I am not a big fan of raw peppers. Bell peppers can be okay raw when used in a salad, but when I am having peppers in any other food than a salad, I prefer them to be cooked a bit. I like how cooking them makes them softer and easier to eat. It eliminates some of the crunchiness and gives the peppers a more pleasing texture and flavour, I think.
Roasting your peppers also gives you the opportunity to season them. I like to flavour mine with herbs and spices to elevate the peppers to the next level. The smell of roasted herbs with the peppers is really lovely, and there are a few go-to seasoning combinations I use for various peppers.
My favourite way to cook up peppers is on the grill. There is something very satisfying about seeing the flame and watching the peppers cook before your eyes. You can char them just as much as you like and judge with your eyes when they are done cooking. That feels like you are more involved with the food that way than if you roast them in the oven.
How to roast peppers on the grill? I’m glad you asked, and I have my own methods of grilling these tasty vegetables that I want to share with you.
Char for a Better Pepper
If you try to bite into the skin of a raw pepper, you will find it is pretty tough. It doesn’t have a lot of give since that skin is the natural protection the pepper has against pests, weathering, and bacteria. Did you know that the tough outer skin of peppers was actually bred into it so it would be easier to package and ship and so that it would be better protected? Yep, hardy peppers are a result of specialised breeding.
So, how to roast chilli peppers on the grill so that they aren’t so tough? I char them, burning the outer skin and getting rid of that tough exterior. For all intents and purposes, charring the skin kills its ability to be tough and protect the interior of the pepper. Since you are getting ready to eat the pepper after you cook it on the grill, that isn’t an issue. It no longer needs its protective layer for our purposes.
Grilling the pepper until the outside is turning at least partially black is a great way to tenderise the pepper. It makes the pepper more palatable and easier to consume. It does more than that, though. Charring also brings out some of the sweetness of the pepper, giving you a more concentrated, impactful flavour. Charring is an important part of how to roast bell peppers on the grill, as it boosts the flavour and makes the pepper more enjoyable to eat.
Don’t Pack the Peppers
Spacing is really important when it comes to cooking up peppers of any kind. They need to room to breathe, or at least absorb heat evenly. If you pack them in together on your grill or in a skillet on the stove, then they won’t cook properly.
So, when asked how to roast poblano peppers on the grill or any other kind of pepper, I always advise people to space them out. The problem with packing them in is that some of your peppers will just get steamed, instead of being properly grilled and charred. They won’t be as soft or as flavourful as they should be, and they will not have the right texture.
Take off the Skin
The skin may not taste very good after you char it, and I wouldn’t fault you for wanting to remove it. Who wants to eat the blackened part of the pepper anyway? You can just peel it off easily once the pepper is fully cooked.
Don’t try to peel the peppers right away, as soon as they come off the grill. How to roast red peppers on the grill and then get the skin to come off easily? You should let them sit in a bowl with plastic wrap over top. Make sure the plastic wrap is secured tightly so that no air can get in.
What this does is steam the peppers, and that makes the skin fall off on its own. It will be really easy to pull off whatever is still hanging on to the peppers after you let them steam in the covered bowl for about 10 minutes.
I like cooking my peppers on the stove when I don’t want to take time to fire up the grill. If I am not doing a full cookout and just want some roasted peppers for lunch or a quick dinner, then I use a frying pan and the stovetop.
This works just fine, but the skillet usually only has space for a couple of peppers at once. The same rules apply to skillet cooking of peppers as they do for how to fire roast peppers on the grill. You need to space them out and cook them until they char on the outside. Then, let them rest in a covered bowl to steam them and get the skin to fall right off.
What to Season Peppers with?
Another thing to know about how to roast hot peppers on the grill is how to season them. There are a few go-to seasonings I use. Peppers aren’t very sticky in their raw form, so any seasonings you use will likely need a liquid coating to make them stick. I use balsamic vinegar for that, and sometimes I will switch that up with olive oil, or use them both at the same time. This makes a slightly sticky coating that you can season easily and expect your seasoning to stick to the peppers while they cook.
Then, how to roast jalapeno peppers on the grill with some nice herbs and spices that will be appropriate? I like to add parsley, clove, oregano, and garlic powder on mine. Sometimes, I just add one or two of these and other times I add them all, depending on which peppers I am working with and what I want the flavour to be.
There are tons of others seasonings you can use as well, and I would encourage you to experiment or follow a recipe and find a few favourites for yourself. If you have never grilled peppers before, then you are in for a treat. I love how quickly and simply they cook up. They also go with a lot of foods well. I like mine with beef strips, boneless chicken filet, or in fajitas. They can even be used on salads or sandwiches, giving them a lovely roasted flavour these foods normally don’t have.