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What Does Smoked Paprika Taste Like?: A Simple Guide

Maria Foster
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by Maria Foster

If you have ever followed a step-by-step recipe to cook a meal, then you may have been asked to add a teaspoon of smoked paprika at some point.

Smoked paprika is a delicious spice that can totally transform the flavor of a dish, but if you haven’t tried it before you might be curious about what it tastes like. 

What Does Smoked Paprika Taste Like?: A Simple Guide

Smoked paprika is an interesting spice, that is essentially a smoky version of regular paprika. It has a unique flavor, and this flavor will grow more intense depending on how much smoked paprika you use in the dish. 

In this simple guide, we’re taking a look at everything you need to know about smoked paprika, including what it is, what it tastes of, and how to use it. 

Read on to find out more! 

What Is Smoked Paprika?

First things first, let’s take a look at what smoked paprika is. As you will probably guess, smoked paprika is a spice that is very similar to regular paprika.

It is essentially just a smokier version of regular paprika that comes with a chargrilled taste. That is why a lot of people choose to substitute regular paprika for smoked paprika. 

Smoked paprika is created by slow-roasting peppers over an oak fire. Once roasted, the peppers are then ground down into a powder. This powder is the smoked paprika seasoning that you buy at the store. 

The key difference in creating smoked paprika compared to regular paprika is how the peppers are cooked.

For smoked paprika, the peppers must be roasted over an open fire in order to achieve the chargrilled flavor that everybody loves in smoked paprika. Whereas peppers for regular paprika can simply be roasted in the oven. 

Smoked paprika comes in a wide variety of different styles, and this is typically down to the peppers that are used to create the paprika.

If hot peppers are used to create the paprika, then the smoked paprika will be significantly hotter than paprika made using mild peppers.

That is why you should expect a slight flavor difference depending on where you buy your smoked paprika from.

Now that we’ve taken a look at what smoked paprika is, and how it is made, let’s take a look at what this seasoning tastes like. 

What Does Smoked Paprika Taste Of?

As we have established, smoked paprika is made using peppers that are cooked over an oak fire. This is an essential step in the process of making smoked paprika as it is the style of cooking that gives smoked paprika its unique flavor. 

As you would probably expect, smoked paprika has a very peppery taste.

This spice is created using peppers, so there really is no surprise that the flavor of the peppers is the main thing that you taste when you eat paprika. However, there is a lot more to this flavor than just peppers. 

Peppers themselves can vary greatly in flavor, and that is why you will often find that the flavor of smoked paprika differs greatly depending on where you get it from.

The type of peppers used to create the paprika, and the flavor of the peppers themselves, will have an impact on the taste of smoked paprika. 

Usually, sweeter and milder peppers are used to create smoked paprika.

That is why you will often find that smoked paprika has a flavor that combines the taste of the pepper with the sweetness of the pepper, and the tang that comes from being chargrilled. However, not all manufacturers will use sweet peppers. 

You can use pretty much any type of pepper to make smoked paprika. But the heat of the pepper will have a huge impact on the flavor.

If smoked paprika is used for making very hot and spicy peppers, then the smoked paprika will be significantly hotter than if mild peppers are used. 

So, the key thing to take away from this is that smoked paprika is generally peppery and sweet with a tang of chargrilled flavor. However, the flavor will differ depending on the type of peppers used to create the seasoning. 

What Does Smoked Paprika Taste Like?: A Simple Guide

How To Use Smoked Paprika

Finally, let’s take a look at how you should use smoked paprika. When it comes to cooking with smoked paprika, the options are endless because this seasoning really can transform the flavor of a dish.

Generally, it is only used in savory dishes. However, you could use it in sweet dishes if you wanted to. 

Smoked paprika is incredibly versatile, like many spices are, and there is really no limit to the uses of this spice. But to give you a rough idea, below we’ve included some ways to use smoked paprika. 

One of the most popular ways to use smoked paprika is as a rub. Mix your smoked paprika with a variety of other spices to create a delicious dry rub that can be added to chicken or fish before cooking.

The flavor will be out of this world. 

You can also use smoked paprika with carbohydrates too. In particular, smoked paprika works incredibly well with potatoes. So no matter how you like your potato, add smoked paprika for some additional flavor. 

Finally, you can use paprika to create a delicious hot sauce to enjoy with your meal. Combine your smoked paprika with chili powder and mayonnaise to create a spicy mayo that will complement pretty much any meal. 

As we have said, the ways in which you can use smoked paprika are endless. But if you are looking for inspiration, try out some of the ideas above. 


In short, smoked paprika tastes a little like regular paprika. It is essentially a smokier version of regular paprika, and because of this, it has a sweet and peppery taste.

If you love the flavor of regular paprika, then we’re sure you’ll adore smoked paprika because of its delicious chargrilled flavor. 

Smoked paprika can be used in lots of different dishes, and is brilliant for adding flavor, color, and a new dimension to pretty much any dish. If you love paprika, you’ll adore smoked paprika. 

We hope this information has been helpful – thank you for reading! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between Smoked Paprika And Regular Paprika?

The key difference between smoked paprika and regular paprika is the smoky flavor. Smoked paprika is created by roasting peppers on an oak fire, and this gives the peppers a wood-smoked flavor.

This smoky flavor makes smoked paprika very different from regular paprika, which is why it is important to differentiate between the two.

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
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