Paprika Storage and Cooking Tips

Heat diminishes paprika color and flavor

Paprika on spoon
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Paprika should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place, preferably the refrigerator. Rather than paprika in a glass bottle, choose the one in the tin which will protect the contents from damaging light.

As with most ground spices, paprika will lose its flavor and potency with age. Use it or replace it within six months for best results.

Paprika Cooking Tips

The rich coloring of paprika not only enhances the visual appeal of foods, but it can also be used as a major flavoring as in goulash or chicken paprikash.

Be aware that when Hungarian paprika is specified in a recipe, you'll need to find a mild, sweet variety, preferably imported. Spanish paprika generally imparts a much spicier heat to foods. Be sure to check labels to ensure you are getting either the "sweet" (mild) or "hot" type that you desire.

However, even labels can be confusing. For example, the Hungarian "rose" or "sweet rose" variety is decidedly spicy to the palate, although not as hot as cayenne.

Paprika goes well with just about any savory food, including eggs, meat, stew, fish, shellfish, soup, chicken, boiled and steamed vegetables, and rice. 

For most recipes, the paprika is added near the end of the cooking process, because heat diminishes both the color and flavor.

If you are timid about starting off with large amounts of paprika, try a little less to begin with. Choose sweet or hot to suit your tastes or combine the two. My bet is you will soon be going through a tin of paprika a month.