Chile Roasting 101

August 19, 2020
| Created by Harmons

The best way to get great flavor out of green chiles is to roast them. With our annual Chile Roast event in full swing, the easiest way to get your chiles roasted is to have us do it! We are roasting outside each location every Fridays, Saturdays, and Labor Day from August 20–September 6, 2021. But just in case you’re a DIY afficionado who wants to learn how to roast them yourself, we’ve compiled this information for you. We recommend you watch the instructional video below, from Chef Lesli Sommerdorf, and you can also download and print out a handy chart (button located at the bottom of the article).


There are several ways to blister the chile skin for easy removal. Fire-roasting, broiling, or any other source of high heat applied directly to the chile will cause the skin to blister.

Oven or Broiler Method: Place chiles in a hot oven or broiler at 400°F until skin chars and blisters away from the flesh of the chile, about 10-15 minutes.

Range-Top Method: Place chiles on gas or electric burners over high heat and roast until skin is blistered.

Outdoor Grill Method: Place on a charcoal or gas grill about 5-6 inches above heat source. Remove once chile skin is blistered.


Place roasted chiles in a paper bag or bowl covered with plastic wrap and let chiles steam, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and, using a knife, gently scrape the black skin from chile. Do not rinse. 

Note: The outer skin of chiles is easier to peel after freezing, so skip this step if you intend to freeze your chiles. 


For safety and quality, roasted chiles should be completely cooled in the refrigerator to less than 40°F within two hours of being exposed to heat and must be used or frozen within three days of storage in the refrigerator. Pack unpeeled chiles in Ziploc bags, heavy aluminum foil, or freezer wrap; press down to remove air; seal. Peeled chiles, whole or diced, can be packaged in Ziploc bags or rigid containers of glass, metal, or plastic. Leave one half inch of head space, label, and date. 


Wear gloves and glasses to protect your skin and eyes from possible contact with the capsaicin oil that produces the heat found in chiles. To remove capsaicin from your skin, rub the affected area with olive oil or vegetable oil, wipe off with a paper towel, and then wash thoroughly with plenty of soap and water and dry with a paper towel. This is especially important before engaging in other activities where your hands may touch your skin. If you wear contact lenses, you may want to remove them before processing hot chiles.

How to Freeze Chiles

Removal of the outer skin is easier after freezing, so you may want to try this method. As you peel the chile (either before or after freezing), remove all seeds and veins. Clean all processing surfaces, equipment, and packaging containers., 


Unpeeled chiles: Pack whole chiles in Ziploc bags or wrap in heavy aluminum foil or freezer wrap. Remove all air and seal.

Peeled chiles: Whole or diced, peeled chiles can be packaged in glass, metal, or plastic containers. Leave one half inch of head space and seal.

Freezing and Storage

Freeze chiles immediately after packing. Freeze and store at 0° Fahrenheit or below. Chiles need to freeze within four hours. For quickest freezing, place packages against freezing plates or coils and leave space between packages to circulate air freely. Do not over pack the freezer.