These wood-fired peppers are a delicious appetizer to keep your hungry guests fed while you wait for the main course, whether that be some pizza or another dish like my wood-fired steak.
They cook quickly and are so simple to make, yet they are a tasty and impressive way to start a meal. Simply charred and sprinkled with some coarse salt, these are divine!
A fantastic appetizer or side to cook in a pizza oven – for some more recipes check out my 25 foods to cook in a pizza oven or my 24 appetizers to cook in a pizza oven.
The peppers I used for this were Padrón peppers (also called Herbón peppers). If you haven’t had Padrón peppers before, they are a typical Spanish tapas dish from the town of Padrón in Northwest Spain.
These peppers are green as they are picked when they are immature, and this gives them that slightly bitter flavor. Some can be hot but most are mild which makes a fun roulette.
In reality, you can use whatever peppers you have as they all cook in a similar way – just charr the skins and add some salt. Ideally, try and get small thin peppers with a stalk so you can snack on them. Use a pack of mini sweet multicolored peppers if they are easier for you to get.
Olive oil is the traditional oil used to fry these peppers in Spain. It tastes great and most people have some in the cupboard.
I don’t find it smokes too much in the pizza oven when I use it. But if you want to use another oil that’s fine too. Just avoid butter as that might burn in the heat of the pizza oven.
Use some coarse salt on these peppers to give that kick of salt on each bite. Anything that is coarse or flakey is good – sea salt, kosher salt, rock salt – but avoid the fine granulated table salt if you can.
I used sea salt as I love the taste it brings. My favorite brand is Maldon salt from England.
Wood Fired Oven
To cook these peppers you can use a traditional brick dome oven or a portable pizza oven such as the Ooni or Gozney Roccbox oven.
I used the Ooni Karu 12 for this recipe and used a mixture of charcoal briquettes and wood for fuel. The briquettes form the base when lighting and then wood blocks keep it firing hot.
The exact temperature doesn’t matter too much for this recipe, as the peppers just need to blister on the outside to be cooked. Just get the oven medium-high, potentially while it is heating up for pizza or something else.
Around 600°F (315°C) on the stone is fine if you have an infrared thermometer.
Cast Iron Pan
A pan is key for this dish to be able to blister the peppers in hot oil.
You can buy cast iron pans from Amazon as I used (they fit fine), or Ooni has a selection of specific cast iron pans. The Ooni pans are a little more expensive but are quality cookware.
I didn’t preheat the pan in the oven as I felt the peppers were quite delicate and didn’t need that extreme sear like cooking a steak or something similar. Instead, just put them in a cold pan which makes it nice and easy.
How To Cook The Wood Fired Peppers
Fire up your oven and preheat it medium-high to around 600°F (315°C). For larger dome ovens this can take an hour or two but for a portable pizza oven like this Ooni, this takes about 20 minutes depending on the weather.
Add your peppers to a cast iron pan in a single layer, you might need to do two batches of peppers. Add a few tablespoons of oil and mix thoroughly.
Place the pan in the pizza oven and close the door if it has one. Let the peppers cook for a minute or so and then retrieve them with an oven-proof mitt and mix them around before putting them back inside.
Keep doing this process every minute for 4-5 minutes until the peppers are blistered and browned on all sides.
Remove the pan with the peppers and place the pan somewhere heatproof.
Transfer the peppers into a bowl and sprinkle over a few pinches of flakey salt. Serve immediately as they begin to wilt straight away. Repeat another batch if need be.
Wood Fired Padron Peppers
- Wood Fired Pizza Oven
- Cast Iron Pan
- Heatproof Oven Glove
- 12 oz Padron Peppers (340g)
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- Coarse Sea Salt
- Preheat your wood fired oven to medium-high, around 600°F (315°C) if you have an infrared thermometer.
- Add a single layer of peppers to a cast iron pan and mix thoroughly with olive oil.
- Add to the oven and close the door. Cook for a minute before safely removing, mixing, and replacing back inside. Repeat every minute until they are blistered all over, about 4-5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, place into a bowl and season with coarse salt flakes. Serve immediately and repeat another batch if needed.
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