Arizona Homestead Heat: Preserving Peppers


Dave L HeadshotHere at the Bear Cave, we like our food spicy. During the summer and early fall, we love to overdo on fresh peppers in spicy salsa, pimento and cheese sandwiches, stuffed bell peppers and many other pepper dishes. Once in a while, when the poblanos are big enough, Barbara treats us to a great dish of chili relleno, peppers stuffed with a great cheese, breaded, and fried in hot neutral oil. I can’t resist them and have to say it’s a good thing she makes them on special occasions only.

By the way, anchos and poblanos are the same pepper.  Down here in the southwest, we refer to the Capsicum annuum as a poblano when it’s fresh and an ancho when its dried.

     Large Peppers in a Basket

We've grown four kinds of peppers this year at the Bear Cave: bells, jalapenos, anchos/poblanos, and pimentos. We find that the sweet, heavy bells and pimentos are delicious if we allow them to ripen, then roast and pickle them. Many cooks recommend roasting peppers under the broiler or over the direct flame of a gas range in the kitchen, but around here it's still WAY too hot for that. We prefer to keep the heat outside by using the gas barbecue. The peppers acquire a rich, smoky flavor and the kitchen stays cool.

     Roasting Peppers

So it's pepper harvest and time to crank up the barbecue and roast those babies! Some peppers, especially pimentos and red bells, are perfect candidates for this treatment. They are thick-walled and sturdy, which makes them easy to peel once they're roasted. Besides being much easier to peel prior to pickling when roasted, we enjoy the flavor of a smoky pepper.

9/24/2011 6:36:05 PM

Has anyone tried this with Italian Peppers? I have them coming out my ears!!!

Dave Larson
9/20/2011 6:09:53 PM

Hey Margie, Great Idea! Thanks for visiting and the suggestion. Love to have you contribute that idea on our web site at We are always looking for good ideas on uses for our "Bean Friends".

Dave Larson
9/20/2011 6:06:54 PM

Hi Emily, sounds like you live in some cold country. Might I suggest a pepper plant or two in a couple large pots. I know a Minnesotan that plants them in pots and puts them on an old child's coaster wagon and brings them in and out of the garage. You might also consider a cold frame to accelerate the start. Check our site at for some suggestions on building and using a cold frame. Good luck and keep on trying!!

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