Learn how to parboil peppers - an easy process that prepares them for everything from freezing, to stuffing and then baking.
Parboiling is a very useful culinary technique that has all sorts of applications and in this article we'll specifically teach you how to parboil peppers.
What is Parboiling?
The word 'parboiling' means partially cooking something until it is somewhat softened, but not cooked all the way through.
To parboil a food, it is placed in water or another liquid and then simmered for a certain length of time, depending on the food being prepared.
Often it makes sense to parboil brown rice because it halves the cooking time as brown rice takes a lot longer than white rice to cook if it hasn't been parboiled.
Some people like to parboil potatoes and other foods for the same reason. But parboiling isn't just for grains and vegetables!
Why Parboil Peppers?
The most common reason to parboil peppers is to soften them ready for stuffing so that they can then be baked in the oven.
This recipe for Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers is the perfect example!
With baked peppers, the pepper itself should be nice and tender - not crunchy! Parboiling a pepper before stuffing ensures that its texture in the finished dish is perfect.
Some people also find that parboiling peppers improves their flavor by taking away any bitterness.
Another great reason to parboil peppers is if you need to peel them for a particular recipe. Peeling peppers is hard work when they are raw, but parboiling makes the skins much easier to remove.
Some people also choose to parboil peppers and other vegetables before freezing or canning them, although the process of blanching - which involves the use of an ice bath - is more commonly used for this.
How Long to Parboil Peppers?
Parboiling peppers is a very quick process.
They take just a few minutes to be partially cooked - any longer and they are likely to cook all the way through, which is not what you're going for here.
If you are parboiling peppers, three to five minutes is all it takes!
How to Parboil Peppers
First, core and deseed your bell peppers, then place them in a deep saucepan.
Pour water into each of the peppers (which will stop them from floating) and then fill the pot with water until the peppers are totally submerged.
Add a large pinch of kosher salt to the water, then heat over medium-high heat until the water comes to a low boil.
Cook for around 3 to 5 minutes until the peppers are slightly softened (not fully cooked).
Carefully remove from the heat, drain, then continue to cook as desired.
How to Use Parboiled Peppers
- Parboil peppers before making stuffed peppers - try these Gluten-Free Italian Stuffed Peppers or these Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers.
- Parboil peppers before grilling so they cook evenly, with a tender texture.
- Parboil peppers before roasting or grilling to make homemade roasted red peppers.
Cyd is a native of Upstate New York, born to a family of women who love to cook and host parties. She shares her love of all things food, home and entertaining on her blog, The Sweetest Occasion and on Instagram.