Recipes » Side Dish Recipes » Alabama Fire Crackers

Alabama Fire Crackers

Alabama Fire Crackers, soaked through with butter, red pepper, and hot sauce are always a hit at parties and perfect with salads and soups.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Finished crackers in a white serving bowl.

Perk up your favorite soup or chili with these flavor-filled spicy Alabama Fire Crackers. This fiery, buttery combination of very ordinary ingredients is always a hit at parties and perfect alongside salads and soups.

Crackers are one of those items that are always present on appetizer trays, alongside charcuterie, on the buffet, and with soups and chili, aren’t they? Just there in a supporting role. Never the main attraction. 

Finished crackers in a white serving bowl.

That stops with this recipe! This easy Alabama Fire Crackers recipe takes plain crackers over the top! And all you’ll do is melt some butter, add the spices, pour it over the crackers, and bake. That’s it. 

Fire Crackers are a great example of recipes that show up in community, church, and Junior League cookbooks all across the south. They’re the result of cooks taking the most basic, budget-friendly ingredients and turning them into something tantalizing. 

Around here, fire crackers normally make their appearance next to the meatballs, pimiento cheese, buffalo wings, and veggie trays. Gameday just wouldn’t be the same without a platter of these to snack on along with a nice big glass of cold sweet tea to go with them!

Do be careful, though. As the old commercial said, “you can’t eat just one!” You’ll need to have some willpower to stop yourself from devouring the whole batch. 

These delicious spicy Fire Crackers are an easy party appetizer that you’ll turn to again and again. Give them a try for your next birthday party, shower, retirement party, family get-together, or work carry-in, and see how fast they disappear!

What You’ll Love About This Recipe

  • Easy to make comfort food – just a few ingredients and no difficult preparation.
  • You can make them ahead of time – an airtight container will keep your crackers fresh for a few days.
  • Budget-friendly recipe for a group – you won’t break the bank making a snack for a large crowd.
  • Personalize the ingredients to your liking – add or remove ingredients to make this recipe your own.

About the Ingredients

All ingredients needed for the recipe.

You may already have everything you need in your pantry. But, if not, these simple ingredients are readily available at any nearby grocery store.

  • Saltine Crackers – Saltines (either regular saltine crackers or multi-grain saltine crackers) are the ideal texture and flavor to use in this recipe, but Club or Ritz are great, too. You’ll need a one-pound box, or 4 sleeves of crackers. Oyster crackers make a really nice snack size!
  • Ranch Dressing Mix – For this recipe, you’ll need a packet of Ranch dressing mix. This is the envelope of powdered seasoning mix, not bottled Ranch dressing.
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes – The major source of heat in the recipe. Adjust the amount according to your taste. The recipe, as written, is on the high end of medium heat.
  • Garlic Powder – Adds just a touch of sweet garlic flavor that works perfectly with the other ingredients. Simply leave it out if you don’t like garlic.
  • Hot Sauce – Provides an additional layer and flavor of heat. Again, adjust the amount to suit your personal taste. I always choose Tabasco for my hot sauce, but Cholula, Louisiana Crystal, and Frank’s Red Hot are great as well.)

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

How to Make Fire Crackers

  • Melt the butter and whisk in the ranch dressing mix, red pepper, garlic powder, and hot sauce until well combined.
  • In a large container with a lid (or two large zip-top bags), line up the sleeves of crackers standing on end (see photo) in rows.
  • Drizzle the butter mixture over the crackers making sure to get in between them to coat each one well.
  • Close the container and set it in a warm spot. Let the crackers soak in the butter for an hour, turning the container over every ten minutes so that they soak evenly.

TIP: Place the sealed container in a warm part of the kitchen while the crackers sit in the butter mixture. If your kitchen tends to be cool, substitute half the butter with canola, vegetable, or olive oil to prevent it from solidifying while it sits.

  • Preheat the oven to 300F°
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil (optional for easy cleanup).
  • Lay the crackers out in a single layer on each baking sheet.
  • Place in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight container or resealable bag for up to seven days.
Finished crackers in a white serving bowl.

Variations, Options, and Add-ins

  • Use olive oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil instead of butter.
  • Substitute 1/2 teaspoon onion powder for the garlic powder.
  • Add parmesan cheese, Italian dressing mix (or other favorite spice mix), dried dill weed, or other dried herbs.
  • Use a half teaspoon of liquid smoke to change the flavor profile.
  • Use a zesty ranch dressing mix, or combine taco seasoning and ranch seasoning to have an even spicier ranch flavor.

Recipe Tips

  • After the crackers sit in the butter mixture they will appear very wet, but they crisp right up during baking.
  • If serving children, you can leave out the spicy ingredients and add some grated parmesan cheese to make cheesy ranch crackers without the heat.
  • Make sure your container is left in a warm place during the soaking time, otherwise the butter may become too solid to allow the mixture to absorb.
  • If you don’t have a large, sealable container, use two large (gallon size) zip-top bags. Place the crackers in the bags, pour in the butter mixture, then turn and flip the bag to coat the crackers.
  • For a more smoky flavor, use chipotle hot sauce.
  • To make a less spicy version, leave out the red pepper flakes and substitute 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper.
Finished crackers in a white serving dish.

Storage

All you need to do is keep your finished Fire Crackers fresh is to store them in an air-tight container or gallon zip bag. They’ll keep at room temperature for up to a week.

How to Make Ahead

This is a great recipe to make ahead giving you more time to focus on other party snacks. Make them days ahead and store until you’re ready to serve.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make a smaller batch?

Yes, you can easily cut this recipe in half. For the ranch dressing mix – a whole packet contains about three tablespoons, so you’d use 1.5 tablespoons for a half recipe.

How do I keep the butter and spice mixture liquid during the soaking time?

Place the container of crackers in a warm area of the kitchen, or substitute half the amount of butter with cooking oil (1 stick butter and 1/2 cup oil). If your container is microwaveable, you can microwave it for 30 seconds if the butter solidifies before you’re ready to bake.

How do I serve fire crackers?

Fire crackers are perfect with a bowl of soup such as chicken noodle or with your favorite chili recipe. They’re also delicious with dips such as hot artichoke dip, or with salsa, pico de gallo, or guacamole and with a holiday cheese ring.

Recipe

Finished crackers in a white serving bowl.

Alabama Fire Crackers

Alabama Fire Crackers, soaked through with butter, red pepper, and hot sauce are always a hit at parties and perfect with salads and soups.
5 from 5 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Appetizers, Side Dishes, Snacks
Cuisine: Southern
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Time:: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 26 servings
Calories: 141kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces saltine crackers (1 one-pound box)
  • 1 cup butter, melted (2 sticks)
  • 1 ounce ranch dressing mix (1 envelope)
  • 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (or to taste)

Instructions

  • Melt the butter and whisk in the ranch dressing mix, red pepper, garlic powder, and hot sauce until well combined.
  • In a large container with a lid (or two large zip-top bags), line up the sleeves of crackers standing on end so that you have rows of crackers.
  • Drizzle the butter mixture over the crackers making sure to get in between the crackers to coat each one well.
  • Close the container and set it in a warm spot. Let the crackers soak up the butter for an hour, turning the container over every ten minutes so that they soak evenly.
  • Preheat the oven to 300F°
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil (optional for ease of cleanup).
  • Lay the crackers out in a single layer on each baking sheet.
  • Place in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • Store the baked crackers in an airtight container or resealable bag for up to seven days.

Notes

Storage:  Store in an air-tight container or gallon zip bag. They’ll keep at room temperature for up to a week.
Recipe Tips:
  • If making a half recipe, the ranch dressing mix packet contains about three tablespoons, so you’d use 1.5 tablespoons.
  • Make sure your container is left in a warm place while the crackers soak, otherwise the butter may become too solid to allow the mixture to absorb.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 6crackers | Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 336mg | Potassium: 43mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 401IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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