Let’s be frank- isn’t it really easy to find a dish in your kitchen without black pepper rather than finding one with it? Indeed, no wonder why this spice is named the “king of spices”; since the usage of black pepper in cooking is simply boundless!
This spice is undoubtedly a staple in many cuisines, used as whole peppercorns, powdered or ground form. The usage of black pepper in cooking can be:
- In various spicy or savory dishes
- Used in fresh salads
- In soups, stews, stocks, and broth
- As a seasoning
- Used as a condiment and used in condiments
- In spice mixtures
- As a dry spice rub
- In seasoning blends
- In marinades
- Used in fresh fruits
- Incorporated in beverages
- Used in some sweet dishes
- Used in finger foods
So, in this article, we hope to cover every way that black pepper is being used in regular cooking. If you want to learn more ways to employ this spice with your cooking, you should not miss a word in this feature!
How To Use Black Pepper In Cooking?
Black pepper is indeed a very familiar and versatile spice that can be found in any kitchen and on top of any dining table. From going into the basic dish and making a lovely couple with salt to making the omnipresent seasoning “salt-pepper”, black pepper plays a valiant role in our cuisines.
01 – In Various Spicy Or Savory Dishes
As whole peppercorns, or in powdered or ground forms, this spice goes into many savory or spicy dishes to give a peppery kick.
In fact, black pepper gives a great flavor to any recipe it calls for pairing with many other spices and herbs. This culinary goes well with dishes such as:
02 – Used In Fresh Salads/ Vinaigrette / Salad Dressings
This spice is a close companion of salad lovers. Freshly cracked or ground black pepper is used with salt in many fresh salads. In addition, it is also a key component in many types of vinaigrettes and salad dressings.
And it gets along really well with ingredients like olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and lemon or lime. Some examples are as follows:
- Fresh green salads flavored only with salt and black pepper
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Red Wine Vinaigrette
- Lemon Vinaigrette
- Creamy Tahini Dressing
- Ranch dressing
- Coleslaw Dressing
03 – In Soups, Stews, Stocks, And Broths
The peppery and earthy hint that black pepper gives your soup, stew, stock, or broth should never be underestimated! This spice can be an excellent flavor addition to your chicken stew, creamy corn soup, vegetable stock, beef broth, or whatever you make.
04 – As A Seasoning
Actually, the most use of this flavoring comes down to its ability to season food- universally. No matter what- chicken, steak, lamb, prawns, vegetables, tofu, paneer, etc.; ground black pepper can season them all!
As mentioned earlier, its best pairing companion is salt. But, although salt is a flavor enhancer that can be used anywhere, black pepper isn’t anything like that. It is a versatile spice, and salt is just complementing its flavor.
05 – Used As A Condiment And Used In Condiments
We know that this may sound a bit confusing yet interesting. But this is simply the resilience of black pepper! It is a staple table condiment in many places in the world, while it also contributes as a key ingredient in many condiments.
Many condiments like sauces, gravies, dips, chutneys, pickles, and pastes include this spice as a primary element in their original recipes. Examples are as follows:
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Apple and Cranberry Chutney
- Dijon Mustard
- Turkey Dripping Gravy
06 – In Spice Mixtures
How many spice blends do you have in your spice cabinet right now? We are sure that you’ve got at least more than two!
If you get five of them with you and check the list of ingredients, at least three of them will contain black pepper. Especially, Indian cuisine would hardly miss out on this spice from their blends. Let us provide you with some popular examples:
- Chai Masala
- Garam Masala
- Curry Powder
07 – As A Dry Spice Rub
The earthy notes of black pepper provide perfect smokiness when the meat is grilled after applying a black pepper-included dry rub. This spice incorporates other flavorings in the rubs to give an ultimate taste to whatever meat you use the rub-on. These rubs are used primarily in barbecues and grilling.
Apart from flavoring your food, black pepper is also a powerhouse of nutrients and is packed with many health benefits. Click here for our comprehensive feature on the 15 best health benefits of this spice.
08 – In Seasoning Blends
Just like in spice mixtures, many prevalent seasoning blends made around the world do not skip this spice for an added punch.
Freshly ground black pepper or whole peppercorns are often pulverized with herbs and spices to get the perfect seasoning consistency. Examples are as follows:
- Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
- Cajun Seasoning
- Creole Seasoning
- Poultry Seasoning
- Greek Seasoning
09 – In Marinades
Coming down to marinades is another mostly seen usage of black pepper in cooking. When black pepper is a key ingredient in many dry spice rubs, it also becomes a star in many marinades. It pairs with other wet ingredients to marinate steak, chicken, beef, lamb, etc.
Moreover, this king of spices also complements balsamic, apple cider vinegar, and other flavorings like teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, barbecue sauce, along with lemon, tamarind, and olive oil in most marinades.
10 – Used In Fresh Fruits
Black pepper is the perfect flavor fulfiller to cuts of many tangy and sweet fruits, equally. A tiny dash of black pepper on green apple, rose apple, pomelo, and ripe jackfruit will be a heavenly treat!
11 – Incorporated In Beverages
Have you ever tasted this spice in any cocktails or mocktails? In fact, black pepper makes a terrific flavor twist in many cocktails mashing with liquor and other fruit infusions. And they are even used in many commercially made beverages like soft drinks and energy drinks.
In addition, this flavoring is also used in Chai, the famous Indian spiced tea. And black pepper tea is also prepared as a home remedy for coughs and the common cold.
Pepper is small in quantity and great in virtue.Plato
12 – Used In Some Sweet Dishes
Apart from flavoring spicy, savory, or tangy food, black pepper helps to make a taste evolution in some sweet dishes too.
It is usually paired with one or two other spices as supporting flavors. Cardamom, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg are typical sweet spice pairings that help black pepper build up its flavor.
However, some exceptions in Asian cuisine, particularly many Sri Lankan festive sweetmeats, include black pepper alone without any other spices to accompany its flavor. Some popular examples from pepper-infused sweet dishes are:
- Black Pepper Brownies
- Savory Shortbread With Black Pepper and Parmesan
- Black Pepper and Chocolate Mousse Cake
- Welithalapa (A Sri lankan sweetmeat)
- Black Pepper Ice Cream
13 – Used In Finger Foods
Who wouldn’t love finger foods at a small family party or a get-together! Crackers, chips, french fries, mini cheese balls, chicken tenders- all of these small items can include black pepper.
In addition, spiced cheese, sausages, meatballs and sauces, and dips that accompany them also could be flavored with this amazingly piquant spice!
What Temperature Does Black Pepper Burn?
Actually, Piperine is the compound that is responsible for the flavor and aroma of black pepper. Therefore, according to the sources, Piperine starts to burn around 128-130 degrees Celsius. Consequently, this could imply that black pepper also could burn around 130 degrees Celsius.
Does Black Pepper Get Hotter When Cooked?
According to the social data, black pepper apparently needs some heat to release its best flavor and saturate into food. And, which means its piquancy (its hotness) can boost when cooked. However, like many other spices, this also would tend to lose its flavor in high heat.
The Usage In Black Pepper In Cooking Is Truly Magical!
This incredibly multifaceted flavoring is actually one of the most wonderful gifts we received from the world of spices. Starting from pairing with salt, black pepper goes such a long, long way in cooking even beyond our imagination.
As long as you are willing to make epic discoveries throughout your culinary journey, we are sure that this spice will be the shadow flavoring with whatever you do!