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Blackened Seasoning is a bold, smoky, and aromatic blend that instantly enhances the flavor profile of any dish it touches. This classic Southern spice mix combines the warmth of smoked paprika with the earthy tones of garlic and onion, while a hint of cayenne pepper adds that perfect kick. It's a versatile seasoning that works wonders on everything from grilled meats to roasted vegetables.
Making this seasoning at home gives you full control over its intensity and freshness. In just 5 minutes, you can whisk together these pantry staples, creating a blend that's superior to any store-bought version. Once prepared, simply store it in an airtight container and watch it become your go-to seasoning for countless meals.
Ingredients You Need to Make Blackened Seasoning
- Smoked Paprika: Look for a rich, deep red color. A good smoked paprika should have a strong smoky aroma when you open the container.
- Onion Powder: Choose one that is finely ground with a light, fluffy texture to be sure it will blend seamlessly into the seasoning mix.
- Garlic Powder: Look for garlic powder that is pale yellowish in color and has a strong garlic scent. Avoid those with clumps; it's a sign of potential moisture.
- Cayenne Pepper: Check the color — a brighter red is a good indicator of freshness and robust flavor.
- Dried Thyme: Opt for leaves that are still greenish-gray. If they've turned brown, they've likely lost their flavor.
- Dried Oregano: Look for vibrant green leaves. They should have a strong aroma, hinting at its freshness and flavor potency.
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
4 Important Tips
- Always use dry measuring spoons for your spices to prevent any moisture from getting into the mix.
- Whisk the spices together to remove any lumps and create a uniform blend.
- If your spices have been sitting in the pantry for a while, check for freshness. Fresh spices make a world of difference in flavor. To test, rub a bit between your fingers and sniff. If the aroma is weak, it's time to replace.
- Before using the seasoning on seafood, fish, chicken, or beef, pat the meat dry to make sure the spices adhere well and give a nice crust when cooked.
- If the heat from cayenne pepper is too much, switch it out for a milder chili powder to retain warmth without the strong kick.
- Add ground white pepper if you're looking for a different kind of spicy heat.
- For a slightly sweeter touch without straying too far from tradition, add a generous pinch of brown sugar to the mix. This balances out the spiciness and adds a depth of flavor.
How to Store Homemade Blackened Seasoning
Once you've whisked the spices together, transfer to an airtight container and store in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. For the best flavor, use within 6 months.
Blackened Seasoning Recipe
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or more for a spicier seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl until well combined. Transfer to an airtight container and store in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 6 months. Use as desired.