We peeled a lot of roasted peppers to test the recipes for “Two Ways to Roast a Pepper,” and along the way we collected several tips for working with them.
Steaming is important, so don’t skip this step. Putting the just-roasted peppers in some sort of closed environment—usually a paper bag, a plastic-covered bowl, or under a towel—creates a steam bath and helps loosen any nooks and crannies that didn’t get the full blast during roasting.
Keep a bowl of water handy. Roasted peppers produce a slippery juice, and once it’s on your hands it acts like a magnet for charred bits of pepper skin. Dunking your fingers in water gets rid of those pesky flecks.
Get most of the seeds out at once by pulling the stem and core out together. Then you’ll have just a few loose seeds to brush off.
Use a table knife to scrape off stubborn skin. This is particularly helpful if you roast the peppers directly over a flame, which sometimes leaves you with a few uncharred spots that don’t come off on their own.
A few seeds and flecks of skin aren’t a big deal, so don’t spend too long trying to get every little bit off. And don’t rinse the peppers or you’ll wash away some of their flavor, too.