What Is Smoked Paprika?

You are currently viewing What Is Smoked Paprika?


Paprika originated in Hungary and was originally called “paprika” because it was so popular among the peasants (in Hungarian, “pap” means “peasant”). It was originally used as a garnish for soups and stews, but it has since become an important ingredient in many culinary dishes. Because paprika is made from peppers, its flavor is dependent on the climate and location where the peppers are grown. For this reason there are several varieties of smoked paprika available in markets around the world, each with its own unique taste


I’m not sure why, but most of the recipes I’ve seen for smoked paprika involve smoking over oak. Oak is a good wood for cold smoking, and it makes sense that it would also be a good wood for hot smoking. 

But there are lots of other woods that work well at both high and low temperatures–cherry, hickory, mesquite, pecan–and some of them have a more subtle flavor than oak. For example, apple or pear wood works well with pork, because it’s fruity without being too sweet.

I tried using the same proportions of fruitwood to paprika as I would use for traditional cold-smoked foods: about two parts fruitwood to one part paprika. The result was like a savory fruit compote. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t really taste like smoked paprika either. So I tried again with half as much fruitwood. The result was still delicious, but you could definitely tell from the aroma that it had been smoked. 

The smoke seemed to penetrate the paprika more when it had been cooked first, so next I tried pre-cooking the paprika in oil first before adding the wood chips. That turned out to be perfect–the smoked paprika had just


Smoked paprika is a spice made by drying peppers over an open flame. It’s a product of Spain, where it is called pimentón

Smoked paprika, Smoked Spanish paprika, or simply smoked paprika, is a spice made from dried and smoked red bell peppers. It is usually moderately to strongly hot, and many people consider it to be the best type of paprika as it has a better flavor than other varieties

Smoked paprika comes in two varieties — sweet and hot. The hot variety is hotter than cayenne pepper, so you should use it with caution if you don’t like spicy foods. If you want your food to have just a hint of spice but not too much, then you should use the sweet variety of smoked paprika.

Smoked paprika is a spice made from the pods of a pepper plant called Capsicum annuum. It is dried over a fire, and then rubbed to produce flakes that have a deep red color and a smoky flavor.

The smokiness of smoked paprika comes from drying pods over direct heat. The pods are either hung in a special room or put on racks over a wood fire. This process can take up to one week to complete. The color of the spice ranges from dark brown to black with a range of flavors from sweet and mild to hot and very hot. Smoked paprika may also be referred to as pimenton de la vera.

Tinned smoked paprika may include ground chilis for extra heat. While this does give it extra flavor, tinned smoked paprika is not as highly regarded as the variety that is simply smoked without the addition of chili powder.

Pimenton picante or hot pepper

Called “pimenton” in Spanish and dulce (sweet) in Catalan, paprika is a pungent powder made from drying and grinding the sweet red peppers of the Capsicum annuum species. In its most common form, each pod is dried until it is brittle, then pounded into flakes or ground into a powder. A few varieties are dried until they are almost black; these are referred to as “pimentón picante,” which translates literally as “hot pepper.”

Red peppers–the fruit of the Capsicum plant, not to be confused with bell peppers, which are the unripe fruit–range in color from green to red and orange when ripe, with shades of yellow and brown in between. Paprika comes in both bright red and dark brown hues; the former is slightly sweet and fruity-tasting, while the latter has a smokier flavor.

Paprika’s flavor varies by region. In its native Hungary, as well as in Austria and Croatia, it tends to be more earthy and spicy than in Spain or Portugal.

Paprika is a spice made from the grinding of dried sweet red peppers, and it is primarily used to flavor foods in the same way that salt or pepper are used. The spice imparts a mild and nutty flavor with a slightly bitter taste. When fresh, the pods are green, but they ripen to a dense red color when fully ripe. Smoked paprika is produced by drying sweet red peppers over wood smoke and then grinding them into powder.

Usage of smoked paprika  

Smoked paprika can be found in sweet and savory dishes. It’s often used to make chili as well as BBQ sauce. Mixing it with cocoa powder or cinnamon powder gives it a distinctively Spanish taste that’s valued in many recipes, including paella, baked potatoes or beans, and stewed meats, poultry or fish. Its smoky flavor can also be used to enhance the flavor of sautéed vegetables or eggs.

However, its intense flavor can sometimes mask other ingredients’ taste, so use it sparingly when making dishes that mix smoked paprika with sauces or other spices to avoid overwhelming the original flavors of your dish

Flank steak in a grill pan ; simple recipe:

  • 1tablespoon smokedpaprika
  • 1teaspoonground cumin
  • 1teaspoondried oregano
  • 3/4teaspoongarlic powder
  • 1/2teaspoonsalt
  • 1/2teaspoondried thyme
  • 1/4teaspoonground red pepper

Mix all  ingredients in a small bowl; rub evenly over flank steak. Let stand 30 minutes prior before cooking. 


Smoked paprika is the most popular variety of paprika on the market today. In fact, it is sometimes referred to as pimentón de la Vera, which literally translates to “pepper from Vera.”

Vera is the name of the town in Spain where smoked paprika originated. And though it originated in Spain, this pepper product is widely used in many different dishes throughout Europe and Latin America.

Smoked paprika is made from ground peppers that are smoked. It is different from sweet paprika, which is ground pepper that has been dried and has a mild spicy flavor.

Smoked paprika is often used in goulashes and stews, especially Hungarian goulashes. It gives the dish a rich red color and also adds a smoky flavor to the food.

It is produced in Spain and Portugal, although it is not common in Mediterranean cuisine. In fact, most smoked paprika on the market is produced right here in the United States. There are only two regions where it can be grown: North Carolina and California. Most of the paprika you find on grocery store shelves comes from North Carolina, while California produces more expensive varieties with milder flavors

Leave a Reply