Fire roasted jalapenos are a tasty little addition to many recipes. If you are wanting a more subtle back heat instead of a tongue blistering heat then these fire roasted jalapenos might be what you are looking for. There are many ways to roast jalapenos but I’m going to focus on fire roasting them on a grill.
You may think all peppers get roasted the same, but it’s not true. Jalapenos are a fairly small yet thick walled pepper, so they need to be roasted a little different than some of the larger but thinner walled peppers such as the Poblano or Anaheim Peppers. The main goal of roasting jalapenos is to develop a nice soft texture that doesn’t fall apart, while creating a deep rich flavor.
Preserve the Heat
When I roast peppers of any sort, I like to do a lot of them and freeze some for later. They can be frozen uncut or chop them up and freeze them in small easy access containers or divided up into small baggies. Just defrost in fridge the night before you know you’ll need them.
With that being said…
Light your grill and get it nicely pre-heated. You are not looking for a super hot flame here, you want to roast the jalapenos and not incinerate them.
While the fire is warming up, it’s time to clean your jalapenos. The outer layer will be getting charred off so they don’t need an extremely thorough cleaning. I just put them in a strainer and give them a good shower to get the obvious dirt off. There is no need to dry them off since they will be getting tossed onto a nice toasty grill fire.
Once your fire is ready and your grill grate is cleaned, dump your jalapenos on top, spread them out in a single layer and put the lid on. We want the heat to surround the peppers and start to roast them. After five minutes or so, it’s time to pull off the lid and take a look. This is where you get a good idea of how hot your fire is and how this process is going to go.
Get a pair of long tongs and start turning the jalapenos. There is no need to be precise here as they will be turned many times again before you are done. Look for the peppers that are more charred than others; this indicates your hot spots on the grill. Use these indicators to your advantage. Move the jalapenos in and out of the hot spots as they need it, if you see some that aren’t cooking very well…move them to the hot spot.
Mind Your Grill Char
You are looking for the skin to get a moderate level of char but not be totally blackened to the point it crumbles. Just keep turning and moving them around till you get a fairly even level of char on the entire surface of each jalapeno.
You may see some jalapenos starting to expand, this is due to the heat causing the trapped moisture inside the peppers to expand and steam. This is a good sign and it indicates that the actual peppers are roasting nicely and not just burning the skin. Once the jalapenos have started to expand and the skins are evenly charred, you are pretty close to being done with this phase. I usually wait till one or two split from the internal pressure then consider them done.
Finish your Fire Roast
Keep in mind that they all do not have to be done at the same time. Pull them off individually as they are done and leave the stragglers behind to finish up.
Start pulling the jalapenos off the grill and put them into a large zip-top bag or a container with a lid. Seal them up in the bag or container, set them aside and…wait. You need to let them sit in there for at least 15 to 20 minutes to steam. This will cause the skin to release from the jalapeno and make them easier to peel. It also continues cooking the jalapeno’s to get them to their final level of roasted perfection.
After they are steamed, I highly recommend that you put on a pair of gloves. The juice from the jalapenos will get on your skin and can be quite irritating. Now start peeling them. I usually have one bowl for the skins and one for the finished jalapenos. Just peel the skin off by hand, if there are little bits left it’s not the end of the world. You can pull off the top and scrape the seeds out with your fingers now if you want also.
Enjoy your Fire Roasted “Heat”
I usually chop up the finished product into 1/4″ to 1/8″ pieces to add into other recipes. Any leftovers you have, you can put in little freezer bags in 1/4 cup portions and freeze. Just pull them out as needed and use these instead of a can of jalapenos.