I love growing Hungarian wax peppers in my garden and then harvesting for recipes and freezing for future recipes. Hungarian wax pepper come in different levels of heat depending on the variety chosen. Mine are a hot variety but work perfectly for mixing with other creamy flavors to produce some great condiments and sauces. I will introduce you to two versions of my Smoked Hungarian Pepper Spread in our recipe blog which will post soon.
Previously we showed you how to ember cook Hungarian peppers which entailed placing the peppers whole on hot embers and turning every 5 minutes or so. This time, the cooking will be over the hot coals of a traditional charcoal kettle grill and include wood chunks to the coals for added flavor.
Purchase or pick your favorite variety of Hungarian wax pepper and bring great grilled flavor to them with charcoal and hardwood, using any charcoal grill you have.
Homegrown Is Best
Just a small number of pepper plants can produce an abundance of peppers! Start with a high-quality organic soil and you will find there is little to be done to peppers other than watch them grow. You will see that though these are a wax variety of Hungarian pepper, if left on the plant, they will turn from the traditional yellow-green coloring to red. Do not confuse these peppers with the banana pepper variety. Though they look the same, they are different in heat level, with the wax variety being higher heat/spice level than banana. Once picked, I simply clean them under running water and pat dry. These are then ready for grilling.
Tasting Note: I don’t remove the membrane or seeds from the peppers prior to grilling. I simply place them on the grill grate whole. Note some of the peppers may have more water than others and burst on the grill. Be sure to turn them before they show wrinkling and that should prevent them from bursting.
Charcoal Grill Set Up
The key to producing a great char on the peppers is to be sure you are cooking over gray, hot coals and not flame. The easiest method of starting the coals is with a charcoal chimney starter.
Simply fill the starter and light at the base using newspaper or a fire starter. Then allow the chimney to burn down until the charcoal is grayed over and red. I still put a bit of unlit charcoal in the kettle and then pour the hot coals over the unlit. Only do this step if you have more than one grate of peppers to cook or want to use the grill for cooking something else as the heat level produced will last many hours.
Place your peppers on the grill grate and grill until charred on one side. Turn with tongs and grill a few more minutes, then remove. These are now ready for your favorite pepper recipes! Do not forget to freeze some to keep on hand during the months the peppers won’t be available in stores.
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