A chile roaster roasting Hatch chile in Albuquerque, New Mexico

How to roast Hatch chile with a barrel roaster

Following up from my guide to roast green chile, I want to talk about how to roast with a big roaster. The barrel roasters are great, because they not only roast the chile, but the spinning peels them as well.

The first step is to put the chile in. Depending on the sack you use, you might need a knife to cut it open. Put the chile in the roaster, pick out any burlap, tags, or rotting chile and close it up.

The next step is to turn on the heat at full blast, then turn on the motor to spin the barrel around right after. I like to do this, as the high flame will cause a lot of small blisters to form on the chile for a second or two before the roaster spins. These blisters will certainly lead to easy to peel chile.

This step takes about 3 or 4 minutes and every sack of chile is different. Smaller chile is more delicate and cooks faster, bigger chile cooks slower. Red chiles also cook slower, and green will often begin to burn before red starts peeling.

What I look for is most chiles should be blackened, with the tips starting to peel before I turn the heat down. If you turn down the heat too early, the chile will cook, but the outside won’t be blistered enough to peel well. If you can see the tips of most chiles peeling, then it means you can turn down the roaster.

After turning the flames down to a low medium, let the roaster spin another 3 or 4 minutes. The friction along with fire will help peel the chiles without burning them.

If the peel is stubborn and doesn’t seem to want to come off, turn the heat back on high for about 20 seconds, then go back down. It will peel, some sacks just take longer than others.

Every sack of chile is unique and will roast differently. When I train chile roasters, I always explain this. They key factors are blisters, which lead to points where the peel separates from the fruit. This mainly happens early on in the roast process, as the juice will be flowing later on, lowering the temperature as it evaporates. Blisters need very hot temperatures in order to form, so start with full burn right away then lower the flame later.

If you start a roast well, it should be a good roast, just don’t let it get too black.

If you are in Albuquerque, feel free to ask how we roast. As long as it isn’t too busy, we would be glad to explain more. We are located at 2010 Eubank NE 87112 in Albuquerque. While you are there, I recommend checking out our large chile ristra selection too.


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