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Paprika

WudEyeDooWudEyeDoo Posts: 201
edited 5:15AM in EggHead Forum
Paprika seems to usually be one of the main ingredients in most of the rub recipes I see. I have heard some say that supermarket shelf paprika is just a step above cardboard dust. That's the only kind we can get around here.[p]When making homemade rubs, is it worth the extra effort and money to order paprika from someplace like Penzey's or just stick with what I've been doing? [p]Penzey's has 3 kinds: Hungarian Sweet, Hungarian Half-Sharp, and Californian Sweet. I have no idea which is most appropriate for BBQ rubs, do you? While I'm at it, any other spices that you recommend getting from a specialist like Penzey vs. from the supermarket?[p]Bob

Comments

  • GloriaGloria Posts: 161
    WudEyeDoo,
    I try to use Hungarian paprika and can get it from a local market that buys in bulk and re-packages. Others may disagree but I have found that it is used mostly for color as even the best doesn't have a very pronounced flavor. Here in the South, we add it to our flour that we use for our fried chicken as it gives it a nice warm color.

  • WudEyeDoo,
    I prefer and use the Hungrian paprika from Penzy's.
    I have used Penzy's spices for several years and have always found them excellent..as well as their service...nde

  • WudEyeDoo,
    Sorry, I failed to add sweet to the Hungarian Sweet paprika.nde

  • StogieStogie Posts: 279
    WudEyeDoo,[p]Gloria is correct. Paprika serves only to color your rub. There is hardly any taste. I have had the opportunity to test various Paprika's at the Great American Spice Company....headquartered here in Fort Wayne, IN...and there is only some mild heat with the Hungarian hot.[p]
    Stogie

  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 515
    WudEyeDoo,
    We use both Hungarian sweet and hot. I don't know what half-hot is, but the Hungarian we get in our market is imported and very flavorful; much more than just color.

  • WudEyeDoo,
    I use it mostly for color.
    However if you want to know more than you may really need check out the link provided.

    [ul][li]paprika[/ul]
  • BlueSmokeBlueSmoke Posts: 1,678
    WudEyeDoo,
    Ditto to everything below. Even the hottest paprikas run cooler than cayenne. I know and use Penzey's spices, and like many folks below can testify to their quality, and fast, friendly service.
    If you can find it, try your local supers for Szged (brand) Hungarian paprika. Comes both sweet and hot: I prefer the hot in rubs. Another goody is La Chinata (brand) Spanish smoked paprika. Try a specialty store, or the web. Comes either sweet or hot.
    While neither of my recommendations will contribute major heat, they are miles away from the typical spice shelf offerings.

  • BasselopeBasselope Posts: 102
    ravhaus,
    great link, thanks for the info.

  • RhumAndJerkRhumAndJerk Posts: 1,506
    WudEyeDoo,
    Paprika is probably one of the most misunderstood spices on the shelf. It is wonderful, has a great flavor and is not just for color. First of all, do not buy the little jars in the grocery store. You are paying too much for bad product and the amount is enough for maybe one use. Paprika is after all ground peppers. Therefore it has a shelf life comes in different heat levels. [p]I am fortunate to have some Hungarian Butchers in my area that sell the paprika that they use for $6 a pound which is how I buy it. When you have good paprika, there is much that you can do with it. The simplest is fried potatoes. I use a small palm full of paprika for a skillet of potatoes. The only other spice is use is Salt and Pepper. [p]Chicken Paprikash and Beef Stroganoff both show case paprika well. I also dredge pork chops in just paprika and pan fire them with onions and some wine, thicken remain liquid with sour cream and flour. Arggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (Homer drool)[p]Paprika is best when lightly fried. You will understand by smell. As a matter of fact, my mouth is watering just thinking about then smell. Be careful not to burn it or it will be bitter.[p]Now lets talk about paprika in rubs. It is not just there for filler. It plays an important part in the finished product. Yes, it should also add that bright red color that will stain the surface of the meat with a real color that no food coloring ever could.[p]As for purchasing Paprika, find a place that does a good volume since freshness is key. For that matter, do not purchase spice from the supermarket. Find a good local spice vendor or mail-order house and stick with them. [p]Every once in a while, Chile Pepper magazine does an article on Paprika.[p]Hope this helps,
    RhumAndJerk[p]

  • WardsterWardster Posts: 1,006
    RhumAndJerk,
    I agree. I grow Hungarian Wax Peppers. I smoke them and dry them and pulverize them in a coffee grinder. It is fantastic on lots of foods... Very spicy.

    Apollo Beach, FL
  • fiver29fiver29 Posts: 628
    WudEyeDoo,[p]Here is a post I made a while ago:[p]I passed their question to my best friend's mother who is a Hungarian chef about the different types of paprika. I can vouch for the differences as I have sampled many a cuisine by her. I also can't wait to see her this holiday season as she promises to bring some of her paprika home!! Here was her response:[p]Indeed, there is a world of difference between various paprika types. The plants themselves, when and how the peppers are harvested and are processed are all factors which contribute to the tremendous differences in the taste, texture, color and naturally, the end result in your recipe.[p]Without going into a long, boring dissertation, when cooking Mexican cousine, the slightly bitter, brownish or brick colored and smoky flavored Spanish or Mexican varieties of paprika is usually used. Watch out for the heat factor! If you use a sweet variety, you can adjust the heat to your liking with crushed pepper flakes or cayenne.[p]In Indian cousine, choose varieties at an Indian spice store for authentic flavor, various amounts are used in the infinite varieties of Indian curry mixes.[p]When cooking Hungarian or Central European dishes, where paprika is an integral part of the food, use Hungarian paprika. The flavor and color take on a very important role. Try to look for the Noble Sweet Variety (Szeged or Kalocsa are the regions in Hungary most famous for this spice.)[p]There are a dozen or so grades of Hungarian paprika. The Noble Sweet or better yet, if you can find it, the Equisite Noble Rose has beautiful bright red coloring power, distinctive flavor and no heat. The cold milling is one reason for this, no oils are destroyed in the process, no bitterness is imparted, no flavor is lost. Surprisingly, it is also rich in Vitamin C. (The Hungarian Dr. Szentgyorgyi is the nobel prize winning scientist credited with discovering vitamin C, how else, but working with paprika!)[p]Additionally, I can only suggest a trip to Hungary in autumn, when long strings of paprika are drying along the sides of houses in country villages of the paprika growing regions. You could then have it milled to your own unique specifications. Just had the pleasure of doing this myself.[p]Good luck in trying out your paprika recipes![p]
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