Roasting Peppers

There are few things easier and more tasty than roasted peppers. Whether sweet reds, mildly tangy pablano, or fiery habeneros, roasting brings out the best in most peppers. The natural flavors of the peppers deepen and mellow with roasting. The skin chars and flakes away leaving only the succulent meat of the pepper.

As far as I know there is no correct way to roast a pepper, but there are plenty of folks who are dogmatic about their personal techniques. Personally, my favorite is to toss them in a smoker for a while and then char them over an open flame. Vice versa works too. If you would like to see how other people roast their peppers, you could try this.

I am currently sans smoker, but as you can see from the photos below I do have a pretty nifty gas grill that gets the job done.  When it comes to roasting peppers technique matters less than results. All it really requires is some fresh peppers, a little cooking oil and a source of intense heat.

These peppers were used in both a tangy Shiner Black BBQ sauce and a big batch of tongue-searing salsa. As you can see, I used a bunch of different peppers. I probably should have written down the varieties, but really, who cares? Every batch will be different based on what is available where I am shopping when I get the itch to roast some peppers.

My technique is very simple. I get my grill smoking hot and oil the grates a few times. Then I dump some peppers in a big bowl, drizzle them with oil, move them around and give them a gentle rubdown to make sure they are well coated. Toss them on the grill and turn when well charred.

When they are finished I toss them in a large paper bag, or put them back in the big bowl and cover with plastic wrap. The residual heat will continue to cook the flesh, and the trapped steam will make it easier to get the charred skin off. About 15 minutes later it is time to scrape flesh from skin and use any way your little heart desires.

The smell as they roast is amazing, and as these photos show, so are the visuals. Enjoy!

roasting peppers

roasting peppers

peppers roasting

Roasted peppers

roasting peppers

  • Hi Joe! I think of a smoker as being a slow method and not tending to a good char. Usually I just do the char over the stove. I hadn’t considered doing a roast in the smoker. How long do you roast them in a smoker?

  • ONX

    The more blackened the better!

  • Hey Jeff! I usually charred them some over the wood in the firebox, and then moved them to the coolest area of the smoke box to suck up that smokey goodness. Time varied depending on how big and meaty the peppers were. Big old anchos work great that way, habeneros…not so much.

    Alas, my smoker is no more and I haven’t replaced it yet.

  • In most cases, no doubt about that!

  • Joe, roasted peppers on the grill are an amazing added flavor ingredient to any preparation that calls for peppers.

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