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Roasting Bell Peppers - paper or plastic

I have always understood that after one roasts bell peppers they are to be put in a paper bag to cool. Our son, when he does it, wraps the peppers in poly film or puts them in plastic bags. I think that this is heresy because the peppers come out soggy. I have come searching for the truth.

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  1. I figured you wanted the moisture effect so that the charred skin would slip off easily. I roast mine in a half jelly roll pan and put the tin pan ontop when they are roasted.

    1. I put them in a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. I copied this technique from Alton Brown ("I'm Only Here For The Food", 2nd ed., p. 186).

      1 Reply
      1. re: drongo

        After charring on my gas stove top I pop them in a bowl and put a pan that is on the stove top on top as a lid

      2. I use a paper bag, which can then go straight to the compost bin with the skins once I peel them.

        1. I put my peppers directly on the grates on my gas stovetop, turning until blackened, then wrap each pepper in a paper towel until cool enough to handle. Use the towel to wipe off the skin, helping to avoid overly red fingernails.

          1. I use a covered pot. I don't see how a high moisture item like bell peppers can become soggy. Mostly, though, I char Poblanos, not bells.

            1. Paper, plastic, a plate on top of a bowl, a pot lid over them on a plate... I use whatever is handy and I've never noticed any difference. I grow 6 different types of peppers so I'm always roasting something and I've never noticed any difference in variety, either.

              1. I've put them in a paper bag, a plastic bag, a covered bowl or pot (the latter is what I most often do these days) - the result is the same no matter the vessel. The idea is to enclose them in something as they cool so the captured steam will loosen the charred skins.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                  I always use a paper bag, only because it sops up the watery juices, or oils, or whatever it is that extrudes out while cooling.

                2. I prefer a plastic bag or a plastic-covered glass bowl. The whole point of enclosing the roasted peppers is so the steam can loosen the skins as much as possible making them easy to peel. Paper bags are porous, & don't do half as good a job as plastic.

                  And I'm not sure what you mean by peppers coming out "soggy". Roasted peppers are supposed to be soft & thoroughly pliable, not crisp. If you want crisp peppers, don't roast them.

                  1. i vote for paper. i put the roasted peppers in a paper bag to cool and steam, then rip the bag open, lay it out flat, and use it to catch all the mess from skinning the peppers. crumple it all up together and toss!

                    1. Plate on top of bowl is what I do. Or clingfilm the bowl.

                      Can't recall when I last saw a paper bag anywhere.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Harters

                        we have paper bags but I use a bowl so that the wonderful juice is not wasted.

                        1. re: magiesmom

                          Same here, I love the pepper juice in salad dressing

                        2. re: Harters

                          I don't get many paper bags but I save the few I get for sweating roasted poblanos.

                        3. I make peppers at least once a week and have tried every method. I made them today and it was my easiest peeling ever AND it was by mistake!

                          I grabbed a clean bowl off my drain board...it was a wooden bowl, I threw the peppers in it and covered it with cling wrap. Of course, the wrap didn't stick tight to wood but I've been sick and just said "good enough;" I just didnt care lol

                          went back about 20 minutes later and the peels literally fell off when I rubbed them. So try a loose plastic wrap over a bowl and see if you have the same luck of if it was just a fluke.

                          1. I put them in a glass bowel, and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap to let them steam. Yes - I want the steam to loosen the skin. My roasted peppers don't come out "soggy" even though they release a lot of juice.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: audreyhtx1

                              A pot and lid or plate covered bowl. If you are really worried put some paper (or dish) towels or newspapers in the bottom. I've never found anything to be soggy either and try to keep my waste down.

                            2. the only reason I wouldn't use plastic wrap is just because plastic wrap gets hard to deal with when it gets hot and a tiny bit melted.

                              Any of the other methods I've used depending on what was available at the time.

                              1. After roasting, they go into a plastic ziplock bag, folded over but not zipped shut. The steam helps loosen the skins in about 10 minutes.

                                The peppers will be soft after roasting anyway, so I'm not sure what you mean by "soggy"?
                                ETA: Whoa. I posted this before I read the thread, and Bacardi1 and I had a Vulcan Mind Meld with our responses. :-)

                                1. I place mine in a glass bowl, which I cover with either aluminum foil or plastic wrap -- no difference. I've also used the paper bag method. What IS important is roasting the peppers until they're well-charred on the outside. Then, once steamed, the skins will slip off quite easily. What I do is to take a slice off the top and bottom, remove the core and seeds, slice them open, flatten them with the palm of my hand and broil them skin side up until they're charred.

                                  As for sogginess -- that might be more a function of the thickness of the pepper. A thinner pepper would be soggier than a thicker one after roasting.

                                  1. Neither - I find that putting them in a bag makes no difference; I just let them cool in the pan they cooked in them peel them.

                                    1. Roast on grill, over open flame on gas stove or under broiler.

                                      If I feel traditional, I use paper brown bags.

                                      Lazy I do a big Pyrex bowl and cover top with cling film.

                                      I always like the brown bag because of it's ability it wick moisture and condensation.

                                      I find the even and proper char is the key process. How you rest the peppers enough for the walls to collapse to release the skin secondary.

                                      1. Wow - Lots of truth out there. I can't reply to all, no-one would want me to. Thank you all for taking the time.

                                        "Soggy" as I used it did not mean "soft", it meant "waterlogged". I never expected "crisp", and don't think I'd want that in a roasted pepper. Sauteeing julienned bell pepper gets my preference for softened yet a little crisp.

                                        But absorbing the oils and excess aqueous stuff does seem to give a firmer product, and it looked as though paper (bag, towel, etc) has a slight edge, but it's not unanimous. I am going to try other methods - the bowl seems worth investigating - and do some more precise observations.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: Gualtier Malde

                                          I suspect crispness has more to with the amount of heat (length of cooking) and whether paper or plastic is used (as opposed to the paper absorbing moisture). Though paper may be part of that equation - it does not trap as much heat and steam, so they don't soften as much.

                                          1. re: paulj

                                            Which is why I use paper when sweating poblanos for rellenos, because I want a little snap and texture to the pepper, both for easier stuffing and better eating.

                                            1. re: Veggo

                                              how about a shorter sweating time in platistic?

                                              The roasting flame also makes a difference. A hot flame that chars the skin quickly (even it is localize) will cook the flesh less than a distant heat source (like a broiler).

                                            2. re: paulj

                                              I'm testing more crisp and easy handling angles: Prepare by cutting off the knobby parts (stem and flower ends) and remove the membranes and such, leaving a rectangle. This I put close to the heat in an overhead broiler. It chars quickly and seems to keep some crispness. Then just slice, chop, Julienne... etc.