Andrew Dole, RDN, CEC
Everyday Chef, Fruits & Veggies—More Matters
Over the years I have seen students and industry peers roast peppers many ways. Some methods are completely wrong and others just inefficient. The one thing to remember about roasting peppers is patience. There isn’t a lot of work involved, but it does take time to get a superior result.
Flame roasting peppers is wonderful if you have the right equipment and can get the pepper far enough from the flame to actually blister the skin and soften the pepper flesh. This slow process changes the flavor of the pepper dramatically.
There are lots of videos showing how to roast a pepper over the open flame of a gas range. That’s not roasting, it’s charring, and more often than not it blackens the skin before making the pepper smoky and tender. Charred peppers usually don’t peel easily either. I don’t recommend it. Video: 2 Minutes to Perfectly Roasted Bell Peppers
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a giant pepper roaster in my backyard, but I can get a really great roasted pepper, lots of them in fact, using my oven at 425F°. If you are in a hurry I suggest using the oven broiler to blister the skins. The steps are the same.
Lastly, getting the skins off is much easier if you steam the peppers after they are roasted. Placing them in a sealed plastic freezer bag or cover tightly in a bowl lets the peppers steam. The steaming separates the skin from the flesh making it easier to peel.
Tips to Remember
- Coat the pepper with oil. It protects the pepper from the direct heat and blisters better.
- Be patient. Don’t turn too often but make sure the whole pepper is blistered.
- Peel when warm but cool enough to handle. About 20 mins. Too soon and the skin won’t release from the pepper flesh.
- Peel before you chill or taking off the skin becomes a nightmare.
Video: 2 Minutes to Perfectly Roasted Bell Peppers
Photo Credit: Andrew Dole