How to Roast Green Chiles over a Gas Flame

Guide to roasting chile peppers over a gas flame. For Hatch, Anaheim, Poblano chiles. Includes video, photos, and step-by-step instructions

  • Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • Raw chile peppers - anaheim, Hatch, poblano, or jalapeño

Method

how-to-roast-chile-peppers-1 how-to-roast-chile-peppers-2

1 Turn on your gas burner on to the highest setting. Balance the chile pepper directly on the metal grates over the gas burner. Let the chile pepper sit on the burner as its skin begins to bubble and turn black (about a minute).

how-to-roast-chile-peppers-3 how-to-roast-chile-peppers-4

2 Once one side of the chile gets well blistered, use tongs (or if you can, grab the stem with your fingers) to turn the chile to another side. Repeat until the chile gets blistered or charred on all sides. Obviously you need to pay close attention to the chile. It should just blister and char a bit, not catch fire.

Using this method you can roast several chiles at the same time. At least 2 per burner, and you can have a couple burners going at once.

how-to-roast-chile-peppers-5 how-to-roast-chile-peppers-6

3 Place the chile in a bowl and cover with a plate (or put the chile in a brown paper bag and close the bag). Let the chiles sit for 5 or 10 minutes. The steam from the hot chile will help the peel come off more easily.

how-to-roast-chile-peppers-7 how-to-roast-chile-peppers-8

4 Remove the chile from the bowl. Use your fingers or a damp towel or damp paper towel to rub off the charred peel. You may find it easier to do this over a sink, because it can get rather messy. Try to avoid running water over the chile itself, as doing so may wash away some of the chile's flavor. Make a slice into the side of the chile and cut away and discard the stem, seeds, and veins.

Place in a covered container and refrigerate. Will keep for several days in the fridge. Or you can place in a freezer bag, press out the air, and freeze. Frozen chiles will last for several months.

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.

Comments

  1. Ben

    I am from Mexico and ever since I can remember my mom used that method to peel peppers. When I was about 12 I started helping in the restaurant my parents used to own and I sometimes had to roast peppers. So many memories.

    Thanks for sharing this excellent blog.

  2. Heather

    I have an electric range as well. When the weather doesn’t permit me to use the gas burner on my grill, I use a kitchen torch to char my peppers. It works well and is a lot more fun than using the broiler.

  3. Mike

    I’ve recently switched from the paper bag method to wrapping the roasted pepper in a wet paper towel. After five minutes of steaming and cooling, the paper towel can easily be used to rub off the charred skin.

  4. Vicki

    About twice a year I make a huge pot of chili verde, which means I have to roast about 50 Anaheim chilis. For large quantities like that, I pull out the barbecue grill. Crack a beer, pull up a chair, and flip chilis in the afternoon sun.

  5. Mark

    I agree that running the chile under water results in a loss of flavor. To make removing the charred skin easier I scrape it off with a knife (hold the blade perpendicular to the chile) rather than peel it with my fingers.

  6. Walkiria

    I’m also from Mexico, and I could picture my mom roasting them on the stove as I read. The only thing is that she doesn’t use a PAPER bag, but instead a PLASTIC bag. I just realized why she does this. It keeps all the humidity without absorbing it (paper bags and towels do) which helps when peeling of the skin (more moisture to make the skin come off and she peels them still inside the bag as well). So the taste won’t go away and all the skin is kept in the bag.

  7. joanne

    I’ve done this for years. A friend of mine fries hers, but I agree with your mom, you get better flavor when you char it over a flame. I have also charred peppers in a cast iron pan. Before we remodeled my last house, it had an electric stove and I was desperate. I have also charred them on a gas grill too. I love the smell of charring peppers. The neighbors get the scent too if you do it on the grill. My son can always tell when I’m making chile rellenos, or salsa when he walks in the house.

  8. serena

    Hi,

    This may sound really silly to most people here, but it seems strange to me to be charring a chile over a GAS flame. Won’t the residual chemical from the gas flame get into the chile? I just don’t feel it’s very safe to roast the chile that way. Perhaps someone can enlighten me? I am not from US or Mexico.

    • Elise

      Hi Serena,
      Gas ranges in this country have use either natural gas or propane. Both are extremely clean burning fuels. A significant amount of grilling done here is also done on gas grills, which use propane.

  9. Lex

    This method is good, however to avoid having to wash with water (and loose flavor), I agree with Walkiria that a plastic bag should be used.
    We go through a LOT of roasted chillies (and capsicum) in the cafe I work at and using the plastic bag method is the most effective, plus you don’t have to wash away any of the flavor.

  10. barbara

    Elise I do mine over the flame too. The flavour is much nicer than roasted..and I love how the kitchen smells when they flame roast.

  11. Linda

    Hi Elise

    I roast jalapeno and red bell peppers for the salsa and the cheese I make. I have a frying pan that over the years had worn out. I now use it as a grilling pan for roasting peppers or veggies under the broiler in my oven. I roast the red bell pepper till it is black then removed it and put in the jalapeno peppers. I let the roasted peppers sit on a plate to cool while I do other prep. I don’t have any problems removing the cooled but not cold charred skins.

    Linda

  12. Debi Roybal

    I have a small grill plate (with wooden handles and metal legs that lifted it about 1/2 inch over the burner) that I used successfully even when I was cursed with an electric stove. With it, I managed to blacken the skin and inpart the roasted flavor just fine. Happily, I have a gas stove now.

  13. Jonathan Kandell

    A taste of heaven on earth is vegetarian new mexico “bowl of green”: 12 diced roasted green new mexico chiles, mixed with a half can of tomatoes, chunks of tofu, oregano and salt, sauted onion, salt. They must be roasted as in the blog, not canned.

  14. William McCain

    I, too, use a small screen frame of stainless-steel hardware cloth (like rabbit-cage wire) about 10 inches square, with the corners cut out, so the whole thing folds up about an inch above the stove. Works just fine over the electric range! Give it a try, if it’s all you got!

  15. Michele

    Please be careful doing this – some people with respiratory problems like asthma should not try it as the fumes will trigger an attack. I have extremely mild asthma and did not expect anything like the shortness of breath and coughing I experienced. I could not get my breath and had to use my inhaler two times, plus coughed most of the day. Too bad because the pepper was delicious!! (what we suffer for good food!)

  16. Matty

    Hi Elise
    I’ve been stuffing peppers with oxtail meat – Pimientos Verdes Rellenos con Carne de Rabo. Roast and skin the peppers and then stuff with the meat and bake. Excellent. The recipe is from Menu del Dia by Rohan Daft

  17. Sean

    I use the broiler as well as the stovetop — the broiler works best if you are roasting several at once.

  18. Nir

    Please remember to use plastic gloves when peeling hot chiles. Some of the worst pain in my life happened when I forgot to use gloves or a plastic bag when peeling the chilis. It felt like someone was holding a lighter up to my skin for about 8 hours.

    • Elise

      You can also rub your hands with vegetable oil before handling the chiles, that will protect your skin while you work with them. Afterwards you can wash off the oil with soap and water.

  19. Patti

    Is there any recipe for roasting the peppers, then keeping them in olive oil in the fridge or pantry? I have an enormous amount of peppers in my garden and need to find a good way to preserve them.

    • Elise

      I char poblanos or Anaheims, seed them, cut away the stems, and put the strips of flesh in a bowl, toss with vinegar, oil, and salt. I then chill in the fridge until I use them in quesadillas, or just eat them straight.

      One way of storing excess jalapeños is to make pickled jalapeños with them. In this recipe you cook them in a vinegar solution, which helps preserve them and prevents botulism. If you want straight peppers in oil, I think you will need to pressure can them because they are basically a low acid vegetable and either need vinegar or a 240°F canning temperature to kill the dangerous bacteria. ~Elise

  20. Gerardo

    In addition to the good ways you describe for working with chiles, I would suggest that anytime you want to handle peppers, regardless of what type they are, rub some cooking oil on your hands BEFORE handling them. That will protect your skin from the chile juices, avoiding the burning sensation. After finishing cooking, you can just wash your hands in the regular way, then use some hand lotion and the chile smell will go away.