How to Peel a Pepper

Some pepper recipes --- particularly those for canning or preserving peppers --- require that you peel the peppers first. The easiest method of peeling peppers is to blister them by exposing them to high heat. This causes the skin to separate from the underlying flesh, so you can slip it off the pepper with ease. The blistering process also tenderizes the pepper a bit and adds sweetness by causing some of the sugars in the pepper to carmelize.

Things You'll Need

  • Oven or broiler
  • Pan
  • Damp cloth
  • Oven mitts or tongs
  • Plastic or latex gloves (if working with hot peppers)


    • 1

      Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, or turn on the broiler element.

    • 2

      Put the peppers in the oven or broiler, directly on the wire shelf.

    • 3

      Heat the peppers until the skins begin to form large air bubbles, or blister (about eight minutes). You might need to turn the peppers to make sure both sides are equally blistered.

    • 4

      Using an oven mitt, remove the peppers from the oven or broiler, place them in a pan and cover them with a damp cloth.

    • 5

      Put on plastic or latex gloves if you're working with hot peppers.

    • 6

      Wait until the peppers have completely cooled, and then slip the skins off with your fingers.

Tips & Warnings

  • Another way to blister peppers quickly is to hold them over a gas burner with a pair of tongs, or set them on a sturdy wire mesh over the flame. Rotate the peppers as they blister. Don't hold the pepper still over the flame for too long, or the flesh will scorch.
  • It's always best to blister and peel the peppers before you remove the stem and seeds. Cut peppers do not blister as readily.
  • Blistered peppers will be very hot as they come out of the broiler. Use mitts or tongs to remove them and make certain they are completely cool before skinning them.
  • Hot peppers contain high levels of capsaicin (the stuff in pepper spray), which can easily come off on your fingers. Wear protective gloves and avoid touching the area around your eyes while peeling hot peppers.
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  • Photo Credit peppers Reflection image by Gerald Bernard from

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