Day 359: How to Roast Peppers in the Oven ♥ Technique & Tips

How to Roast Peppers in the Oven
How to best roast bell peppers, red peppers, green peppers, poblano peppers and even chili peppers. My favorite way to roast peppers is right in the oven.

~recipe & photo updated 2008 & 2011~
~more recently updated recipes~

In 2006, my first experience with roasting peppers was, to say the least, not good – so much so that it took me two years to come back. But once I did, with a new technique, the results were great – and now I roast peppers all the time, red ones, green ones and especially, my favorite roasted peppers, the smoky poblanos. Here's what I've learned, my tips about how to roast peppers:

HOW TO ROAST PEPPERS in the OVEN

If you have a gas stove and want to roast just one or two peppers, consider this technique, How to Roast a Pepper on a Gas Stove. But even if you have a gas stove, roasting them in the oven if the better choice for roasting a lot of peppers all at once.

Don't roast whole peppers. Why? Because it's hard to separate the seeds from the flesh once the peppers are roasted. And because it takes forever since, at least in my oven, whole peppers either sit too close to the broiler (and burn) or too far away. And because whole peppers have to be turned.

Instead, cut whole peppers in half lengthwise. Circle out the stem and discard. Pull or slice out the inner membrane and the seeds and discard. Flatten onto a baking sheet, preferably one with a rim in case a lot of juices are let off. (For extra-easy clean-up, put a piece of foil beneath.)

When roasting multi-colored peppers at the same time, green peppers finish first, red second and yellow third. Try arranging the peppers with the green ones furthest from the fire, the red and yellow ones closer.

Is oil needed? No but a little bit does help the skins come off more easily. In 2008, I tested four ways to roast peppers.
  • MY FAVORITE - a light mist of olive oil using an olive oil mister, just enough to wet the skins.
  • WORKS BUT WASTEFUL - olive oil rubbed on with my fingers, used a lot more oil.
  • COMMERCIAL OLIVE SPRAY - left that metallic odor that comes with commercial sprays.
  • NO OIL - this blackened the skin just fine but the skin was a bit harder to get off.

Now put the pan under the broiler for about 10 minutes, parallel with the burner so that all the peppers are as close as possible. Start checking at five minutes, those in the photo were under the broiler for 8 minutes and could have used another minute or two. Remove from the oven.

You can let the skins get really, really black. The upside is that the flavor is i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-e. The downside is that the yield is so small, as the peppers really really shrink. Somewhere in the middle is the happy medium.

If you used foil, fold it up and around the peppers to form a tight case. Otherwise, put the peppers into a container that seals or inside a paper bag. The peppers are still cooking so that later, the skins will separate easily. Let rest 5 - 10 minutes.

Peel off the skins with your fingers and discard. This is easier when the peppers are still warm. And besides, once they're cold, they're cold and clammy and slippery and yuck.

Some times people rinse the peppers under running water while peeling off the skins. This is a BAD idea! So much flavor is washed away, including some small black bits that can remain on the flesh, no problem.

This is an especially good way to roast a lot of peppers at one time, especially in early fall when peppers are so plentiful and inexpensive. I use two cookie sheets, swapping one for the other like when making cookies.

While it's easy to roast peppers at home, there are also great 'convenience' products from peppers. I use frozen roasted peppers from Trader Joe's in this Warm Pepper Salad and jars of roasted peppers in Pepper Sandwiches with Goat Cheese Pepper Spread. Unfortunately, the frozen peppers aren't available all the time and jars of roasted peppers are quite pricey!


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11 comments:

Yum! I love roasted peppers in everyghing. I like to cut the peppers first before roasting- eliminates the process of seed removal. I've also had Andy do them on the grill for me- those are even better because they pick up that smokey flavor.

Alanna, we must be on similar "food vibes", because I was going to roast peppers Monday night but gave up b/c of how long my cookbook said it would take.

I've heard you can hold a pepper by clasping it in tongs and holding it over the gas flame on the oven range, that is, if you have a gas range. I only have electric.

How funny--we have a whole bag of green peppers that we got on discount at the market, and that's exactly what I was thinking of doing with them!

I never put any oil on the peppers--there's no need, in my opinion. That would solve your smoke point problem. As far as the evenness, I definitely like to cut them in half, even though you end up losing some juice that way.

It doesn't take me as long, but that may be because I have a gas stove with a broiler underneath the oven.

I haven't had pepper soup, but I've got some gorgeous peppers, so I think this is what I'll do with them.. thanks for the idea!

Erika - Tell Andy he's welcome to smoke up my grill any time!

Annie - I've done the gas flame technique. It's good if you need one pepper but is still, for my style, on the fussy side. (It's all that standing around doing 'nothing' I think.)

Jamie - I'll try with/without oil sometime, side by side. I used the oil because I figured the skins would come off so most of the oil would come off with it. I will say that the juices are completely worth saving -- even a few tablespoons worth to toss into soup or an omelet or a thousand other things.

Erin - good luck, let us know how it goes!

Your post pretty much captured why I often buy peppers already roasted, especially if I only need a small quantity.

Thanks for dropping by my blog the other day. It was quite an honour for me to have you, with all your veggie wisdom, visiting my salad post. Yay!

Alanna,yes, roasting, steaming and peeling peppers is a pain but worth it in the long run. Although the bottled peppers are onvenient, I don't think they have that just-roasted toastiness and smoky flavor. If you live near a 99-cent Only Store, they have packs of cheap peppers very often. If you have a gas grill, fire it up and do them there. An occasional turn is needed for even charring. Do up the whole grill, and freeze extra for later; grill once, eat twice. That's what I love about leftovers!

My dad used to do them with a blow torch when I was a kid. I thought he was so cool. I use the gas burner method and I find that you can do way more than one at a time. I once did 60 lbs. in one afternoon so I'd have a freezer full for winter. If you load the burners up, you aren't standing around doing nothing as you constantly have to move them around. Yes it's a pain but I think it's worth it to use local, organic peppers instead of the jarred ones. Put on a book on tape and it's time well spent. Besides, the oven roasted ones are missing that flame-licked flavor.

So glad to have found your page, Alanna! Your roasting peppers instructions have been very helpful, thank you! :)

This is awesome information and just what I was looking for. Thank you!

I can't "THAN YOU" enough for this helpful tip!!!! I will definitely be doing it this way when the garden starts producing, then quick freezing them for future use. I just had no idea it was sooo easy to roast peppers.... You can sure bet I will definitely be spreading the word on how to do this!!...... And I will also be spreading the word to family and friends to read and follow your blog.
THANK - YOU SO MUCH !!!!!
Nebraskagirl62

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna