Spicy Fire Crackers
Photography by Belle Morizio; Food Styling Laura Sampedro

It’s always Snacky Hour somewhere, at least according to snack-obsessed SAVEUR senior editor Ellen Fort. Follow along as she discovers the best bites that fall outside the confines of breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Savory, salty, spicy, sweet, sour: everything’s fair game during Snacky Hour.

Saltines, the bland-but-ubiquitous crackers found in every grandparent’s pantry, are often relegated to sick day snacks paired with ginger ale, or stacked alongside a bowl of tomato soup. Growing up in Nashville, my great-uncle Rufus Fort considered them a perfect snack when slathered with butter and toasted (and it still is). But many of my Southern brethren experienced the true nature of Saltines as a blank canvas for spice, toasted until crispy and served as a salty, spicy snack at parties and potlucks. Fire Crackers, so-called because of a healthy dash of red pepper flakes, typically include a packet of ranch dressing powder in the list of ingredients. We’ve come up with our own spice-laden homemade ranch powder, plus a version packed with Indian spices from Diaspora Co. (We recommend their turmeric, ginger, and chiles; red pepper flakes can be swapped for guntam sunnar chiles if desired.)

Yield: 6-8
Time: 12 hours 10 minutes


For Spicy Ranch Fire Crackers:

  • 1 cup canola or other neutral oil
  • 3 Tbsp. dry buttermilk powder
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp. dried dill weed
  • 1 tsp. freeze dried chives
  • 1½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1½ tsp. onion powder
  • 1½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1½ tsp. MSG, optional
  • 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 sleeves Saltines (around 8 ounces)

For Turmeric-Ginger Fire Crackers:

  • 1 cup canola or other neutral oil
  • 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. guntur sannam chilis
  • 2 sleeves Saltines (around 8 ounces)


  1. To a gallon zip-top freezer bag, add the oil and all spices. Seal the bag and massage to combine. Add crackers to the bag. Seal and flip the bag until all crackers are thoroughly coated. Allow crackers to marinate for at least 6 and up to 12 hours.
  2. Place two racks in the oven and preheat to 250°F. Arrange the crackers on a single layer on two large rimmed baking sheets and bake until lightly browned, 15–20 minutes. Allow to cool. Crackers can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
  3. Air fryer instructions: Preheat the air fryer to 300 degrees and arrange the crackers in a single layer and fry for five minutes, shaking the basket in the middle. Depending on the size of your air fryer, air fry crackers in batches to ensure that they turn out perfectly crispy.

The post These Spicy Baked Crackers Are a Sleeper Hit appeared first on Saveur.

Leave a Reply