Poblano Peppers: How to Prep

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Poblano Peppers: How to Prep

Poblano Peppers, or Chiles, are rarely used in their raw form. While some ingredients are ready to jump in your mouth or in the pot, like an apple or a carrot, others have to go through a couple steps to bring out their finest qualities in flavor, color and texture. But those extra steps are so worth it! It can seem hard at first but once you prepare them a couple of times the process becomes very simple.  Plus you can make more than you need and freeze them for up to 4 or 5 months. Here are the steps.

First, roast or char them
To do so, you can either place them on a tray under the broiler, directly on the grill or directly on the open flame, which is what is typically done in Mexico. I prefer to broil them because you can do many more at one time and just seems faster and easier.

Whatever method you choose, turn them every 2 to 3 minutes for a total of 6 to 9 minutes. They must seem charred and blistered on the outside but the flesh must be cooked but not burnt. Just like roasting marshmallows in a fire.

Second, make them sweat.
Once charred and hot place them in a plastic bag, close it tightly and let them sweat for 10 to 20 minutes.

Third, peel and rinse.
Preferably under a thin stream of cold water, remove the charred skin which should come right off.  Make a slit down one side of the pepper and remove the cluster of seeds and veins.

If being used for stuffing, keep them whole with the stem. If being used for rajas, take the stem off and make slices. I like them of about ½ inch wide.

If you want your Poblanos to be fairly mild, once prepared, let them soak in warm water mixed with a tablespoon of brown sugar for 10 to 30 minutes, then drain.

  • Daniel

    Thank you very much for these instructions. We have been trying to figure out how to get the thin skin off the peppers for a while now. Can’t wait to try this.

  • Pin Amos beat Americano Green Peppers any day. Poblanos are easy to grow. It’s not hard to make them sweat! It’s just like your boss–make her sweat! Char them–peel them, sprinkle them with lime and use them.

    • Mick

      So…you make your boss sweat??..” Lol…..

  • Can the prepared poblanos be frozen for later use?

    • Pati Jinich

      Hi Carol, Yes, poblanos can be frozen for later use. Just put them in a sealed ziploc bag and they can last for months in the freezer or a week in the refrigerator. 🙂

  • Can the poblano be frozen whole or does it have to be sliced?
    Thanks

  • Thanks! I’m replacing jalapeno peppers with poblanos for a milder taste on a dish (for my 4 & 7 years old), We tried your chilorio burritas and they were a hit! I have you now under “My Favorites” tab, I can’t wait to try other recipes!

  • Dear Pati,
    My son and I love you and your show. We are planning on planting a backyard full of peppers this spring with Poblanos as the star of the garden. We look forward to many tasty dishes based on your recipes.
    Thank you for teaching us the proper way to cook really tasty food that we can grow ourselves.
    Dave and Clayton

  • PW

    Hi Pati:

    What is the best way to cut or slit the poblano peppers when preparing them for chili rellenos? i’ve seen them cut at the top, on the side, what do you recommend?

    thanks,

    • Pati

      On the side, leave the stem on and try to remove the seeds without making another side cut…

  • Charlie

    Hi Pati,
    I love that you answer questions here on your blog!

    I have a bumper crop of tiburon and serrano peppers in my garden right now. My question: what kind of cheese do you recommend for Chiles Rellenos? Every recipe I find and each restaurant I visit seems to use a different cheese. I live in in St. Louis, Missouri, where there’s a big “little Mexico” (Cherokee Street) with dozens of groceries and restaurants, so I hope I can find some authentic cheese or a good substitute.

    • Pati

      Hi Charlie,
      Anything that melts and has a good flavor but not to overpowering goes. My favorites are Oaxaca, Mexican Manchego, Asadero. But if you don´t find those, you can use Mozzarella or Monterey Jack for example. Muenster works well too!

  • I’ve been preparing these wrong, for quite some time. I like the poblanos sliced in half, seeds removed, then I rub oil all over the pepper and stuffed with mozzarella cheese. Then I bake the peppers at 450 for 20 minutes. I don’t remove the skin, just eat them as is. Is the skin, after baking, bad for me?

    • Pati

      No, it is not bad for you at all.

  • Liz

    I had a bumper crop of poblanos last summer, and then a family emergency required I leave immeditaely. I popped the peppers into freezer bags and stuck them in the fridge. There they sit. Any recommendations for working with frozen but unprocessed peppers?

    • Pati

      Hola Liz, Thank you for writing to me. You may try thawing the poblanos completely, then gently pat dry to remove as much moisture as possible, and then roast, sweat & remove skin as usual.

  • Pam

    A great way to rub off the blistered skin is use a dedicated copper chore boy scrubber. You can lightly rub and fast get the skin off. Give it a good blast of water to be sure there aren’t any bits of copper…it sometimes breaks off, but it is so bright you can see it and wash it away.
    If you’ve a camp stove that runs on the little propane tanks, take it outside and use it roast your peppers on an open flame. Fun and yummy!

    Love your show!

    • Pati

      Great to know, Pam!! Thank you for sharing!

  • Pam

    I forgot, on using a chore boy, don’t scrub, just pull in down towards the tip of the chili. Very fast and little mess when down over the sink with running water!

  • Tori Thompson

    I like to just BBQ my vegetables during the summer months. I prefer to roast them on the BBQ and then stuff them with other vegetables and cheese. I do this frequently with zucchini and would like to also do this with peppers (poblano/pasillo specifically). Do I need to roast and peel them first? This seems like cooking them twice to me. After seeding the peppers (just a slit down the top) can I not just put them on the BBQ along with the zucchini for 30 minutes, turn them over, add the stuffing and cook until the stuffing is good and hot? All over indirect heat.

    Tori

    • Pati

      Hi Tori, You may skip the roasting and peeling, however I always recommend it because it brings out the finest flavor in the poblanos. Go for it either way! 🙂

  • Donna Mae

    Love your show Pati!
    I have a cayenne and tabasco pepper plants. They have lots of peppers on I would to make hot sauce like “red hot” brand. I am guessing I leave pepppers on till they turn red?? Please share thoughts, ideas and a recipe. Thanks in advance for your response.
    DM

    • Pati

      Hola Donna, Thank you so much for watching the show! Yes, harvest the peppers when they are red.

  • Toni Roznowski

    I am looking for the recipes of convent foods
    casserole had rice.corn, ??, and poblano peppers on top
    enjoy your program on Create TV
    Thanks

  • Scott O

    Hi !

    I slice Poblano’s and simmer in Chili. I do not prepare the chili’s in anyway prior. I like the flavor added just from simmering.

    However, I was wondering if you think I should grill, sweat and/or peel them before simmering?

    • Pati

      Hola Scott, Thanks for your message! You’re free to prepare them however you enjoy them most. However, if you do try charring, sweating & peeling them, no need to simmer.

  • Michele

    Do you positively have to remove the seeds before stuffing and baking ? Just wondering…

    • Pati

      Hi Michele, The seeds in poblanos don’t add to the flavor (or have a nice flavor), like they do in jalapenos and serranos. My advice is to remove as many of the seeds as you can; if there are a few left in there, it’s ok.

  • Elise Alvarado

    Love the show and yr opening song yr dishes on site videos love how yr family is on the show beautiful family nice how yr sister’s a Baker : ) L.C

    • Pati

      Thanks, Elise!

  • Can you send me a good authentic cjile renos recipe? My son even though cajun–loves mexican food. Any help would be appreciated. Love the show!!

  • Sue Allison

    Can poblanos be canned for future use in chiles rellano? If so, how? Thanks.

    • Pati

      I have refrigerated or frozen them very successfully. To can them they’d have to be immersed either in oil or pickling marinade…

  • Stacey Glenn Bradley

    Googled “roasting poblanos” today. Glad I picked this answer! Tossed them on the grill, steamed, peeled and froze 🙂 So easy…which is nice because we’ve got a ton more on the vine 🙂 Thx so much.

    • Pati

      Con gusto!

  • Sandy

    Can poblanos be dried….. Is that what a chipotle is? If I dry them then how do I prepare them later on for use.
    Thank you so much for the opportunity to ask a question on line!

  • Matt Carroll

    Is it just me or are fresh Poblanos not really used for many recipes? Every recipe I’ve looked at that “sounds interesting” calls for dried/reconstituted Anchos, which I’ve read are fully-ripened (red) poblanos that have been dried.

    My fresh ones are large and great-looking, but all-green. None ever ripened to red in spite of being full-sized on the plant (which is huge!) for many weeks, so I assume at this late date that they will not turn red. Wondering what to do with all these Poblanos? Dry them green? Make a simple hot sauce? Something else? Help! 🙂

  • Jeff Doty

    Are grocery store ancho chiles or ancho powder made from drying green or red poblanos? I have very few that have made it to red, and would to dry the green ones, but don’t know if it will create the same thing as what you buy in the store. Thanks!

    • Pati

      Ancho chiles are poblanos that have been dried. All the poblanos are red/dark chocolate color. So to grind them, you have to dry the green poblanos, or buy the already dried anchos.

  • I have been using the dried ripe is poblanos – anchos – from the grocery to make powder so I grew two plants this season.

    The plants grew ignore this, they were loaded fruit, but none of them right and passed shiny green. So I tried some of them in the flavor was far too green peppery for me.

  • Wow, anti-spellcheck was in full gear!

    To paraphrase: the plants grew huge, they were loaded with fruits, but the fruit never ripened past the shiny green stage.

  • Jim henderson

    Hi Pati,
    I read your article on roasting poblano chiles and need your advice. I’m trying to come up with a recipe for baked chile rellenos with the batter coating. I think I have the batter figured out using a masa recipe for pancakes. Any better suggestion for the batter?

    2nd, does it make a big difference if the chilrs are roasted 1st? If yes, does it hurt to leave the charrred skin on?
    Thanks,
    Jim

    • Pati

      Chiles have to be roasted, sweated, and peeled first. Then they are stuffed and they can be battered or not, but can be in either case, simmered in a tomato sauce (or other sauce) or just eaten without the batter.​

  • Iz

    Pati,
    Thank you for this post. I received poblanos as part of my CSA (community supported agriculture) and I had no idea how to prepare them. I tend to steer away from cooking chilis since I don’t like too much heat in my foods.Your tip about soaking them in brown sugar and water was just what I needed to keep the flavor mild. I quite like the taste now.

    • Pati

      I’m so glad!!!

  • Sylvie Harris

    Hi Pati. Thanks for this post. I learned how to char and use chilies watching your program, but I’m no expert. Pinning it and looking forward to reading all of the comments and replys. Love the flavor of poblanos!

  • Char the poblano! =)