People make roasting peppers in order to remove the skins more work than it needs to be — all the while declaring how easy it is.
Like you want to fire up your outdoor grill, or stand over a gas burner with a pepper impaled on a fork to blister a dozen peppers, or spend half an hour rotating whole peppers in a blistering oven because you found a good deal at the market.
This technique gets the job done in a few easy steps, and most of the time you’re just standing around. Bottom line: sweet roasted peppers in about half an hour.
Roasted peppers will keep for two-to-three days, covered in the refrigerator. But if you’re ambitious (or have a lot of them) refer to The Home Preserving Bible, by Carole Cancler, for complete canning instructions.
EASY ROAST PEPPERS
- Fresh bell peppers, washed
- Aluminum foil
- Non-stick cooking spray
- A rimmed baking sheet
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and coat it with non-stick cooking spray. If you have a Silpat non-stick liner, that works, too.
- Heat the broiler feature of your oven, and position a baking rack about 6 inches from the heating element.
Five easy steps:
- Cut the tops and tails off the fresh raw peppers, then make a cut down the side of the resulting tube to open the pepper into a long, flat strip. Trim out the ribs and seeds.
- Lay the strips flat on the foil-lined baking sheet, skin side up. Place the tops and tails trimmed from the whole pepper, on the baking sheet, also skin side up.
- Slide the baking sheet under the pre-heated broiler element and broil for about ten minutes. You want the peppers to become black and blistered, but not burned to a crisp. Refer to the photo in the slide show for an example of how they should look. Broiler elements vary widely, so you might want to look in on the peppers after five minutes.
- Remove the peppers from the oven and immediately cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Let the peppers steam this way for 15 minutes to loosen the skins.
- Remove the foil and peel the charred skin off of the peppers. The skins will come off easily. If some of the peppers seem difficult to peel – not unheard of — hold them under running water as you peel them, to help loosen the skins.
How to roast and peel fresh peppers
Roasted, peeled fresh peppers. In most cases, it’s easier said than done — but this quick-and-easy method for roasting and peeling will get you through the process with a minimum of handling in about 30 minutes, regardless of the number of peppers you’re working with.
Step one: trim the peppers
Step one: wash the peppers, then cut off the tops and bottoms, so that the pepper is now, basically, an open-ended tube. Cut a slit down the side of the tube to open up the pepper, and …
Cleaning out the ribs and seeds
…open up the pepper. You can easily cut out the ribs and seeds, as shown. While you’re at it, pop the stem out of the cap, and pull any ribs and seeds out of the bottom end of the pepper.
Step two: onto the pan
Lay the flat pieces of pepper — tops and bottoms, too — skin side up, onto a baking sheet that has been lined with aluminum foil and coated with non-stick cooking spray, or covered with a non-stick (Silpat) liner, as shown.
Step three: under the broiler
Slide the prepared peppers under a pre-heated broiler — about 6-inches from the heating element — for about 10 minutes. Ovens vary widely, so look in on the peppers after about 5 minutes to make sure they’re not burning, or charring too slowly.
Ten minutes later…
Ten minutes later, this is how the peppers should look: charred on top, but fresh underneath. You must have the blistered char in order for the peppers to peel properly; put them back under the broiler if you need to.
Step four: steaming the skins
Immediately cover the hot peppers with aluminum foil, and tightly seal the edges. The heat and condensation from the cooling peppers creates the steam that will loosen the skins.
Ready to peel…
Fifteen minutes later, remove the aluminum foil. The peppers will have peppers cooled, and the collected steam has shriveled and loosened the skin.
Step five: peeling the peppers
The skins will easily peel off the pepper with your fingertips. If some of the skins don’t come off easily, peel the peppers under running water, and they’ll slip right off. Notice that the skins, which look badly burned, leave only a bit of char on the pepper underneath — that’s how they’re supposed to look.
If you have more peppers than you can use right away, refer to The Home Preserving Bible, by Carole Cancler, for canning instructions, pickling ideas and recipes.