How to Roast and Clean Poblano Chiles

Poblano Chiles

Poblano chiles are a mild green chile typically used to prepare chiles rellenosrajas con queso, and crema de poblano. They need to be roasted and peeled before cooking to remove the tough outer skin which is difficult to digest. Roasting also adds flavor.

Fresh Poblano Chiles
Fresh Poblano Chiles

Roasting Methods

Roasting Poblano peppers on a gas stove is my preferred method. If you don’t have a gas stove or you don’t want to place the chiles on an open flame, see the Alternative Roasting Methods.

Roast the chiles directly on the flame. Do not leave the chiles unattended.

Roasting Poblano Chiles on the Stove
Roasting Poblano Chiles on the Stove

You want to blacken the chiles evenly, like the chiles in the picture, so that it is easy to remove all of the skin. Use metal tongs to turn them.

Roasted Poblano Chiles Ready to be Peeled
Roasted Poblano Chiles Ready to be Peeled

Peeling and Cleaning

Once the chiles are roasted place them in a plastic bag to sweat them which helps loosen the skin to make them easier to peel.

Sweating Poblano Chiles in a Plastic Bag
Sweating Poblano Chiles in a Plastic Bag

After you have sweated the chiles and they are cool to the touch remove them from the bag and use the blade of a knife to scrape off the charred skin. It’s a bit messy but the skin should come off easily. Remove as much skin as possible.

Alternatively, you can also place the chiles under running water and rub the skin off with your fingers. This is quicker and not as messy but you lose much of the roasted flavor doing it this way.

Roasted and Peeled Poblano Chiles
Roasted and Peeled Poblano Chiles

Remove the seeds and veins. If you are going to use the chiles to make chiles rellenos leave the stem intact. Otherwise, remove the stem.

Roasted, Peeled and Cleaned Poblano Chiles
Roasted, Peeled and Cleaned Poblano Chiles

Alternative Roasting Methods

Broiler Method

Lay the chiles on an ungreased baking sheet leaving space between them to allow them to char evenly. Place the baking sheet in the oven as close to the broiler as possible.

It should take a minute or two per side for the chiles to char. When the first side of the chiles is charred, remove the baking tray from the oven and turn the chiles over. Return the chiles to the oven and continue to broil until the second side is blackened.

*Sweat, peel and clean the chiles as indicated.

In a Skillet or on a Comal

If you have an electric stove or you don’t want to place the chiles on an open flame you can char them in a skillet or on a comal. Avoid skillets with a non-stick coating. Preheat the skillet on high. Place the chiles in the skillet leaving some space between them. Char the chiles until they are blackened on one side. Turn them over and char the other side.

*Sweat, peel and clean the chiles as indicated.

Outdoor Grill

You can also roast the chiles on an outdoor grill. Roasting them over charcoal gives adds great flavor.

*Sweat, peel and clean the chiles as indicated.

More Mexican Cooking Techniques

15 comments… add one
  • Malia

    Can you clean out the seeds & veins of the poblanos first and then roast them?

    • If you are roasting them on a gas flame I would probably leave them whole but if you are pan-roasting them it might make it easier to remove the seeds and stem so they lay flat and you will get more surface area on the chile. I will have to try it thank way. Cheers!

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