Our pure black pepper is the most widely used seasoning on Earth. It delivers a mild kick of heat that highlights rather than overwhelms other flavors.
WHERE DOES BLACK PEPPER COME FROM?
Native to the Malabar Coast of India, McCormick Black Pepper comes from the mature berries of the evergreen vine Piper nigrum. From plantation to package, we monitor the process every step of the way to ensure that every bottle delivers consistent sharp aroma and earthy flavor. In ancient times, peppercorns were rare and valuable. They were used as currency to pay dowries and even rent. Although no longer used as money, pure black pepper is still one of the world’s most valued and beloved spices in all types of food.
HOW MCCORMICK SOURCES BLACK PEPPER:
Black pepper is mostly grown in India, Indonesia, Brazil and Vietnam. For McCormick Black Pepper, whole clusters of near-ripe berries are harvested by hand before being dried and ground. The result is nothing but pure pepper in every bottle.
HOW LONG DOES BLACK PEPPER LAST?
How long black pepper lasts can vary depending on the way it is stored and the form in which it is purchased. Whole peppercorns can last for roughly 3 to 4 years and ground black pepper is best for about 2 years. Pepper does not necessarily spoil like dairy products but can lose its optimal flavor over time. It is recommended to follow the date provided on the package for optimal quality. Check out how long spices last for your other favorite spices.
HOW TO STORE BLACK PEPPER
Keep black pepper in a place where it’s away from heat, moisture and direct sunlight. It is recommended to have spices away from the stove or sink and kept in a dark cabinet or spice drawer to help retain the quality of the black pepper. Same rules apply for spice racks for keeping it away from the stove and sink but also keep it away from direct sunlight.
HOW TO SMOKE BLACK PEPPER
TYPES OF BLACK PEPPER
Coarse Ground Black Pepper
Earthy and sharp, coarse ground black pepper delivers a mild kick of heat that highlights rather than overwhelms other flavors. It’s at home on and in most everything, whether grilled, baked, roasted, sautéed or raw. It’s the essence of Saturday night’s grilled steak and a giant leap forward for Tuesday’s chicken casserole. But those are just the beginning.
Coarse ground black pepper adds savory spark to any recipe with cheese. Cheese bread and biscuits, cheese dip, Caesar salad with Parmesan, macaroni and cheese, pasta with garlic butter and Romano cheese—all go flavor-forward with the addition of pepper’s sharp taste and aroma.
There’s something about the pungent kick of coarse ground black pepper that makes chocolate taste even richer. We love adding a pinch to the batter for brownies, rich chocolate cake and chocolate fudge frosting. We don’t know who first had the idea to sprinkle strawberries or peaches with black pepper, but we thank them for it. It’s a surprisingly delicious combination. Serve with whipped cream for added decadence.
What can you substitute coarse ground black pepper with? Any black pepper—freshly ground peppercorns, finely ground pepper—will work. Use the same amount of freshly ground peppercorns and just a bit less of finely ground pepper. Taste as you go. If you have no black pepper in the pantry, you can substitute white pepper or a dash of red pepper, also called cayenne. Red pepper is chili pepper and much hotter than black or white pepper, so use a light hand.
Pure Ground Black Pepper
It’s an essential spice, beloved around the world, with a place of honor by the stove and on the table. Among hot spices, pure ground black pepper delivers only a fraction of the heat you get from chili peppers. That subtle bite means it plays well with many other ingredients, enhancing, but rarely overpowering other flavors. Pure ground black pepper is a must-have for bakers, too, and appears in recipes for biscuits, breads, cake, and cookies. The aroma of this culinary must-have should set your nose tingling.
A few examples where pure ground black peppers gets star billing are pepper-crusted French steak au poivre, stir-fried Chinese pepper steak and Italian chicken diavolo, or devil’s chicken. You can use pure ground black pepper to add a layer of heat to curries, rubs and marinades that also include chili pepper. Double-down on the heat for Mexican-inspired dishes by including both chili peppers and black pepper.
Black pepper mellows with cooking. That’s one reason why the pepper shaker on the table is so important. A dash of pure ground pepper, applied as each diner likes, will perk up any quick- or slow-cooked meal.
Whole Black Pepper
Peppercorns aren’t just for grinding at the table or stove. Added whole, they bring gentle heat. Use them in the herb sachet called bouquet garni that flavors long-simmered stocks and stews. Add them to brines for whole chickens, turkeys, and pork roasts. We love to include whole black peppercorns in spice mixes for pickling, too.
Brining is an excellent way to infuse flavor into larger cuts of meat, such as whole chickens, turkeys, and pork roasts. A good soak in water spiked with salt, sugar and spices before cooking helps them retain moisture as well. Add whole peppercorns to any brining recipe for mouthwatering results.
FLAVORS THAT GO WITH BLACK PEPPER:
Add some more flavor to your meals with these herbs and spices. They go great with black pepper.
- Rosemary: Aromatic rosemary adds distinctive Mediterranean flavor to grilled lamb, roast chicken, tomato sauce, roasted vegetables and potatoes.
- Thyme: The plant’s tiny leaves—just a quarter inch at most in length—must be carefully harvested, cleaned, dried and milled to retain their rich color, piney aroma and earthy flavor. In the ancient world, thyme was a symbol of courage and bravery. One of the highest compliments to pay a Greek warrior, for instance, was to say he smelled of thyme. And in the Middle Ages, thyme was used to fend off nightmares. Today, our pure thyme holds its greatest place of honor in the kitchen as one of our most popular herbs.
- Garlic: McCormick partners with family owned farms to grow garlic that can be used as powder or minced. It adds instant flavor into whatever you’re cooking because our bottles contain garlic and only garlic, and nothing else. Garlic is a member of the lily family, native to Central Asia and cousin to leeks, chives, onions and shallots. It’s the most pungent of the lilies, with a strong flavor and aroma. Unless you’re using it to ward off vampires, as people have done since the 1700s, it pays to use allium sativum with a gentle hand.
- Paprika: McCormick sources whole paprika pepper pods from farmers in warm, dry climates. The paprika grown and bottled by McCormick is nothing but the purest. Paprika is a New World spice, meaning it didn’t take hold in Europe until the 1600s, where it was introduced to Europeans by Bulgarians and Turks. Perhaps best known as the garnish on deviled eggs, our pure paprika has a world of other uses. Use it as an addition to soups, rubs, marinades, sauces and more.
GRAB YOUR BLACK PEPPER PRODUCTS!
McCormick Black Pepper in the bottle brings a touch of heat that pairs with other herbs and spices without overpowering the palette
- McCormick Ground Black Pepper
- McCormick Coarse Ground Black Pepper
- McCormick Organic Ground Black Pepper
- McCormick Gourmet Organic Coarse Ground Black Pepper
- McCormick Gourmet Organic Black Pepper Cracked
TRY THESE RECIPES THAT USE BLACK PEPPER:
- Mediterranean Herb Chicken Skillet
- Tzatziki Potato Salad
- Peruvian Chicken with Chile Sauces
- Cheddar and Black Pepper Biscuits
- Brazilian Cheese Rolls With Rosemary And Black Pepper
- Tossed Green Salad With Chicken And Crushed Black Pepper
- Grilled Salmon With Peppered Soy Glaze
- Creamy Peppered Chicken And Mushrooms
- Black Pepper Bloody Mary
- Bacon Wrapped Roasted Asparagus
MORE BLACK PEPPER TIPS & FACTS
- Unexpected Ways To Use Black Pepper
- The Measurements To Convert Common Whole Spices Into Ground
- McCormick Ground Black Pepper is Grown for Good
TRY BLACK PEPPER IN SOME OF OUR FAVORITE CUISINES
Ready to use more black pepper in your recipes? Save your favorite food, dessert, drink recipes and organize your ingredients with McCormick Meal Planner. Create a Flavor Profile to save all your favorite recipes and create grocery lists for easy shopping. You will also get custom recommendations based on your saved items to make your meals!