This is my best ever recipe for blackening seasoning. I have played with several different variations of the recipe over the years, and this is the best one yet. Use this flavorful blackening seasoning recipe on your favorite fish, chicken, and beef. Elevate your meats, and take it to the next level by blackening them. Blackening seasoning is widely available in stores, but they just don’t compare to a freshly ground homemade recipe.
What Does Blackening Mean?
Blackening is a cooking technique whereby a protein (originally fish) is brushed with butter and dredged in a mixture of ground herbs and spices that is then seared over high heat in a cast iron skillet. The combination of blackening seasonings and butter cooked over high heat gives the food its signature dark appearance and amazing flavor. Blackened foods develop a dark flavorful crust with herbal undertones and a bit of heat.
Blackening Seasoning vs Cajun Seasoning
There is some misperception out there that blackening seasoning is just another word for Cajun seasoning. They do share some similarities and both are from Louisiana, but they are not the same seasoning. Creole seasoning is another popular seasoning blend from the area that is occasionally mistaken for the same thing as blackening and Cajun seasoning.
Creole seasoning is often the mildest of the three and puts more emphasis on herbal flavors. Cajun seasoning tends to be the hottest of the three and relies more on the use of peppers.
Blackening seasoning typically lands somewhere between these two. Blackening seasoning was developed to help promote a dark flavorful crust while searing at high heat. It is uncommon to see the addition of sugar in blackening seasoning, because the sugars will tend to burn at high heat giving a bitter taste.
The Origins of Blackening Seasoning
Chef Paul Prudhomme originally developed and perfected the blackening process and blackening seasoning. Chef Prudhomme developed and popularized the blackening process at his famous K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen in New Orleans. Although Chef Prudhomme used redfish in his original blackening recipe, the blackening process is also amazing with beef, poultry, and other fish proteins such as salmon.
What is in the Recipe for Blackening Seasoning?
Blackening seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices. A typical recipe is made with paprika, garlic and onion powder, dried thyme and oregano, ground black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper.
There are many different variations of this recipe that may include herbs such as basil and parsley. Other cooks may prefer a spicier version, and kick it up with crushed chillies or other dried hot peppers. If you prefer blackening seasoning to have a smokier flavor, try substituting smoked paprika for paprika, or add a pinch of cumin to the recipe.
I personally enjoy the additional heat and flavor that comes from adding white peppercorns to my version of the recipe. Customize your own blackening seasoning blend by adjusting the ratios or by adding and subtracting ingredients to suit your taste.
How to Make Blackening Seasoning
Step 1: Gather Ingredients