Method for roasting peppers

Once upon a time there was a cook in Seattle who fell in love with dymnyno's recipe for green chili chicken posole soup. The Seattle cook loves this recipe and makes it over and over. She loves she learned how to make posole. The chicken is divine. The tastes are sublime. The problem is she is stressing over roasting the poblano peppers. Some peppers are easy to skin, some aren't. She wonders what she is doing wrong. Shouldn't all of them just slip their skin like it says in the books? Do all peppers roast the same?

  • Posted by: SKK
  • August 31, 2011


Cookie16 September 1, 2011
Sorry for the typos, but I do I agree with loubaby about the plastic. If this is a concern, it's probably not the best idea- but a glass lid on your glass bowl or container, maybe even a plate ontop could be fine as well. I still prefer this to a paper bag.
Cookie16 September 1, 2011
NO reason to stress over this step at all. Really! I'm sure you're doing a perfectly fine job!

I'll share with you what I do—this will be long!

My mother was Mexican, so I grew up roasting roasting peppers, tomatillos, etc. This was often my job in the kitchen, and I've been doing it for 20+ years, even though I'm just shy of 30. Impressive, eh? ;)

As the recipe states, a bbq is best really method simply because of the intense, direct heat and flame. If you have a propane bbq, even easier, because no one wants to set up the charcoal grill to roast a few peppers (well, maybe some of you ;) . A gas stove works fine as well, but it is tiring at times as you may have to handle each pepper one by one over the flame, depending on your stove. Also, pieces of skin can toast up and float away, still burning in your kitchen as you hold it above the flame, which can be kind of scary indoors. But who has time to bust out the bbq? and what if you live in an apartment with a crappy electric stove?

In my opinion, none of these methods are going to make or break your dish by any means.

At home, we liked to toss the peppers on a very hot comal and let them char away, turning them every so often while we prepared other things (comal: a sort of flat cast iron skillet: I like this better than those long cast iron grill that sits across 2 burners because the entire things gets very hot and there's not really a cool spot on something sitting directly over 1 burner. It's also the best tortilla/quesadilla tool :)

I'm sure under a broiler would work completely fine as well, maybe even better depending on the pepper (like a bell pepper, which has lots of crevices), but I've never tried it. Just stand nearby, prepared with tongs so you can be ready to turn them as they are completely charred. And wear gloves in case of bursting peppers with hot juices!

You're absolutely right—some skins peel off easier than others, but there isn't any real science to it beyond getting a great char on ALL of the pepper. This is something I firmly believe in this whenever possible. Sometimes I see people char just a few areas of the pepper—very minimally— I just think that's a mistake! But maybe you only want a partially roasted, smokey flavor, mixed with something tasting more of the raw pepper. There's more roasted pepper flavor there if you char away—but if you're say, roasting bell peppers, it can be hard to get into all the nooks and crannies depending on the method you're using, so try with the various methods and see which will work best for you. Always keep the heat very hot so you're not necessarily slowly cooking the pepper. The hot sizzle and bursting charred skin is what you'e looking for.

As for the peeling, I think after charring the peppers, it's best to let the peppers sit longer than you think you need to—the longer they sit, the easier it will be to remove the skins. I think placing the charred peppers in a glass bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap is the best way to let them steam up so the skins fall off easily, and to catch the juices (also yummy and flavorful). I'd never to the paper bag method. I wait for the peppers to cool until they are just warm or cool, maybe 15 min or 20 minutes after charring.

BTW- do this same roasting/charring method with tomatoes, jalapeños, and tomatillos, etc. for an excellent chili sauce. Grab your favorite sauce ingredients, char them up and toss them in the blender, charred skins and all while they're hot, removing the blender cap for the steam to escape of course. SO delicious.

Hope this helps! Happy roasting!

Niknud September 1, 2011
I've had good luck applying a thin coat of some high heat oil (like peanut) to the outside and putting them under the broiler. That may be along the lines of loubaby's suggestion of deep frying them - but without having to bust out a gallon of oil! But as others have said, with the broiler watch carefully or you'll burn them to a crisp.
loubaby September 1, 2011
Poblano Peppers are trickier for me too. I have had ones where the skin after roasting won't come off and then others that work just fine. It almost seemed like there was absolutely no flesh under the skin and I ended up with no peppers at all.
I did a little research and one trick that Chef Rick Bayless does for his Chile Rellenos is to deep fry them in oil 1 minute; cool and the peel comes right off.

If not into the deep fryer, then I make sure I don't overcook them--you just want to heat the skin with a strong blast of intense heat--I use my grill, but some use there cast irom skillets inside and that works. the broiler will also work if you put them very close to the heat and watch carefully.

I always put mine in a paper bag; I don't trust any vapors coming from plastic. Hope this helps.
Helen's A. September 1, 2011
You can roast them over a gas flame or under the broiler. The trick that works for me is to then put them into a heavy plastic bag, close tightly, and wrap in a few kitchen towels. This will steam the peppers and help to loosen up the skin. I don't stress too much if a bit of skin stays on them. Have you tried the dried hominy from Rancho Gordo? Highly recommend for any posole soup type dish... mmmm
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