How to Roast Peppers

  • 01 of 08

    Place the Peppers Over a Flame

    Charring bell pepper over gas flame
    Jupiterimages/Stockbyte / Getty Images

    Roasting peppers is easy, and it's a great way to extend the use of peppers grown in your garden or bought at the market. To roast peppers, you'll need a gas stove, outdoor grill, or other open flames; tongs; a glass, metal or ceramic bowl; plastic wrap; a paring knife and a cutting board. In this tutorial, I'm roasting pimento peppers to use in Pimento Cheese, but you can also roast bell peppers, poblanos, serranos, jalapenos and other larger peppers. This method can also be adapted to roast tomatoes or tomatillos.

    It is best to use a special mesh grill that fits over a burner; it's available online at the Santa Fe School of Cooking, but if the peppers are big enough, you can roast them right on top of your stove's grates, or improvise with a metal cooling rack placed directly over the flame (note: only use a cooling rack that is uncoated and unpainted).

    The first step is to place the washed peppers over an open flame. Make sure the flames are actually coming in contact with the peppers themselves, and move them around so they all get equal time over the flames. This also prevents them from burning too much.

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  • 02 of 08

    Turn the Peppers

    How to Roast Peppers
    ©2009 Jessica Harlan

    When the part of the pepper that's in contact with the flames turns mostly black and charred, turn it over to roast the other side, and keep turning to blacken as much of the surface as possible.

    Continue to 3 of 8 below.
  • 03 of 08

    Prepare a Bowl and Plastic Wrap

    How to Roast Peppers
    ©2009 Jessica Harlan

    As the peppers finish roasting, set out a glass or metal bowl just big enough to hold the peppers, and a roll of plastic wrap.

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  • 04 of 08

    Enclose the Peppers in a Covered Bowl

    How to Roast Peppers
    ©2009 Jessica Harlan

    When the peppers are nearly completely blackened, transfer them to the bowl and immediately cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. It's important to do so while the peppers are still piping hot so that the peppers will steam and soften. Let them sit for 10 minutes or until they are cooled.

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  • 05 of 08

    Peel the Peppers

    How to Roast Peppers
    ©2009 Jessica Harlan

    After 10 minutes, check to see if the peppers are cool enough to handle. If they're not, place them back under the plastic wrap for another five minutes. Then, begin peeling the charred skin off the peppers, using your fingers or rubbing gently with a paper towel. The skin should come off easily.

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  • 06 of 08

    Rinse the Peppers

    How to Roast Peppers
    ©2009 Jessica Harlan

    Under running water, rinse off any remaining flakes of charred skin and pat dry.

    Continue to 7 of 8 below.
  • 07 of 08

    Seed the Peppers

    How to Roast Peppers
    ©2009 Jessica Harlan

    Cut the stem ends off the peppers, then slice them in half lengthwise. Using a paring knife, scrape out the seeds and trim away the veins. Dice the peppers or cut them into strips as desired.

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  • 08 of 08

    The End Result

    How to Roast Peppers
    ©2009 Jessica Harlan

    The finished peppers should be tender and slippery. Store them in the refrigerator in a small container or a plastic zip-top bag and they'll last for a week or more. Use them in scrambled eggs, soups, on salads, in tacos and fajitas, or in many other ways.