1. Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Does the type of Paprika make a difference?

Discussion in 'Sauces, Rubs & Marinades' started by mike ryon, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. mike ryon

    mike ryon Newbie

    Curious if anyone has experimented with different types of paprika for their smoked brisket dry rub; smoked, Hungarian, sweet, hot, Spanish? Any noticeable difference in flavor, heat or other nuance? Thanks.
    JC in GB likes this.
  2. WaterRat

    WaterRat Smoking Fanatic

    There are some differences. Hot is spicier that regular - not crazy hot but there is a difference. Hungarian is typically hot. Smoked would be a waste of on smoked meat, use regular or hot instead, I use it in dishes that aren't smoked. Can't say I've seen Spanish. "Regular" is mostly going to give color.
  3. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Legendary Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yes they are different. Also they will be different from brand to brand. For example I recently got some Tones from Sams and it was spicy compared to the brand I normally use in my rubs. They both were regular Paprika but were different. Color was different too.

    Bottom line play around with the different brands and types until you get the flavor profile you like.
    zwiller likes this.
  4. zwiller

    zwiller Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    +1 In general, cheap store bought is bland, name brand better, and premium the best. That said, I believe paprika is mainly color on a rub so I go cheap. Also, leave the paprika off that poor brisket! :emoji_laughing: Jeff's Tex rub is really good but I prefer the simplicity of SPG some hardcore guys so SP but we love garlic.
  5. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Master of the Pit

    There was a thread last October about smoking paprika, and during the discussion someone asked about whether the quality of paprika mattered when using as a rub. Here is what I said in that thread, and I think it applies here:

    As for paprika itself, there is a HUGE difference in quality between expensive Penzy (and other high-end spice brands) and generic brand paprika. For some things, like rubs, I don't think it pays to spend the extra money on the good stuff, but if you're making a goulash or something else where paprika is the star, my recommendation would be to splurge and get the best.

    So for rubs, I use cheap paprika, but I do in fact keep Penzy paprika on hand for the more critical uses. Also, I think there are some threads in this forum about tests done using different rubs on different pieces of the same meat, in the same smoke, and then trying to discern the difference. Between the changes caused by heating the meat (i.e., cooking) and the taste imparted by the smoke, the rub gets heavily muted.
    JC in GB likes this.
  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The most flavorful Paprika is Hungarian. Comes in varieties that are Sweet and Mild, varieties that are still considered Sweet but increasing Pungency, which is more Warm and Bold flavored than actually burn your face off, and Burn Your Face Off Hot. Tjere is also varieties of Smoked Paprika. The American companies like McCormick, Tones, Etc., tend to be flavorless compared to good Hungarian. The best you can get off the Grocery shelf is in a red can the brand Pride of Szeged. The Sweet has a nice flavor but it only comes forward when a fair amount is used. A family fav is Chicken Paprikash. For 6 cups of broth I add 3 Tablespoons Paprika. Hungarian Hot comes from a particular variety of Spicy Chile. Most American brands add Cayenne to regular Paprika which is more of a sting in the mouth than a warm heat. In Hungry, there are a big variety of Paprikas, from mild to searing Hot. Colors vary from bright orange to brick Red. And locals will even go from farm to farm, sampling and sourcing the years best. The only way to get really good Hungarian Paprika is to find an online source that offers a variety, not just Bulk Paprika. The Spice House has a few and this guy would be worth looking into...http://www.hungariandeli.com/Paprika.htm

    Spanish Paprika is somewhat more mild a flavor, similar but different because of the growing conditions, with less variety but makes a world of difference in authentic Spanish Dishes like Paella.

    General purpose American " Paprika " is often sourced from the cheapest producer. Can come from California, New Mexico, Mexico, Peru, Spain or Hungry, though not there finest grade. It is used mostly for Color rather than a distinctive flavor...JJ

    Here is some great info...

  7. HalfSmoked

    HalfSmoked Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    As usual JJ comes through I guess being a chef helps. :emoji_wink: :emoji_laughing:

    chef jimmyj likes this.
  8. mike ryon

    mike ryon Newbie

    You all never cease to amaze. I am in agreement that SPG or SPOG are all one needs for a great brisket, but I'm working on a competition rub and color is one of the qualities being judged. I have most of the paprika mentioned in the thread, but tasting paprika on its own isn't umami to me. Thoroughly appreciate your insights and please share any more thoughts if you experiment. :emoji_trophy:
  9. fivetricks

    fivetricks Smoking Fanatic

    If any of you have never made this dish, it's amazing. Spend up for the good paprika no doubt. This is my daughters favorite way to eat chicken. She hounds me endlessly about it lol.

    Another +1 for jimmy
    Plinsc likes this.
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for all the Likes. One of the many Practical Exams culinary students take is to identify 50 fresh and dry Herbs and Spices based on sight, smell and taste. This included assorted Hungarian, Spanish and American Paprika. Picking the the Smoked Hungarian from the Smoked Spanish was a tough one. The Smoke dominates both...JJ
    fullborebbq likes this.
  11. HalfSmoked

    HalfSmoked Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    JJ Thanks for the like it is appreciated.

  12. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I don't know a lot about adding different paprikas to food, but I'm here to tell you there's a huge difference if you're planning to smoke your own paprika. I've smoked good Hungarian Paprika and it was AMAZING. I've also smoked cheap, bulk bin Paprika, and it was AMAZINGLY BAD--as in: "not worth the effort" bad.
  13. Plinsc

    Plinsc Newbie

    We use rabbit or pheasant, but a favorite dish to eat!
  14. Paprika with flavor (read: smoked paprika) is useful as a flavoring agent. “Spanish paprika” as obtained for $4.99 for a big container from Sam’s Clib, is innocuous, pretty red, and sticks well as a rub ingredient.
  15. JC in GB

    JC in GB Smoking Fanatic

    I only use Chiquilin paprika in my rubs. Nothing beats that rich smoked paprika flavor IMHO.

    If someone has something better, I am certainly open to trying it.
  16. zwiller

    zwiller Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Since this is back, just how hot is "hot paprika"? Like as hot as cayenne? Hotter?
  17. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hot is a general term. The heat can range from a warm glow to SEARING HOT. As I posted above, look at the label. Some companies take Sweet Paprika, add Cayenne and label it Hot Paprika.
    Check the Links I posted above for more info...JJ
    zwiller and JC in GB like this.