How to Roast & Peel Chiles (a.k.a. Chili Peppers)

Green Chiles, Ready to Use
Peeled & Roasted Hatch Chiles. Molly Watson
  • 01 of 07

    How to Roast and Peel Chiles

    Hatch Green Chiles
    Fresh Chiles to Roast. Molly Watson

    Roasting softens the intense flavor of chiles, bringing out their earthy, smoky goodness.

    Roasting chiles until the skins are blistered and black also makes pulling off their skins as easy as peeling off a piece of tin foil.

    The method here uses an open flame from either a gas stove or a grill. You can also roast chiles and peppers under a broiler—check out how to roast peppers under a broiler for specifics. 

    Use fresh, firm chiles for roasting. Choosing chiles with smooth and unblemished skins will make even roasting and peeling even easier.

    Note that this method works for any kind of pepper, from jalapeños to bells.

    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    Place Chiles Over Flame

    Roasting Chiles
    Chiles on the Grill. Molly Watson

    Arrange the chiles over elements on a gas stove, on a grill, on a hot griddle, or under a broiler.

    Continue to 3 of 7 below.
  • 03 of 07

    Turn Chiles to Blacken Evenly

    Chiles on the Flame
    Roasting Chiles. Molly Watson

    Cook, turning to roast evenly, until the skin is blistering and blackened on as much of the chiles as possible.

    If you have a lot of chiles, this can easily be done in batches.

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  • 04 of 07

    Rest & Steam Chiles

    Roasted Chiles to Peel
    Fire-Roasted Chiles. Molly Watson

    Let the chiles sit at least 15 minutes or until they're cool enough to handle. This allows the chiles to cool so you won't burn yourself peeling them, gives the flesh and skin more time to get used to the idea of separating, and makes them easier to peel.

    If you want to soften them even more, transfer them to a large bowl and cover it with a pot lid, aluminum foil, or plastic wrap for these 15 minutes.

    Note that the resting part is the key here. 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.

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  • 05 of 07

    Peel Chiles

    Peeled Chile
    Fire-Roasted Chile Peeled. Molly Watson

    Working with one chile at a time, peel off and discard the blackened skin. The skins should come off very easily. Some people like to use a paper towel to rub off the skin instead of their bare hands. To remove the skin very quickly and get rid of all blackened bits, you can rub the skin off under cool running water.

    Continue to 6 of 7 below.
  • 06 of 07

    Remove Stem & Seeds

    How to Peel Chiles
    Peeled Green Chile. Molly Watson

    Use your fingers to open up the roasted chile, pull off and discard the stem end and the seeds.

    You can rinse the peeled chile under cool water to remove any bits of peel or seeds.

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  • 07 of 07

    Roasted Chiles

    Peeled Roasted Chiles
    Roasted & Peeled Chiles. Molly Watson

    The roasted and peeled chiles are now ready to chop up and use in recipes. A few favorites include:

    If you have more than you can use immediately, put them in resealable plastic bags and freeze them.  They'll keep for at least six months, or up to a year if you have a stand-alone freezer.