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How to Make Paprika

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Whether you’re a gardener, like making as many things from scratch as possible, or simply enjoy the fun of doing things you’ve never tried before, come learn how to make paprika! Homemade paprika couldn’t be simpler to make and the result is a flavor that is fresher and more flavorful than anything store-bought!

Use your homemade paprika to make things like Hungarian Goulash, Chicken Paprikash, Ropa Vieja, German Goulash, Spanish Deviled Eggs, or use it in your own seasoning blends like Creole Seasoning, Montreal Steak Seasoning, Burger Seasoning, and Greek Seasoning!

how to make paprika powder homemade recipe Hungarian peppers ground dried diy

I’m an avid gardener and I love and use paprika all the time in my kitchen. So it only made sense to experiment growing and making my own. I’m always up for a challenge and this one proved extremely simple, fun, and rewarding!

Which Peppers to Use for Paprika?

The process of making homemade paprika powder is extremely easy, so that just leaves selecting the right peppers to use. Varieties used to make paprika are generally long and skinny with thin walls with some exceptions like the Alma pepper variety which is a round variety that dries well and is frequently recommended. One of the most commonly grown pepper varieties for making paprika is the Boldog pepper which comes from northern Hungary. This is the variety that I’ve grown the past couple of years and are pictured below. If you like a bit of heat, the Leutschauer pepper is another recommended variety. Red bell peppers are not used to make paprika because their flavor is comparatively boring, less pungent and less complex. That said, you can certainly experiment with them, as well as mixing a combination of varieties to get a more interesting flavor.

Which variety of pepper you choose will ultimately depend on where you live and what you have access to and whether you’re growing your own peppers or are relying on what is available in the stores. Below is one my of Boldog pepper plants; the peppers start out green and turn red.

growing paprika peppers Hungarian

Whichever variety you’re growing, be sure to let them fully ripen to the red stage. You can even experiment with peppers like fully ripe poblanos which will likewise turn red and become sweeter.

But for my Hungarian paprika, I’ve been growing these Boldog Hungarian Peppers for the past couple of years and they’re doing well for me.

growing paprika peppers Hungarian homemade

How to Make Paprika

Let’s get started!

Wash the peppers, cut off the stems, slice them lengthwise and remove and discard the seeds. Note: While you can leave the seeds, if you choose to leave them they will dilute the vibrant red color of your ground paprika.

how to make paprika powder homemade recipe Hungarian peppers ground dried diy

Place the peppers on the racks of your dehydrator and dehydrate at 125 F/51 C for 8-10 hours or until fully dried. Thick-fleshed pepper varieties will take longer, smaller peppers will need less time. The peppers are done when they’re no longer soft and pliable and the snap when you bend them.

If you don’t have a dehydrator you can use the oven. Place the peppers on a wire rack on a baking sheet to allow airflow under them and set the oven to 140 F or the lowest possible temperature. Some ovens only go as low as 170 F, in which case leave the oven door open a crack during the drying process (you can stick a wooden spoon in the door to keep it open). If your oven has a convection setting use it as that will circulate the air in the oven in a similar fashion to a food dehydrator and reduce drying time.

drying Hungarian peppers

Once the peppers are fully dried let them cool completely. Then break them into pieces and place them in a grinder. If you’re making smaller quantities a spice/coffee grinder works fine. For larger quantities and to get the finest ground powder possible, I recommend using a Vitamix. Grind the peppers until they’re turn to powder.

The ground paprika needs to be transferred to an airtight jar immediately after grinding or it will begin to cake from absorbing moisture in the air.

how to make paprika powder homemade recipe Hungarian peppers ground dried diy

You can store the paprika in airtight jars in a dark, cool place but I prefer to store it in the refrigerator to retain ultimate freshness.

Enjoy!

how to make paprika powder homemade recipe Hungarian peppers ground dried diy
how to make paprika powder homemade recipe Hungarian peppers ground dried diy

How to Make Paprika

Homemade paprika couldn't be simpler to make and the result is a flavor that is fresher and more flavorful than anything store-bought!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Dehydrating Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Course condiment, Spices

Ingredients
  

  • fully ripe red thin-walled peppers (e.g., Boldog or Alma peppers, or peppers of choice; see blog post)

Instructions
 

  • Wash the peppers, cut off the stems, slice them lengthwise and remove and discard the seeds. Note: While you can leave the seeds, if you choose to leave them they will dilute the vibrant red color of your ground paprika.
    Place the peppers on the racks of your dehydrator and dehydrate at 125 F/51C for 8-10 hours or until fully dried. Thick-fleshed pepper varieties will take longer, smaller peppers will need less time. The peppers are done when they're no longer soft and pliable and the snap when you bend them.
    If you don't have a dehydrator you can use the oven. Place the peppers on a wire rack on a baking sheet to allow airflow under them and set the oven to 140F or the lowest possible temperature. Some ovens only go as low as 170 F, in which case leave the oven door open a crack during the drying process (you can stick a wooden spoon in the door to keep it open). If your oven has a convection setting use it as that will circulate the air in the oven in a similar fashion to a food dehydrator and reduce drying time.
  • Once the peppers are fully dried let them cool completely. Then break them into pieces and place them in a grinder. If you're making smaller quantities a spice/coffee grinder works fine. For larger quantities and to get the finest ground powder possible, I recommend using a Vitamix. Grind the peppers until they're turn to powder.
    The ground paprika needs to be transferred to an airtight jar immediately after grinding or it will begin to cake from absorbing moisture in the air.
    Store the paprika in an airtight jar in a dark, cool place or for ultimate freshness store in the refrigerator.
Keyword Homemade Paprika, How to Make Paprika
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kimberly killebrew the daring gourmet

Hi, I’m Kimberly Killebrew and welcome to Daring Gourmet where you'll find delicious originals, revitalized classics, and simply downright good eats from around the world! Originally from Germany, later raised in England, world-traveled, and now living in the U.S., from my globally-influenced kitchen I invite you to tour the world through your taste buds!

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Recipe Rating




5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

3 Comments

  1. I just left a comment on your homemade chipotle peppers only to find this recipe next. You’re speaking my language, Kimberly. I’m a gardener too and love these DIY posts. I’ve already picked some Hungarian peppers and have them in the dehydrator now. Keep these great tutorials coming!