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Apr 2, 2008 10:32 AM

Grilling red peppers for the first time

Any advice? Should I use the grill? The broiler? For how long? And then I let it sit? And then I peel and discard?

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  1. The grill will give you added flavor so if that is an option I would grill. a great tip on peeling is to put the hot grilled peppers in a plastic baggie seal and let cool. Skin will slip right off.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Analisas mom

      What she could also use a brown paper lunch bag instead of plastic if you want. Oh, you asked how long...cook on each side til it starts to blister and get charred, then turn to the next side.

      1. re: Analisas mom

        Beat me again! If I have only 1 or 2 , I put them right on the gas burner of my stove. I use a paper bag.

        1. re: Passadumkeg

          I also use the gas burner, but a ziplock-type plastic bag.

      2. Just don't rinse after you peel the charred skin off!

        1. Thanks. Could I do this with an electric oven/brioler or do I need a flame?

          5 Replies
          1. re: nomdeplume

            You can use your broiler but you won't get that same smoky charred taste.

            Tip -- when you peel the peppers, you should wait until it cools or wear rubber gloves. I've learned the hard way.

            1. re: nomdeplume

              nomdeplume, I use my toaster oven for roasting the peppers. Setting on broil, turning as the skin blackens. I like using the toaster oven when I am doing a number of peppers at once, as it's more time efficient than holding each over the gas burner. Works well for me; as far as cooling and scraping, others have had good things to say.

              Miss Needle, I have to disagree with you on the broiler v. gas flame issue. The char taste (in the absence of wood or charcoal, separate issue) comes from the sugars in the pepper meeting heat. I have not tasted a discernible difference between broiling in the toaster oven versus roasting on the natural gas flame. If you have, please tell, and why and how, since roasted peppers are a great favorite in my house and we're always looking to refine our technique.


              1. re: cayjohan

                Perhaps I wasn't clear about the smoky charred taste. My bad -- I think that was poor wording on my part. I find there is a discernable difference between food cooked on a gas stove and food cooked in an electric stove, whether it's a roasted pepper or a soup (which has no direct contact with the heat). It's a difference in which I have a hard time putting it into words but has to be experienced. Can I go so far as to say it has more "soul?" (Ha ha, Top Chef reference). At one point in my life, I did have to work with an electric stove (called my hell years). So I guess I was talking about the source of heat as opposed to whether it's a flame or a broiler. I'd always go with gas (wood if you're really lucky).

                1. re: Miss Needle

                  "Soul" is a very nice thing for food to have, and that's a good enough reason for me! And electric burners can be hell, but wonderful for peppers if you're brave and don't care about a little clean-up. :-)

                  My point is, outside of woodfire or charcoal grillng, is: heat is heat, and marries to the sugars to be carmelized in the same way. We all have our preferred methods - and some, addressing "soul," are extremely valid. Flavors can be achieved with heat CHers might not like, but it's flavor can still be the same. "Soul" come from another place, which each CHer needs to define for himself or herself.

                  The attention paid to the pepper in charring/grilling/broiling/roasting is the important aspect.

         peppers are making me hungry! :-)


                2. re: cayjohan

                  toaster oven! Why didn't I think of that. Thanks.

              2. Another tip not yet mentioned is to really roast them until they are almost entirely black - longer than you might expect (or at least longer than I expected the first couple of times I did it). When the skin is black, and you put the pepper in a bag to steam, as above, it slips right off. If there are parts where the skin is not black or close to it, it doesn't come off as easily.

                1. As an alternative to the paper bag or bag for steaming, you can just dump your roasted peppers into an aluminum mixing bowl and cover tightly with aluminum foil--they steam just fine this way. I always use my wide aluminum bowls, but I can't see why a ceramic bowl wouldn't work - you really just need an enclosed environment to keep the heat in and allow steam to develop.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: janniecooks

                    janniecooks, I like your approach, and would take it a step further - the metal or ceramic bowl with a plate on top. No wasted paper/ziploc/foil. We have tremendous sucess this way.


                    1. re: cayjohan

                      Like, doh! I'll use a plate next time too! Great idea.

                    2. re: janniecooks

                      I prefer to do mine on the grill outside but will use the broiler in a pinch. I only tried direct flame on my gas cook top once, the mess was unbelievable. When blackened all over I pop them into a tightly closed Rubbermaid container to steam and loosen the skins.