As a small catering business based in the lush and wooded hills of Birmingham, we love any chance to make an excellent southern dish. While not much is known about the origins of this particular snack, Alabama Fire Crackers provide an opportunity to look at some interesting aspects of southern cuisine, aside from being delicious, of course. For starters, getting the most out of what is available is a mindset widely held across Appalachia and the Smokies. From crafting to cooking, many people in the area have a tendency to be resourceful in most of what they do. While there are many historical factors that may have played a part in establishing this way of doing things, this resourcefulness is almost inseparable from the cultural identity of many southerners. With a recipe like Alabama Fire Crackers, the ingredients are specifically ones that most people will have on hand at any given time, almost as if the dish were created with the intention of making the most out of what is available!
These crackers pack a powerful kick, too, and that’s no coincidence! Southern comfort food often features buttery, crunchy, and flavorful dishes with a generous helping of spices, so it’s no surprise that this snack adds some fire to people’s bellies!
But, Alabama isn’t the only place where this spicy snack is enjoyed. Many people may be familiar with similar appetizers such as Ranch Crackers, Comeback Crackers, or Party Crackers, which are essentially the same dish with a different name. So, with no defining history, who is to say where these peppery crackers originated? At the end of the day, they are an irresistible snack to share at parties, tailgates, cookouts, and pretty much any occasion! Without further ado, let’s go over how to prepare this simple, spicy snack!
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As we mentioned before, there is a pretty good chance you already have all the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe hiding in your spice cabinet and pantry. If not, you’ll have a handy list to follow the next time you run to the grocery store!
To make Alabama Fire Crackers you’ll need some canola or vegetable oil (for a more traditional approach, using melted butter will add a totally new flavor element to these crackers), red pepper flakes, a packet of dry-mix ranch seasoning, and a few sleeves of Saltines.
You won’t be needing any elbow grease for this recipe, but you will need a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag. We recommend a Ziploc, but any brand will do as long as the bag is able to be sealed. Once you start shaking things around, an improperly sealed bag could mean an afternoon spent cleaning a sprinkle of seasonings and oil from kitchen floors and cabinets instead of enjoying a tasty snack. To prevent a firecracker catastrophe, make sure you have the right materials on hand!
To start making this recipe, add the packet of ranch seasoning to the bag.
Then, pour in the red pepper flakes and top with the canola oil.
Seal the bag (it’s alright if there is air in it) and give it a good shake to disperse all the ingredients. You’ll want the spices to mix well with the oil, so take a look at the mixture and make sure the ingredients are well-distributed before moving on to the next step.
Open the bag once again and start putting in the crackers. After you have placed as many as you’d like, about 1 or 2 sleeves, reseal the bag. Again, it’s alright if there is air trapped in the bag since it allows the ingredients to have more of an area to mix in and it will help with making sure everything is coated evenly.
Just as before, give the bag a good shaking. You’ll want the crackers to move around quite a bit to get covered in all the delicious, tangy seasonings, so don’t be shy here!
After the crackers are fully coated, open the bag and place them on a wire rack over a baking sheet in a single layer. Pop them into the oven for about 10 minutes at a nice and low 250ºF to prevent burning. After the 10 minutes are up, flip the crackers over and bake for another 15 minutes.
After only about 30 minutes of prep work and baking, you can be savoring the crisp, spicy flavors of these crunchy crackers!
Crunchy with a kick, these Alabama Fire Crackers are a spicy, tangy snack perfect for parties, tailgates, and more. They are so easy to make and odds are, you’ve already got all the ingredients you need in the pantry, so why not add some spice to your snacking?
We hope you enjoyed this recipe for Alabama Fire Crackers. At Table & Thyme, we are dedicated to creating elevated culinary experiences through our catering services, graze boxes, and the recipes we share. If you enjoyed this recipe, be sure to follow us on Instagram to be the first to see all of the recipes we post and don’t forget to check in with our weekly blog so you don’t miss any of our recipe blogs, event highlights, guides, or any other content we share! As always, thanks for joining us on another food adventure!
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