Kitchen Skills

How to Roast Fresh Chiles | Print |

The reason we roast chiles at all is to cook the flesh a little (cooked chile tastes less grassy), to rid them of their tough skins and to add a touch of smokiness. Large fresh chiles require a bit of vigilance during the roasting process: you want to evenly char—really char—the skin without turning the flesh to mush. That means a very hot fire and frequent turning.


I prefer to roast large fresh chiles like poblanos over a charcoal or wood fire because I think that’s the way they taste the best. My second choice is to roast them over the flame of a gas burner. Third choice is to roast them close up under a very hot broiler (watch them closely so the flesh doesn’t get too soft).


After roasting, put them in a bowl and cover with a towel for a few minutes. The steam they release will loosen the skin, making them easier to peel.


Don’t hesitate to roast (and peel) fresh chiles a day or two ahead; they keep well in the refrigerator.