What Is A 'Pepper Roaster' And How Does It Work?

If you're a frequent home cook, you may find yourself roasting peppers on a regular basis. A tasty addition to everything from pasta sauces to pizza, scrambled eggs to enchiladas, roasted peppers bring an extra something special to a range of dishes. However, achieving a perfectly cooked pepper can be a bit of an ordeal. Pop them in the oven and you don't really get that smoky flavor that's indicative of a roasted pepper. Buy them jarred and they might not be as fresh as you'd like. You could always roast them over your gas stovetop's open flame ... but that requires actually having a gas-powered stovetop. Enter, a pepper roaster, the answer to all of your roast pepper worries.

A pepper roaster, also known as a Bulgarian chushkopek, is a countertop appliance that's been around for a few decades now, according to a very thorough write-up on Eater. A cylindrical metal and ceramic device, it features a cord to plug it into the wall, an opening in the top for depositing your peppers, and two handles on either side. There are two sizes of the device available, a single-pepper size and a multiple-pepper size. While the device is quite popular in Bulgaria, it hasn't yet gained the same level of popularity in the U.S. — which is a real shame.

How the pepper roaster works and where you can buy one

Using the pepper roaster is really simple. Just plug it in and let it heat up (this does take a little while, about an hour, which makes the roaster not ideal for situations when you're in a hurry). Once it's heated and ready to go, drop in your peppers and it gets to work, giving you perfectly cooked peppers each time, in a matter of minutes. As the Eater writer describes, the roaster becomes incredibly hot and can potentially cause fires, but if you're careful, you'll be fine and you might even find some other uses for the roaster, such as cooking other veggies of similar size.

But here's the problem — it's very difficult to purchase a Bulgarian pepper roaster in America, though that's not for lack of home cooks trying. As one Reddit thread details, the devices are in demand, they just aren't really possible to find in the U.S., prompting many people to rig up their own similar, unorthodox solutions. One commenter even mentions, "Some people steal roadsigns and roast peppers on them. The metal is supposedly great for that purpose." However, if you live in the U.K., you may have a little more luck, as online British retailers offer the product, but otherwise if you have your heart set on one of these ingenious countertop appliances you may just need to book a trip to Bulgaria.