Saffron Threads vs. Powder

Can you use saffron powder instead of threads?

Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice, so when you use it, you have to use it correctly. You’ll find saffron in two forms, threads and powder. Saffron threads are the whole stigma from the saffron crocus, while saffron powder has been gently dried and ground. Whichever form of saffron you choose, it should be high quality and pure, without the addition of paprika, turmeric or other spices.

Saffron Threads

Saffron Threads are the dried stigmas of the saffron crocus flower. You cannot just add saffron threads to your dish. The threads need heat to activate there flavor and color. To draw out the color and to ensure that it’s evenly distributed throughout the dish it’s to be added to, steep saffron threads in a little warm water, stock, milk or white wine for about 30 minutes before using. Then add the liquid to the dish, usually towards the end of cooking.

Saffron Powder

Saffron Powder is just plain saffron threads grounded and made into powder form for easier use. Use a mortar and pestle to crush the saffron threads or grind saffron threads to make it into powder. You can add saffron powder directly to a dish without toasting or pre-soaking. Powdered saffron dissolves easily into foods, evenly flavoring the entire dish. Use half the amount of powdered saffron if your recipe calls for saffron threads. While powdered saffron provides the rich gold color associated with paella and other dishes, there will not be any visible threads in your finished dish.

Interested to buy: Pure Saffron Powder


Most recipes use a very small amount of saffron, so measure carefully. Avoid using wooden utensils when cooking with saffron. Your wooden spoon will absorb the flavor and color, leaving you with wasted saffron and a ruined spoon.

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