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. The difference between regular paprika and smoked paprika, is the pimiento peppers are not just dried then crushed, but smoked, dried, then crushed. It drastically changes the way it tastes, you will not be disappointed.
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, and in dry rubs for any meat.
A popular way to use smoked paprika is on top of deviled eggs. A light sprinkle on top is not just for its beautiful color, adding that smokey flavor to the deviled egg puts it over the top.
Another secret to using this spice, is sprinkling it over your salad or mixing it into your salad dressing. Our favorite is a smokey ranch dressing, all you need is a dash of this beautiful red spice and it morphs the salad into something new.
This smoked paprika is available here.
See other types of paprika here.