White Peppercorns vs Black Peppercorns


Pepper has many different types. It is one of the most famous spices all over the world. The most commonly used types are white and black peppercorns. Both of them are from the same plant. However, both have considerable differences, which make them separate seasoning and are used in different ways.

Piper nigrum plant has berries that are considered as black and white berries after processing. Both have different processing steps. Blackberries are common and are plucked when berries are fully ripe. After harvesting, berries are dried, which makes its outer shell darker.

The white pepper is lighter because its outer layer is removed after drying, which gives a soft effect. There are many ways to remove the outer layer. Sometimes it is done before drying by soaking in water. The other way is by passing through a continuous flow of water and using cleaning at the end.

So its processing step creates considerable changes between both of them. Here I will discuss the exact difference between both of them.

Difference between white and black peppercorns

Pepper is the most well-known spice in all over the world. Every spice has a different flavor, aroma, or hotness. Here is the primary difference between white and black peppercorns.


The drying process of black pepper develops a robust hot flavor in black peppercorns. It has a strong aroma and heating sensation. Freshly ground black peppers have more hotness.

White pepper also has a heating sensation, but it’s lower than black pepper. So if you want to have a mild flavor, then white peppercorn is best for you. It has a simple light and earthy flavor. Consider white pepper if you don’t like hotness in food.

Shelf life

Black peppercorns are thoroughly dried, so they don’t have moisture. You can store black peppercorns for more than one year in air-tight jars. But as time passes, its flavor losses its specialty, especially in ground form. You may see built in-ground bottles for the peppers—this technique helps to preserve black pepper with its full flavor.

Moreover, white peppers are more prone to deterioration and mostly turn pale with time. It also loses flavor fastly than black pepper. So make sure you have fresh white peppers while cooking.


Both have their place in different dishes. It is the main difference between them because both are entirely different in their appearance, especially in color. Black pepper is for food that already has colors. White pepper is the primary ingredient in soups, sauces that require taste instead of pigments.

Can black pepper substitute white pepper and vice versa?

You can use both or anyone that you have in many dishes. Both of them can easily substitute with each other. The only thing that is important to note is color in some foods, like in cream sauces. Black peppers may destroy the appearance of some dishes that don’t require any color.

You can use black pepper if you don’t have any problem with grounded black specks as both have a slight difference in taste.

Make sure that you mol recipe according to pepper as both have different hotness levels.

Which is more expensive?

White pepper has more processing steps as compared to black pepper. So white pepper is more expensive than black.

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