Looking for something crunchy and fiery to pair with your favorite dip? These Spicy Firecrackers are a hit at parties, and they’re really easy to make with just five ingredients. Dip the hot crackers in Ranch dressing or crumble them on top of your favorite chili recipe. You can amp up or tone down the spiciness by adjusting the ingredients to suit your tastes.
Party appetizers don’t get much simpler than these spicy fire crackers. Pour some saltine crackers in a bag, add some oil and spices and turn to coat.
In an hour, you’ll have crunchy party crackers that will thrill your tastebuds and maybe set your tongue on fire, depending on how much chili powder and pepper flakes you add.
Canola oil, spices and saltines? I was skeptical the first time I made them, too. But they did not disappoint!
When you make these spicy “Fire” Crackers, you’re going to want to eat the whole batch.
If you’re looking for an easy party food to take to a July 4th barbecue, a Cinco de Mayo celebration, New Year’s Eve shindig or just any other kind of get-together you could imagine, this firecrackers recipe is as simple as they come!
Five ingredients. No cooking. A couple of zippered plastic bag and a little shimmy and shake. (How often do you get to dance when you cook?)
When I say easy, I mean it!
Forget potato chips. These crackers are Ranch dip’s new best friend!
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The Backstory of this Fire Crackers Appetizer
A couple years ago, I picked up a package of something called Cracker Smack from a gift shop in a town a few hours away from me. It is powdered mix you add to Saltine crackers, along with canola oil.
Boy, of boy, was the smack good, but kinda expensive — and not available locally. So, I knew I had to find a way to recreate the fiery party cracker recipe at home.
These spicy saltines are known by many names — Alabama Firecrackers, Texas Firecrackers, southern fire crackers, cracker smack, to name a few. Some people have told me they’re similar to Buc ee’s spicy crackers or Buc-ee’s firecrackers, sold at the Texas-based convenience store chain with a cult following.
No matter what name you call them by, I think you’ll agree that they’re darn good.
When I first tried the fire crackers recipe out on my family, they were a total hit! To quote my dad, who now makes them often,”These crackers are addictive.”
When I’m telling you these won’t last long, I’m not lying. If you’re hosting a party, I might suggest making a double batch so there’s plenty for everyone.
How to Make Firecracker Crackers
You’ll need these ingredients and supplies for the firecrackers recipe:
- a box of saltines
- Powdered Ranch dressing mix
- chili powder
- red pepper flakes
- canola oil
- 2 gallon-sized zippered bags
(You can find the full recipe, with exact measurements, at the end of this post.)
Start out by pouring two sleeves of saltines into each bag. (This little gadget is handy for holding the bags open while you add the crackers and the oil-and-spice mixture.)
Next, you’ll add the seasoning and spices to canola oil, blending it well. It has to be canola oil. Don’t substitute vegetable oil or another kind of oil, of you’ll wind up with soggy, greasy crackers that don’t taste good. Stick with canola oil.
Pour half of the oil and spice mixture into each bag and seal. Then, toss them gently to coat. Every five minutes or so for an hour, come back and rotate the bags so the spice mixture gets evenly distributed on the crackers. Do this gently, so you don’t break the crackers.
Let the crackers sit overnight, and then transfer the coated firecrackers to an airtight container, discarding the bags and any oil that may be left in them.
What should I serve with Fire Crackers?
Some people like to eat Firecrackers plain, like you might do with potato chips. They’re also good dipped in Ranch or blue cheese dressing or smeared with some homemade pimento cheese. Fire Crackers seasoned crackers pair well with your favorite dip.
They’re also tasty crumbled in chili or in tomato soup, which is pretty much what saltines were invented for, right?
I also enjoy them on a salad, in place of croutons.
Can I made this Fire Crackers recipe spicier? Or less spicy?
You sure can.
The recipe, as shared here with a tablespoon of chili powder and two tablespoons of red pepper flakes, is exactly to my liking. Just spicy enough that I need an icy-cold drink while eating them, but not so hot that my nose starts running and I start coughing.
However, my Dad and other members of the family find them just a bit too spicy. So, they’ll cut back on the amount of chili powder and pepper flakes they use.
If you want to make this Fire Crackers recipe even spicier, try adding more red pepper flakes or substitute the regular chili powder for a hotter variety, like Hot Mexican chili powder, Hatch chile powder, ghost pepper chili powder or another gourmet or specialty chili powder blend.
- 1½ cups canola oil (do not substitute vegetable oil)
- 2 Tablespoons crushed red pepper (or more for spicier crackers)
- 1 packet ranch dressing mix
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder (or more for spicier crackers)
- 16 ounces Saltine crackers
In a small bowl, mix together the oil and spices, whisking until blended.
Divide crackers into 2 gallon-size zippered bags.
Pour half of the oil mixture into one bag and half into the second bag. Seal and gently rotate bag to coat crackers.
Continue rotating the bags every 5 minutes for an hour.
Let sit overnight, then store crackers in an airtight container
Pin the Spicy Crackers Recipe
Looking for other recipes that will make you the hit of the party? I have a few suggestions…