How to Roast Peppers in the Oven ♥ Technique & Tips

How to Roast Peppers & Chiles in the Oven, technique plus tips ♥ AVeggieVenture.com. Easy Meal Prep. Vegan.
How to roast peppers, all members of the capsicum family, including sweet peppers (like red peppers and green peppers) and also "hot" chili peppers (like poblanos, jalapeños, Hatch peppers and others). If you've ever wondered how to roast chiles at home, this is my favorite way to roast many peppers at the same time, it's done in a very hot oven under the broiler, simultaneously gently cooking the vegetables and making it easy to remove their skins.

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Technique Matters

My first experience with roasting peppers was not good and much time passed before I circled back to work out this easy, effective technique. Once I did, 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, tips based on many trays of rainbow-colored peppers over many years. You? You can get it right the very first time!

First, The Short Version

Halve and core a few peppers, flatten a bit skin-sides up in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Mist or rub the skins with a little olive oil. Roast under the broiler until the skins begin to bubble and blacken, about 8 - 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and use the same foil to tightly wrap the peppers until they cool. With your fingers, slip the skins off. You've got roasted peppers!

Why Roast Peppers?

But let's take a step back, too. Why do we roast peppers in the first place? So many reasons!
  • DEEPER FLAVOR We love raw peppers, the sweet ones anyway, for their wet crispness, what great additions to salads, say. And of course, we often cook peppers along with onion and celery as a starting point for soups, stews, etc. Once peppers are roasted, crispness is lost but flavor is deepened.

  • REMOVE THE SKINS There's really no way to "peel" the skins off raw peppers like we peel the skins off carrots and potatoes. But once peppers are roasted, the skins slip off easily using only your fingers!

  • LARGER PIECES It's easy to cut up a bell pepper and cook the slices or dices in a skillet. But for large swaths of cooked pepper, roasting leaves whole sections of pepper intact.

  • MODERATE HEAT Roasting also reduces the heat in the "hot" peppers we call chilies. You might not eat a raw jalapeño but a roasted jalapeño can be quite lovely.

  • A WHOLE NEW VEGETABLE This is may be a romantic notion, but then, I am your Veggie Evangelist, right? I have the idea that we get a whole different vegetable after roasting. They flavors are bigger. The texture is softer. So it's only natural that we use them differently, too.

But Can't You Just Buy Roasted Peppers?

You can, for sure. I keep a jar or two of roasted peppers on hand all the time. But jarred roasted peppers can be expensive, especially if you don't have reason to use an entire jar within a few days. (Be sure to check the bell pepper recipes for ideas. No food waste, okay?)

In addition, jars of roasted peppers are slightly pickled. This is okay if it's what you're after. But home-roasted peppers are nothing more than the peppers themselves, simpler, purer, more basic.

When to Use the Oven, When to Use a Gas Burner

The oven isn't the only way to roast peppers. Here's how to choose.

  • GAS STOVETOP = BEST FOR ONE OR TWO If you have a gas stove and want to roast just one or two peppers, consider this simple technique, How to Roast a Pepper on a Gas Stove. But even if you have a gas stove, the oven is the better choice for roasting a lot of peppers all at once.

  • GAS STOVETOP = BEST FOR WHOLE PEPPERS Scorching peppers on a gas burner is also the better choice if for some reason, you want to end up with whole peppers, perhaps to stuff.

  • OVEN = BEST FOR A LARGE VOLUME The oven / broiler is best for roasting whole sheet trays full of peppers, about a dozen per tray. It's also best, duh, for someone with an electric stove.

A Little Oil Is Helpful But Not Necessary

Is oil needed? No. But a little bit does help the skins come off more easily. I tested four ways to apply a little oil.
  • MY FAVORITE WAY Just rub olive oil onto the skins with your fingers. It does use more oil but this doesn't affect calories because the skins are discarded.
  • OLIVE OIL MISTER A light mist of olive oil using an olive oil mister, just enough to wet the skins. This is a really great method if you happen to have an oil mister as I once did.
  • COMMERCIAL OLIVE SPRAY Baking sprays (like Pam) leave that metallic odor that comes with commercial sprays, not nice.
  • NO OIL AT ALL Here, the skins do blacken well but are a bit harder to get off.

You Might Wonder Be Wondering ...

Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!
  • How long does it take? It takes about 8 - 10 minutes when the peppers are replaced just beneath the broiler.
  • Can you roast whole peppers? Yes but it's not advised. It may seem easier up front but it turns out to be harder in the end. Why? Whole peppers either sit too close to the broiler (and burn) or too far away (and don't cook at all). In addition, whole peppers have to be turned so that all sides get roasted. And then? It's hard to separate the seeds from the flesh once the peppers are roasted! All this fuss just to avoid cutting peppers in half?
  • How to prep the peppers. Instead, cut whole peppers in half lengthwise, from beside the stem right down through what's called the blossom end. Circle out the stem and discard. Pull or slice out the inner membrane and the seeds and discard. Flatten each half onto a baking sheet that's lined with foil, preferably one with a rim because there can be lots of juices let off.

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How to Roast Peppers in the Oven, tips & techniques ♥ AVeggieVenture.com. Easy Meal Prep. Vegan.





HOW TO ROAST PEPPERS in the OVEN

Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 30 minutes
Makes 1 - 12 per tray

Just Peppers + A Little Oil

OVEN Turn on the oven's broiler, if there's an automated setting use that, otherwise set the oven at 500F/260C with a rack just below the broiler.

PREP Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut whole bell peppers in half vertically, stem to stern, then cut out the stem and remove the core and seeds. Arrange the halves skin-side up and flatten then a bit with the palm of your hand. Mist the skins with a little olive oil.

BROIL Roast under the broiler for about 10 minutes until the skins blacken and bubble; start checking after 5 minutes, the ones in the photo were under the broiler for 8 minutes and could have used another minute or two. Keep checking and use your eyes and nose to gauge when the peppers are roasted enough. The longer the time, the more easily the skins will come off and the more "cooked" the flesh.

WRAP IN FOIL & COOL Remove the tray from the oven. Wrap the foil around the peppers, encasing them in a tight little foil "oven". Let rest 5 - 10 minutes, the peppers are still cooking so that later, the skins will separate easily.

REMOVE THE SKINS Use your fingers to slip the skins off the peppers, it's okay if a few bits remain. 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.

ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
If possible, arrange the tray under the broiler parallel with the burner so that all the peppers are as close as possible to the heat.
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.
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.
No foil? Just leave the baking tray bare and after they're roasted, move into a container that seals or inside a paper bag.
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.


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Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

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Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.

Comments

  1. 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.

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  2. 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.

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  3. 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.

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  4. 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!

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  5. 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!

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  6. 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!

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  7. 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!

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  8. 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.

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

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

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  11. 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

    ReplyDelete

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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. (So sorry, as of 4/23/22, I’ve had to turn comments off to prevent hundreds of spam comments a day. Stupid Spammers.) ~ Alanna