If you have more chiles than you can use immediately, put them in resealable plastic bags and freeze for up to six months.

    Peeled Roasted Chiles
    Molly Watson
  8. Enjoy!

Tip

To soften the chiles even more, transfer the chiles from the fire in Step 4 to a large bowl and cover it with a pot lid, aluminum foil, or plastic wrap. Alternatively, place them in a sturdy resealable bag and close. You don't need to cover and steam the chiles; as long as you let the chiles sit and cool for about 15 minutes, they will be easy to peel. The covering and steaming will continue to cook and soften the chiles, though.