Note on roasting chiles and bell peppers

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Roasting chiles and bell peppers is one of the best techniques for bringing out their intense flavors. When I call for roasted chiles or peppers, I’m assuming that you have prepared them as I describe here.

Cooking Methodroasting



Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

One Pot MealYes

Type of Dishvegetable


  • Bell peppers
  • Chili peppers


I use different methods for roasting and peeling bell peppers and chiles. I roast lightly oiled bell peppers on a grill; their thick, meaty walls do not break down the way the thin walls of most chiles do. Alternatively, you can grill them on a wire rack over a gas burner; the aroma they will create in your house is like heaven.

Most chile peppers, on the other hand, are best when shocked out of their thin skins. I heat plenty of vegetable oil to 365 degrees in a deep-fryer or heavy saucepan, then carefully submerge the chiles in the hot oil. (You can get the job done in less oil if you turn the chiles from time to time.)

Once the bell peppers or chiles have blistered all over, transfer them to a large bowl lined with paper towels and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Allow them to steam for about 5 minutes. If preparing chiles, protect your hands by wearing rubber gloves. Take the peppers out of the bowl and delicately pull off their skins, using your fingers or a small knife.



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