Smoked paprika is a Spanish cousin to the more widely used sweet Hungarian paprika. It’s made from pimiento peppers that have been dried and smoked over an oak fire, then ground into a fine powder.
You’ll sometimes see it called pimenton, smoked pimenton, sweet paprika, Spanish paprika, or any variation of those names, but you can always recognize this spice by its deep red color and powerful smoky aroma. Unless the packaging indicates otherwise, it’s not typically a hot spice – in actuality, the spice itself is quite mild and sweet.
When using smoked paprika, a little goes a long way with this spice and the smokiness can sometimes get a little overpowering if you use too much. When experimenting with it in a new dish, start off with a half teaspoon and work your way up from there.
The real draw with this spice is the smoky quality. Even just a little bit adds an incredibly seductive smoky flavor and aroma to any dish. Traditionally, it’s used in making chorizo sausage and many paella recipes. We also like it in stews, with potatoes, in dry rubs for any meat, and in egg dishes.