Processing Fresh Chiles: Roasting, Peeling, and Freezing

Harald Zoschke's Chile HarvestI love chiles in whatever form I can get them, but there is something special about fresh chiles—they have a flavor and texture that cannot be duplicated by canned, dried, or frozen chiles, and they bring bright colors to summertime meals. So naturally, the first way to handle a mega-harvest is to consume as many of the fresh chiles as possible.

There are many ways to use fresh chiles straight from the garden. Obviously, they can just be eaten raw, although many of the really hot varieties such as bird peppers and members of the chinense species are simply too hot to be eaten by themselves. But the larger, milder ones can be sliced up for use in sandwiches as well as on hot dogs and burgers. They can also be added to salads of all kinds.

The poblanos and New Mexican varieties have tough skins that are usually blistered and peeled before being used in recipes that require cooking. Blistering, or roasting the chile is the process of heating the fresh pods to the point that the transparent skin is separated from the meat of the chile so it can be removed.  This article is continued here.

AboutDave Dewitt

Dave is known in the media as "The Pope of Peppers" because of the 36 books he's written on chile peppers and spicy food around the world. He's also co-producer of the National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show and editor and publisher of the Fiery Foods & Barbecue SuperSite at His latest book, with chile breeder Dr. Paul Bosland, is The Complete Chile Pepper Book.

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