Spoon of ground paprika
The Distinction Between Regular And Smoked Paprika
Although regular paprika and smoked paprika may seem visually indistinguishable, they're characterized by different production processes and culinary applications.
Regular paprika is made of dried and ground peppers, usually red bell peppers or other mild varieties. It has a subtle flavor and an attractive red-orange color.
Smoked paprika has a much bolder character, thanks to an extra processing step. The peppers are dried using a wood-based — typically oak — fire, which infuses the fruit with smoke.
As a result of this more intensive drying process, smoked paprika has a much finer, less clumpy texture. Since it's also made from red peppers, the color has a similar vibrancy.
Reminiscent of BBQ, smoked paprika's taste is much bolder — sometimes even spicy — with earthy notes. Therefore, it has different culinary applications than regular paprika.
Regular paprika’s mild flavor lends well as a topping or addition to spice blends while smoked paprika is better as a central flavor in meat rubs, stews, or sauces.