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Pati Jinich PoblanoChili1.JPG

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.


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.

Can the prepared poblanos be frozen for later use?

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! 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

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?


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

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.

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?

No, it is not bad for you at all.

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