Last Updated: Sep 8, 2020 @ 10:59 am.

What is the best smoked paprika? We fired up the grill and tried smoked paprika as a rub for BBQ and then used it in a rustic Spanish paella recipe. We gave 7 brands a try—here are the ones we'd recommend.

FYI: We've been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We don't take money or freebies from the brands we review—that keeps our work independent. Our reviews are 100% reader-supported! So we thank you for reading this article!


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Best Organic

Made from slow-smoked sweet peppers
We loved this mild, smoked paprika with a sweet aroma. Adds both color and flavor to BBQ rubs and marinades. Rich, dark red color. No GMO's. Great in a rustic paella!
$4.61 ($2.85 / Ounce)

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Best Organic Smoked Paprika: McCormick Gourmet, Smoked Paprika

Let’s talk paprika!

There are three types of paprika: hot, sweet and smoked. Each is used for different purposes. For this article, we focus on smoked paprika.

As you might guess from the name, smoked paprika is made from peppers smoked over wood (usually oak). The result is a rich flavor . . . and like most paprika, it comes in different heat levels (from mild to hot).

Smoked paprika pairs nicely with roasted potatoes (especially Spanish dishes like patatas bravas), but is also used in stews and BBQ rubs.

We tried out seven top brands of smoked paprika in various dishes before deciding on these winners. For the best organic smoked paprika, we thought McCormick’s Gourmet, Smoked Paprika is the best bet. Yes, it is old school but it worked well in a rustic paella we cooked. Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Nice, sweet aroma.

• Dark red powder adds visual zip.

• No GMO’s.

• Excellent for Spanish tapas.

• Gluten free.

• Mild heat level. This smoked paprika doesn’t make food hot.

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

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Best Budget-Friendly

No additives or preservatives
This large, one-pound bottle of smoked paprika packs a sweet and smoky flavor. We liked it . . . and yes, it is a bit hotter than mild. Great for chorizo!
$8.85 ($0.55 / Ounce)

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Best Budget-Friendly: Badia Smoked Paprika

Once you get hooked on the rich flavor of smoked paprika, you’ll note one major flaw with this spice: it’s darn expensive!

Good news: we found a good quality smoked paprika at a price that is much easier on the wallet: Badia’s Smoked Paprika. Yes, this is a ONE POUND of smoked paprika. So if you just need a little for a one-time chorizo sausage recipe, it might be overkill. But for smoked paprika fans who want to buy it in bulk, we think this brand is a good bet.

What We Liked

 No additives or preservatives.

• Smoky, sweet flavor. 

• Slightly hotter than mild. This smoked paprika has a bit of a bite—not hot, but not mild!

• Gluten-free.

• Similar in flavor to BBQ potato chips, said one of our readers.

What Needs Work

• Not organic.

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Best For Dry Rubs

No artificial colors or preservatives
This smoked paprika comes in a resealable foil pouch—which has its pros and cons. Fans love the space-saving aspect, while others prefer a jar. We liked the even, smokey flavor.

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Best For Dry Rubs: Unpretentious Smoked Paprika

One of our favorite uses for smoked paprika is dry rubs—for roasts, brisket, pork shoulder and more. After trying out a few brands, we picked Unpretentious’ Smoked Paprika as best for rubs. Here’s why:

What We Liked

• Mild, sweet flavor without heat. Perfect for rubs!

• Made in USA.

• Vegan.

• No preservatives or additives.

• No artificial colors or fillers.

• Affordable.

What Needs Work

• Less smokey aroma than others. We thought it was well balanced, but we know some folks prefer more smoke notes for BBQ.

• Pours a bit too easily! The holes in this bottle are large—and you can dump a lot out if you aren’t careful!

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Best Medium Hot

Rich and smooth—with a touch of heat
This smoked paprika comes in a resealable foil pouch—which has its pros and cons. Fans love the space-saving aspect, while others prefer a jar. We liked the even, smokey flavor.
$6.99 ($1.75 / Ounce)

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Best Medium Hot: Spice Way Smoked Paprika

Most of the smoked paprika we tried is on the mild side. If your recipe calls for a medium hot spice, we’d recommend Spice Way’s Smoked Paprika. We used this for chorizo sausage with a kick! The results: yummy!

What We Liked

• Great for those who want a touch more heat. That said, this smoked paprika isn’t HOT. It’s more medium hot.

• No GMO’s.

• No preservatives or additives.

• Sun-dried peppers, then smoked.

What Needs Work

• Pouch. Probably the biggest drawback to this smoked paprika is the container—the pouch just isn’t as convenient as a jar, in our opinion. On the plus side, the pouch is resealable, which helps keep it fresh.

• A bit pricey.

• Allergy alert: may contain traces of tree nuts, wheat, peanuts and soybeans.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here's another key point: we don't take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no "partnerships." Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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