Got chilies growing in your garden? There’s a good chance you should prepare to harvest those beauties soon. And that means you’ll need to know how you’re going to make your chili peppers last throughout the winter.
There are plenty of ways to preserve your peppers, such as oven drying, freezing, and canning. Each one comes with its own pros and cons, not to mention the amount of effort you need to invest.
It’s easy to choose the fastest, easiest route from garden to storage, but you may want to hold your horses this year. Why not try roasting your peppers before wrapping them up for the season?
Roasting Transforms the Flavor of Your Fiery Peppers
There’s a false rumor flying about that roasting peppers will reduce their heat levels.
It’s simply not true. One thing that you could do to reduce the sensation of heat in your roasted chili peppers is to halve them and remove the seeds before popping them in the oven. That’s not actually where the hot stuff is held, but it will help.
Roasting will transform the taste of your peppers, however. It will give them a smoky, sweet flavor. It helps to bring out the natural sugars found in the fruit of your freshly-grown chili peppers. Regardless of the peppers, roasting produces a brilliant flavor, and it’s definitely worth trying (at least once).
The process also transforms the texture of your peppers. Not only do they become softer (which makes them easier to enjoy with certain meals), but the skin will become papery and flake off which is a bonus for those that want to dispense with the outer layer.
How Do You Roast Chili Peppers?
You can “roast” chili peppers in a frying pan on the stove top, but it’s much easier to do it properly in the oven – especially if you have a lot of peppers to get through.
Heat the oven to broil and place all your peppers on a lined (and lightly oiled) baking sheet. Broil for about 10 or 15 minutes until the skins on top are blackened. Then, flip all the peppers and roast for another 10 minutes until the other side is crisp. (You may need a little less time than 10 minutes, so keep an eye on them.) Remove from the oven and set aside.
When the peppers are cool enough to peel, don some gloves and get busy doing just that. And, from there, you can freeze or prepare your chili peppers for the long winter months as you please. (We definitely recommend canning a few… if you have the right utensils to do so.
And now, isn’t it time you headed out to the garden to harvest your chilies?
That’s what we thought.