Sunday, September 2, 2012

Charring Peppers

Poblano Peppers – My First Ever !

Recently, I received a wonderful gift of poblano peppers.  Since they are so expensive, I’ve never purchased fresh ones before.  After doing a bit of research, I was ready to prep them. 

Generally, poblanos are charred to remove the skins before cooking.  I figured if I’ve never done this before, then other people might be in the same situation, too. 

The first problem I faced was with how to char so many peppers. I had visions of a sweltering kitchen as I fiddled around with a couple of peppers at a time. Then I remembered our gas grill. I had Mike drag it out of the shed and set it up on a sturdy table in the yard.  That worked just fine.

 Charring Techniques:

  • Use your gas grill outside.
  • My husband Joe used to char bell peppers before making spaghetti sauce. He did it by laying a few on the burner of the gas stove and turning them with tongs until they were blackened.
  • you can also put them on a broiler pan and char them in the broiler
  • Do not try to bake them in the oven. The skins will not char and they will only get mushy and overcooked.

Beginning to char

 Set your flame on high.  be sure to use long handled tongs to turn them or you might end up with a burn.

Keep at it!

 Keep turning the peppers until they are completely black.  You may even see some of the skin begin to peel off, that’s just fine.

Sweat them

 The instructions say to put the hot charred peppers in a plastic bag and seal it.  The sweating process will loosen the skin even more and make it easier to remove.  Since I had so many peppers, I put mine in a large plastic container and sealed the lid after each patch.

What a mess !
When I tried to scrape the skin off my first pepper, it was a real mess. I used several paper towels, but I realized this was becoming an expensive proposition. Besides, it wasn’t doing a good job of removing that charred skin.


Water bath

 I found that a pot of water helped better than the paper towels. but the water really became messy fast. the charred bits floated in the water and clung to the peppers and my hands as I worked.

Running Water

It took me a while to figure out an “assembly line” method of handling so many peppers.  I used the pot to catch most of the charred skin scraps, but found they came cleaner under running water.

  • colander with cooled peppers
  • running water to scrub them clean
  • pan of water to hold cleaned peppers

Seeds were a problem

Many of the loose seeds floated free and were easily rinsed off.

Drain the peppers

Drying the peppers

 Once the peppers were drained. I blotted them dry with layers of paper towels.  by that time, I was pretty pooped, so I refrigerated them to finish the next day. 

Watch for my next blog called Processing Poblano Peppers for instructions on slicing and dehydrating them.


  1. THANK YOU! your sentence "I figured if I’ve never done this before, then other people might be in the same situation, too." Made me smile! there must be oodles of us! well i have tried it exactly once (for a pesto) but it was a disaster! This is such a great explanation, including things that didn't work! fotos are great too!

    1. Thanks so much. Yes, even after all these years I learn new things almost daily! And surely, I can't be the only one who doesn't know.

      they say necessity is the mother if invention.. True, but thanks to the internet, sometimes I let other people invent the wheel.