What is Blackened Seasoning?
Blackening Seasoning was developed by Chef Paul Prudhomme in New Orleans several decades ago. The spices were used in a style of cooking that was meant to mirror grilling flavors, but cooked on the stovetop instead. The original recipe was intended for blackened redfish. Now, the mix of salt and spices are typically combined with fish, like salmon, and chicken with butter and then cooked in a cast iron pan.
Our take on Blackened Seasoning can be used in the traditional way (cooked in a pan on the stovetop to get that dark color on your food), or you can use when grilling over an open flame.
While there is no set “rule” to the specific ingredients used in a blackened seasoning, we combine savory and salty elements to give a pop of flavor and earthiness, with lots of red spices for a gorgeous color to the food after it is grilled. We do not use much sugar to avoid burning since we are typically using this blackening seasoning for high heat cooking.
- Brown Sugar adds a touch of sweet.
- Chili Powder gives the earthy backbone to the seasoning.
- Kosher Salt adds a nice salty flavor but not overpowering the dish.
- Coarse Black Pepper adds some heat.
- Dried Oregano adds an herbal element and aromatic flavor.
- Smoked Paprika complements the chili powder for an earthy flavor. Regular paprika works as well.
- Ground Thyme is a fine powder that also adds aromatics and an herbal flavor. Dried thyme is also an alternative, if all you have are dried thyme (the dried leaves) then double the portions.
- Granulated Garlic adds an Umami or savory flavor that makes the mouth water (avoid garlic powder or garlic salt).
- Cayenne Pepper in small amounts adds a slight amount of heat and brings the flavors together.
- Cumin also adds some earthy elements. Don’t use too much or it will over power.
How to Make Blackened Seasoning
- Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
- Whisk to combine. A whisk, or large fork, perfect to incorporate all the dried ingredients together and remove any clumps or uneven amounts of seasoning.
- Using a spoon or funnel, spoon the the blackened seasoning into a mason jar.
Any spice or rub should be stored with an air tight lid to keep the flavors aromatic and fresh. That’s why mason jars are the perfect storage unit. In addition, be sure that the rub is out of the direct light in a cool and dark part of the cupboard. Light will cause the temperature to rise and fall and cause any moisture in the rub to clump and get hard.
This blackened seasoning will last three months. But honestly, you’ll use it all up sooner. You can use some masking tape or a sticker to write what’s in the jar (so you don’t forget down the line).
Other Homemade Seasonings
- Jerk Seasoning
- Chicken Seasoning
- Cajun Seasoning
- Ultimate All Purpose Seasoning
- Ancho Chile and Coffee Steak Rub
Great Recipes for Blackening Spice
Substitute or use this blackening spice in these recipes with any grilled fish, chicken, or pork.
- Blackened Chicken
- Grilled Salmon
- Cod on the Grill
- Grilled Shrimp
- Blackened Salmon Whole Fillet
- Blackened Salmon Steaks
Blackening Seasoning Recipe
- ½ cup chili powder
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons coarse black pepper
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika (regular paprika works fine as well)
- 1 tablespoon ground thyme double if all you have is dried thyme (not ground)
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and mix together.
- Spoon the blackened seasoning into the mason jar.
- Store in a cool dark cupboard. Will last up to three months.