How to Roast Jalapeños

Ever wondered how to roast a jalapeño? If you’re like me, you love the flavor of jalapeño, but find its spiciness a bit overwhelming in certain dishes. Roasting jalapeños mellows their spiciness and gives them a nice, smoky flavor. It’s a pretty simple process. I’m providing two methods here– one for under the oven broiler, and one for on top of the gas stovetop or grill flame.

These methods can actually be used for any kind of medium sized chili pepper (the ones that are around the same size as a jalapeño). Make sure you use gloves whenever you work with jalapeños, or you’re in for a world of hurt, especially if you have sensitive skin. Chilies contain capsaicin, a secondary metabolite produced by the chili that makes it spicy. The more capsaicin a pepper has, the spicier it is. Jalapeños have quite a bit of capsaicin, which can transfer to your skin and cause a burning sensation/irritation. Disposable gloves will protect you from the capsaicin. One more tip–never rub your eyes when you’re working with chilis– they will burn/sting for several minutes if you do!

Why in the world did I decide to write a blog about how to roast jalapeños? Great question! There’s a method to my madness. Sunday’s recipe will feature roasted jalapeños and lots of cheese. Stay tuned! :)

How To Roast Jalapeños

You will need

  • Jalapeños
  • Disposable gloves
  • Gas stovetop, grill flame, or oven broiler
  • Plastic sealing bag (like Ziploc)
  • Long metal skewer (if roasting on gas stove or grill)
Servings: Varies
Kosher Key: Pareve

To Roast Jalapenos on Gas Stovetop or Grill Flame

  • Turn your gas stove flame on medium, or light your grill. Roast peppers one at a time. Spear the pepper with a long skewer. Hold the pepper 1-2 inches over the open flame, being careful to keep your hands far from the heat source.
  • Hold the pepper over the flame for 60-90 seconds until the skin on one side chars and blisters. It should be mostly black, with just a few areas of green. Do not let the pepper catch fire.
  • Turn the pepper and let the other side roast for 60-90 seconds till evenly charred.
  • After you roast the pepper, you will need to steam it. Steaming helps to loosen the skin and make peeling easier. I like to place the roasted pepper on a flat, smooth surface like a cutting board, then invert a large bowl over the top of it. The bowl traps the steam inside. Steam for 15 minutes. You can also place the pepper in a paper bag and seal. Repeat the roasting process for remaining peppers, adding each roasted pepper to the bag or under the bowl as you go. After the last roasted pepper is added, let the peppers team together for at least 10 minutes. You can also use a plastic bag for this step, but I try to avoid it because the plastic can melt into your peppers if they're extremely hot. Paper bags and the bowl method are safer.
  • After steaming, remove the stem and peel the charred skin from the peppers. Be sure to wear gloves; even after roasting, the capsaicin can still burn, especially if you have sensitive skin. Remove the seeds by slicing the pepper open and gently scraping the seeds out with your fingers. If you want your dish really spicy, you can keep the seeds in there... careful, they are very potent!

To Roast Jalapenos in the Oven

  • Preheat your broiler. Make sure you put on your disposable gloves before you begin. Slice the stems from the jalapeños, then slice them horizontally in half.
  • Scrape the seeds out of the jalapeños. If you want your dish really spicy, you can keep the seeds in there... careful, they are very potent!
  • Line a small baking sheet with foil. Place the seeded jalapeños open side down, skin side up onto the baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven, 3-4 inches from the broiler. Let the peppers roast for 3-4 minutes till they are charred and the skin is blistered. The skin should be mostly black, with just a few areas of green. Watch them closely and don't let them roast too long, or they will dry out and become difficult to peel.
  • After you roast the pepper, you will need to steam it. Steaming helps to loosen the skin and make peeling easier. I like to place the roasted pepper on a flat, smooth surface like a cutting board, then invert a large bowl over the top of it. The bowl traps the steam inside. Steam for 15 minutes. You can also place the pepper in a paper bag and seal. Repeat the roasting process for remaining peppers, adding each roasted pepper to the bag or under the bowl as you go. After the last roasted pepper is added, let the peppers team together for at least 10 minutes. You can also use a plastic bag for this step, but I try to avoid it because the plastic can melt into your peppers if they're extremely hot. Paper bags and the bowl method are safer.
  • After steaming, peel the charred skin from the peppers. Be sure to wear gloves; even after roasting, the capsaicin can still burn, especially if you have sensitive skin.

 

 

Comments (22)Post a Comment

  1. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    sounds good… i take jalapenos and an onion ,mince them fine and mix them with ground turkey ..shape into patties..dust with flour on both sides.. fry till done.. delicious !

  2. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Great instructions! I prefer the outdoor gas grill…less mess. I fire roast Chiles Poblanos for Chiles Rellenos and tomatillos for Salsa Verde this way. I just use long tongs to turn them. Can’t wait to see what you do with those jalapenos!

  3. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    One of my favorite appetizers is roasted jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese and prosciutto. It is delicious! Cut the tops off peppers, use a potato peeler to scrape out seeds and membranes, stuff with a mixture of cream cheese and prosciutto and roast on an outdoor grill until skin blackens. They are so popular in the southwest (I live in New Mexico) that the local farmer’s market sells a ‘jalapeno roaster’ that holds a dozen jalapenos for grilling upright. Plain cream cheese is good in them too!

  4. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I do the same with red, yellow and orange bell peppers…except I just pop them on a grill and stick them in a bowl with plastic wrap on top. Peel, cut up and serve with some good quality olive oil and sea salt….delicious!

    …..but I’ve never thought to roast jalapenos – genius!

  5. I normally stay away from these green crazy peppers. Can’t handle the heat very well but looking forward to the recipes and see what you have in store :)

  6. One big reason to always wear gloves when handling hot peppers is if you wear contact lenses; the oil from the hot peppers is really hard to totally remove from your fingers. I remember learning this lesson many years ago and haven’t forgotten it!

    I wonder if I could put the peppers in a glass dish with a glass lid. I’m not real excited about putting hot food in plastic.

    1. Hi Mary, since writing this post I’ve found a new favorite method for steaming. I place the hot peppers on a smooth surface and invert a bowl (usually a glass one) over the peppers. This captures the steam inside. Use a smaller bowl for jalapenos, since they’re a small pepper. Paper bags work great too, as Niall suggested. I’ve modified the instructions in the post.

    2. If you DO get jalapeño stuff on your bare hands, it is hard to remove because some of it is an oil. Rub your hands well with Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion, or similar product, and THEN wash with soap and water. The fats in the Lotion will help remove volatile oils the jalapeños left on your hands.

  7. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Great tutorial Tori. The addition of the gloves will save me a trip to the hospital next time I do mine. I love roasting peppers. It’s just so much fun. And the taste is just out this world. Thanks for showing me the right way to do it.

  8. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Love to roast them…. the flavor is GREAT!! This is an awesome ( & easy) way to roast jalapenos. GLOVES are MANDATORY!!, the steaming was new to me, and it works great! thanks

  9. Love the option with the Cream Cheese from Sally – I WANT to try it NOW! I dont have an outside grilll… so will adjust.
    Thanks SO much… I so LOVE jalapenos!

  10. My daughter is lactose intolerant. What ideas of how to prepare roasted jalapenos (after skinning, which is too much time, by the way) without cream cheese and mayo contents?

  11. Can you freeze them after they’ve been roasted and treated this way? Does it matter if you leave the seeds on? Any suggestions?

  12. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Thanks for this informative and well-photographed post! I’m going to use your oven roasting method this week for a salsa. If I blog it, I’m going to link here for “How to Roast Jalapenos.”

    Great stuff!

  13. Smoked and dried jalapenos are called chipotles. Then cooked in a sauce, are called chipotle in adobo, often canned. Both commonly available. Roasting is not the same as smoking and drying.

    Most Mexican restaraunts will serve you roasted jalapenos if you ask.

    1. Take a heavy, preferably cast iron, frying pan. Cut the jalapeños in half or in quarters, removing pith and seed. No lay another, not quite so heavy, frying pan ON TOP of the jalapeños. By letting it lie there atop the peppers you are applying pressure, and the peppers will be sorta pressed into the hot surface of the cast iron pan. The skins will now toast evenly. Apply medium heat until pepper skins are blackened, and proceed as the main recipe here indicates.

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