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I'm making Mexican chorizo, but it calls for Aleppo peppers. I'm not able to find them around here, so I looked up the substitutions (four parts sweet paprika to one part cayenne pepper).

The recipe calls for "2 tablespoons and 3/4 teaspoon crushed Aleppo peppers", so I'm trying to figure out exactly how much Paprika and Cayenne Pepper to use in place of that. If I go a bit higher, that shouldn't be a problem--as some people said that it needed a bit more flavor.

Thanks for any help that you can provide. Patrick.

P.S. I'm leaning towards something like 2 Tbsp Paprika/1 tsp Cayenne Pepper, but if that's not right, I'd like to know what is.

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To get an exacting amount as per your substitution of 4 parts paprika to 1 part cayenne you need to mix the proper amounts of each together first. E.g., mix 4 Tbs of paprika and 1 Tbs of cayenne together. Then you would use the amount of the mixture you need, in your case, 2 Tbs + 3/4 tsp.

You can still add more of the mixture if you want, as per your taste.

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Cindy is right, you can just make a bigger batch (particularly if you're planning to use this recipe multiple times) and measure directly out of your pre-mixed batch. But, if you don't want to do that, you'll want to do some math.

First off, 1 tbsp = 3 tsp, so to simplify your 2 tbsp and 3/4 tsp, you've actually got 6-3/4 tsp of pepper.

Now, you're looking at 4 parts paprika to 1 part cayenne and we can set that equal to 6.75 tsp.

So, that means that you have five "parts".

Now, to find out how much is in each "part", divide 6.75 tsp by 5 parts. Which is 1.35 tsp/part.

We've found out one number! We need one part of cayenne, so we need 1.35 tsp. This is closest to 1-1/3 tsp but if you want it in something actually measurable (because who has a 1/3 tsp measure, anyway) it's pretty close to 1-3/8 tsp (1.375 tsp).

Now, to get the measurement for paprika you have two options:

  • multiply 1.35 tsp by 4, which is 5.4 tsp. This, again, doesn't really give us a very useful number but it's pretty close to 5-3/8 tsp (5.375 tsp).

  • subtract 1-3/8 tsp from the total 6-3/4 tsp (or 6-6/8 tsp) to figure out what's still needed, which is 5-3/8 tsp (in decimals, that's 5.375).

So that's it.

  • 5-3/8 tsp (or 1 tbsp and 2-3/8 tsp) of paprika.
  • 1-3/8 tsp of cayenne.

That all being said, remember this is cooking, it's not a perfect science, so you can fudge things a bit if you like. Your thought to use 2 tbsp and 1 tsp is close. It's slightly paprika-heavy but it's a lot easier to measure.

  • I wish I could mark both of your answers as correct, since they both are... Thank you both for your help with this. :-) – PatrickDickey May 3 '15 at 16:06
  • @PatrickDickey No worries! You can always upvote them both! Don't forget that part! – Catija May 3 '15 at 17:04
  • A quick side question (related to this). I'm using ground cayenne and ground paprika. Do the ratios change much? I'm still going to make the batch with 4 TB of paprika to 1 TB of cayenne, but do I still put the same amount in the recipe? All I'm finding with Google is that 1 cayenne pepper = 1/8 tsp ground. – PatrickDickey May 3 '15 at 17:10
  • @PatrickDickey Yes! If you make a big batch, use only the original amount, 2 tbsp and 3/4 tsp in the recipe. – Catija May 3 '15 at 17:17
  • @PatrickDickey oh, wait, you're using dried and the recipe calls for fresh? Can you clarify? You might be better served asking a new question. – Catija May 3 '15 at 17:20

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