Homemade Blackened Seasoning - If you are a lover of everything that's spicy then you surely must have heard of the blackened seasoning. It is the holy grail of both Cajun and Creole cuisine, so you can already imagine just how important and great blackened seasoning is!
I love Blackened Seasoning and use it all the time for my recipes. See - Blackened Salmon Tacos with Chipotle Mango Salsa or Blackened Chicken Thigh with Chimichurri Sauce or Blackened Chicken or Blackened Shrimp Tacos
If you're looking to sass up your cooking and add some extra zing of spice in your life and kitchen, learning how to make fresh and homemade blackened seasoning is a good way to start! And we are here to tell you exactly how to make it as authentic as a grandmother from Louisiana makes it!
- What exactly is blackened seasoning
- Why is this called Blackened Seasoning
- What is blackening cooking process
- What is blackened Seasoning made of
- How to Make Blackened Seasoning at home
- What is the difference between Cajun Seasoning and Blackened Seasoning
- What is blackened flavor
- Where does blackened seasoning come from
- How do you use Blackened Seasoning
- Best Homemade Blackened Seasoning Recipe
What exactly is blackened seasoning
Many people think that blackened seasoning is actually black, or at least very dark in colour, but that's not at all true. Blackened seasoning in the simplest terms is a blend of different chilli powders, grounded herbs and spices.
Just imagine KFC's secret spice mix but even better!
The special thing about blackened seasoning is that despite having so much variety of chilli powders and spices, it's not at all that hot to actually set your mouth on fire. Yes, you will feel the heat in the back of your head and your throat will burn, but you'll also get to enjoy the flavouring of the herbs and various other spices that go into the blackened seasoning.
Why is this called Blackened Seasoning
Now, coming back to the question of why this seasoning is called blackened. Since it's not named after its colour, then what could be the reason? Can you place a guess?
If you're familiar with Creole and Cajun cooking, you might be familiar with this cooking process called blackening. If you don't know what this cooking method is, don't worry! Because the next topic will cover exactly that!
What is blackening cooking process
Both Creole and Cajun cuisine are known for the unique way they cook their seafood. If you ever wondered why your Cajun shrimps have this dark and seared crust on them, that's due to this very same cooking method called blackening.
Of course, blackening doesn't actually colour your food black. It just gives them a deep and crusty searing on the surface that leaves the outside shell crispy and the inside flesh soft and moist.
Blackening is also a super easy method to use, and even people who have no experience in Cajun/Creole cooking can do it pretty perfectly on their first try itself.
All you need to do is dip your seafood like shrimps, fish or really any other food in butter and blackened seasoning. Then pull out your cast iron skillet and place it on high heat. When the skillet is searing hot, place your butter and seasoned food on cast iron skillet and let it cook on high heat.
Be sure to not actually turn the food black as that means you burned it! What you want is a dark and crispy crust, which you should get after a few minutes of searing on all sides. And that's it! Blackening doesn't sound so intimidating now, does it?
But wait, there's something missing. You still don't know what are the specific ingredients for a blackened seasoning! You cannot go around searing your food in a cast iron skillet or deep frying your shrimps and chicken without it! So without wasting any further time let's get to talking about the making of blackened seasoning!
What is blackened Seasoning made of
The trick to making a perfect blackened seasoning is to first get the right ingredients, which includes spices, red chilli powders and lastly herbs.
The second important thing is to get the proportion of these ingredients right.
If you are a beginner in making blends of spices then try to keep everything balanced as you don't want one spice to overpower the other.
But if you have experience in how to blend spices then you can be as experimental as you want to be!
There is no hard and fast rule as to how much onion powder or chili powder is acceptable. Just go with your preferences! Some spice enthusiasts even like to add ghost pepper in their mix, although that might be a bit too much for most people!
Now, let's get you started with the blackened seasoning ingredients that you need to make your blackened seasoning!
- Smoked paprika: This will give your blackened seasoning not only a flare of heat but it'll also give it a distinct smoky flavor! You can of course use the regular paprika, but it'll be even better if you use smoked paprika instead!
- Cayenne powder. Now this pepper does not fool around with its spiciness, so you better be careful in your measurement when you're adding it. Just make sure that you don't add too much or too little of it. You want to feel some of the cayenne heat in your blackened seasoning, but you also don't want to overdo it.
- Onion powder. If you like the flavour of onions then you definitely should up the onion powder by a little in your blackened seasoning. But even otherwise it makes for a great flavour booster in your blackened season, which is why it's one of the important spices in Cajun/Creole cuisine!
- Garlic powder. While garlic in its powder form is not as garlicky as the raw deal, it still gets the job done. If you're a fan of garlic then definitely go double on garlic powder!
- Freshly ground Black pepper. Now if you're thinking that this blend already had enough peppers then you're dead wrong! First of all, we can never get enough peppers. Second, black pepper isn't even that spicy! But it is very flavorful, not to mention it'll give your blackened seasoning its namesake's colour, at least a little bit!
- Sea salt. You can use regular salt too, but that's just so basic. If you want to go an extra step and give your blackened seasoning some salt with character, then go with sea salt!
- Dried basil, oregano and thyme. Finally we're coming to herbs and we have to start with basil. These herbs will give your seasoning a hint of both sweetness and savoury, whichwill cut through all the heat of the peppers and balance the blackened seasoning.
How to Make Blackened Seasoning at home
With all your peppers, spices and herbs assembled, you're now ready for the next step to finish off your blackened seasoning. Just throw in all the ingredients into a larger bowl and mix it together with a whisk or a fork.
Don't use a spoon, as that will not do the mixing properly.
For extra measure, toss the mix in the large bowl a few times to make sure all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
As an extra precaution, make sure to keep this blend away from any moisture, because if any water gets into then it will get spoiled within a week itself. So pack your prepared blackened seasoning in an air-tight jar and store it safely in a cool and dry place, as heat might change your seasoning's flavour. Expect your blackened season to easily last three months before it starts to lose its scent and flavor!
Now you're ready to use your homemade blackened seasoning for any Cajun/Creole recipe you want to try. Or you can be creative and put it in new things like smoked beef or brisket! This seasoning is just so good that it'll work on almost anything! So go have fun experimenting with it in your kitchen!
What is the difference between Cajun Seasoning and Blackened Seasoning
I have made so many recipes with both cajun seasoning and blackened seasoning. See recipes like Cajun Butter Crockpot Chicken Thighs and Rice or Cajun Chicken (BAKED) or Salmon Pasta in Creamy Cajun Sauce or Cajun Dry Rub Chicken Wings in Air Fryer or Creamy Cajun Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
Therefore I can say that I know the difference between the two. Personally I find cajun seasoning to be spicier than blackened seasoning.
Moreover, I find cajun seasoning has a distinct garlicky kick. That is certainly absent in blackened seasoning.
What is blackened flavor
Blackened flavor is distinct because its sharp, smoky, and totally drool-worthy. We like blackened flavor because of that crispy outer coating and that soft flesh on the inside.
Where does blackened seasoning come from
As with most amazing recipes, blackened seasoning comes from New Orleans. This seasoning was invented and developed by Chef Paul Prudhomme, at K-Paul's . Blackening is enjoyed all over the world.
How do you use Blackened Seasoning
You can use Blackened Seasoning for so many recipes. Blackened Chicken or Blackened Salmon or Blackened shrimp or any recipe that you like.
Best Homemade Blackened Seasoning Recipe
- 2-3 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- Combine all ingredients in a spice bowl. Use a fork to blend the spices.
- Store it in an air tight container or use it for your favorite recipe.