Paprika is a bright red colored spice made from different dried peppers, including chili, Aleppo, poblano, and cayenne peppers. All these peppers belong to the capsicum annum family. It is widely used in flavoring cuisines and décor and garnishing dishes because of its appealing bright red color.
In terms of taste, it depends on the type of paprika, like sweet paprika will have a slightly sweet taste, smoky paprika will have a smoky yet spicy taste, and hot paprika is the spiciest among all of the categories. Paprika has a long shelf life because it is a dried spice, but it also depends on how you store it.
How to Store Paprika
Paprika is the most used spice all around the world because of its versatility. It can be used as a spice or garnishing, and most of all, it is easier to preserve it, which makes it available for an extended period without getting spoiled.
To maintain its rich flavor, you should store it carefully so that it remains flavorful. The following ways are useful for storing paprika.
Keep it in the dark Colored Jar.
To prevent it from light sources, you should store it in a dark-colored jar with a sealed lid to avoid moisture from getting inside.
Sharp lights can make it lose its potency, and its color will also be affected by it, so it’s better to prevent paprika from sharp light sources like sunlight and store it in dark places.
Keep it a Dry and Cool Place.
Like all other spices, paprika can also get spoiled if it is exposed to moisture and heat, so always try to keep it away from moisture and heat; you can put it into an airtight container and place it at your spice rack or kitchen counter, which is dry and cool enough to store it.
Always use a dry spoon to take it out from its jar and tightly close its lid right after using it this way. You can notice that it will last longer than you expected, and you can easily use it in cuisines, and you will experience the same taste as before.
Mostly it is believed that putting spices into the refrigerator can make them stale and less potent because of the humid environment of the fridge. But it completely depends on how you are storing it. If you place it in an airtight bag or jar and then store it in the refrigerator, it will never go stale and remain fresh, but if you do not place it carefully, it can cause spoilage in it, and eventually, it will go bad.
Can You Freeze Paprika
All spices, including paprika, can be stored in the freezer; this way, they can remain stable and fresh for years. Spices have bugs issues before you buy paprika powder. Check it for the presence of any bugs, sometimes you cannot find any bug in it, but still, there are chances of the presence of their eggs. So it is advised that you put your paprika powder into the freezer for one day; if there are eggs present in your paprika, then after putting it into the freezer, bugs will hatch out from their eggs, and the next day observes it for the presence of bugs and stain them out of your spice.
How Long Does Paprika Last
Paprika has a long shelf life and can be used for 1-2 years at room temperature; if you store it properly, you can keep it in a dark-colored jar with a tight seal, never use wet hands to open its lid, and cover it immediately after using it.
In the refrigerator, paprika can last for 3-4 years provided that the storage conditions are met, like never take it out of the refrigerator for too long before using it, use it, and put it back into the refrigerator immediately. Keep checking its lid that it is tightly closed because if it is lost or not properly covering the spice, it can expose it to moisture present in the environment of the refrigerator, which can make it go stale.
Freezing paprika can also extend its shelf life up to 4-5 years but check for the signs of spoilage in your spice before using it.
How to Tell If Paprika Is Bad
Paprika does not go bad easily, specifically when it is stored properly. But if you notice the following changes, then you should not use them,
- Weak Aroma: Take some paprika between your fingers, crush and smell it; if it has a weak aroma, then it is better not to use it
- Dark Coloration: Fresh paprika has a bright red color; if you observe its color-changing to dark, toss it and use a new one instead.
- Thick Texture: Powdered paprika has a very fine smooth texture when it is fresh, but if its texture has become thick and sticky, its means that your spice has gone bad.