Do I add sugar? So many people have told me they put sugar in their seasoning and I don't understand why. What does sugar provide to this recipe and how much should I experiment with?

This is the recipe in progress.

  • 4 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 4 Tbsp sweet paprika
  • 2 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp finely ground kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp freshly ground cumin seed
  • 1 Tsp freshly ground coriander seed
  • 1 Tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Bulb garlic
  • 1 Red onion
  • 1/4 lb cayenne peppers

Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, and Cayenne Powder

Prepare Garlic

  1. Break apart garlic bulb into cloves
  2. Remove all Garlic sheaths from cloves
  3. Finely slice all garlic cloves
  4. Lay sliced garlic cloves in a single layer on a baking sheet

Prepare Onion

  1. Remove the outer skin of the onion until you have a nice looking skin all the way around
  2. Remove the top 1/4" and bottom 1/4" of onion
  3. Slice the entire onion very thin
  4. Place the onion in a single layer across a baking sheet.

Prepare Cayenne Peppers

  1. Cut the ends off the peppers
  2. Dice them finely
  3. Arrange the diced cayenne peppers in a single layer on a baking sheet


  1. If you have a dehydrator, that's much quicker and faster.
  2. 140° F for about 5 hours should do it all

Oven Dehydration

  1. Place baking sheets into the oven and turn to 150° F
  2. Release vapor every 1/2 hour by opening the oven for 1 minute
  3. Process should take about 6 hours

When the dehydration process is complete, then grind each of the spices into their own bowls and measure out 1 Tbsp of each.

Place all ingredients together in a medium bowl and then seal in an air-tight container.

I use 3 Tbsp of the mix per lb of anything I want to mix it in with.

If there's anything that I'm missing, please let me know. It tastes great to me, but if I can make the ritual better, I'm all about it. I just typed this out from my memory as most of my recipes come from imagination.

  • 3
    It sounds like you've done a lot of work, I hope you enjoy the results. Your question isn't on topic as you're asking for opinions, which are subjective and depend on your taste. Also, you don't have an actual question, 'suggestions' is very broad.
    – GdD
    Mar 16, 2021 at 18:38
  • I disagree about it being entirely off-topic. Why sugar is added to a recipe surely isn't subjective - it adds sweetness, enhances other flavours, encourages maillard reaction etc.
    – bob1
    Mar 16, 2021 at 21:44
  • Thanks, @bob1 but I adjusted the post after GdD posted it.
    – jbrahy
    Mar 16, 2021 at 22:29

1 Answer 1


You will find that adding sugar to some recipes is controversial and highly subjective.

Me, I almost never add sugar in situations like yours. But sugar can do something valuable: decrease bitterness.

I knew an Italian woman many years ago that made the best "gravy" (tomato sauce) and her secret? A pinch or two of sugar, she claimed it made her sauce less bitter. Whatever her secret I tried the sugar thing and found no discernible difference between the gravy with sugar and the same recipe without.

But again that is subjective, EG literally "a matter of taste."

Try your recipe both with and without sugar, and decide for yourself.

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