Making Life Delicious Since 1983

Chili Secrets For The Best Pot Ever

There are at least a million ways to make a pot of chili and every cook has their own favorite methods and/or secret ingredients, but encase you’re looking for a few tricks to a more delicious pot of chili, we’re sharing some delicious ideas!

Secret Ingredients

Everyone has their favorite but a few top-secret ingredients we’ve either enjoyed or know of others that enjoy include:

  • for a rich flavor, depth addition try espresso powder (finely ground coffee), cocoa powder, or cinnamon. Liquid Smoke is also a great flavor addition for some deep special flavor!
  • many people will add a shot of bourbon, beer, sherry, or brandy for a smooth edge with a little kick in the bite. You could also try adding our Beer Extract Powder or Bourbon Powder!
  • Roast your bell peppers instead of sauteing… roasting in the oven green or red bell peppers actually bring out their natural sweetness and is a great addition to the chili pot.
  • Adding broth (beef or chicken) to your liquid will bring another aspect of richness to the chili’s juices.





Bloom Your Spices

We’ve shared before about how much of an amazing difference ‘blooming’ your spices before adding to the pot will make and chili is a perfect place to use this technique! It’s not always about what spices you use, but rather how you use them. Adding salt and chili spices at the end won’t infuse the dish with true depth of flavor. Instead, bring out the flavor of the spices by adding them when you brown the meat or soften the onions. This “blooming” process of heating up the spice in a little fat allows for all the spice’s essential flavor oils to release into the dish.



Add Bite For Flavor Boost

Sometimes after a long simmer, your chili will taste wonderful be maybe missing one little thing you can’t figure out. Try a tad bit of vinegar or a squeeze of lime! The acidity in vinegar & limes bring a good roundness to the pot and binds all the flavors together. Only use no more than one tablespoon per pot, starting out with less and adding as you simmer a bit more, then taste. Some ciders that work best are apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or sherry vinegar, though any kind of vinegar on hand will get the job done and give your chili the boost it needs.



The Perfect Thickness

Obtaining the right level of thickness for your chili is essential. Cooking your chili uncovered with the lid off on a simmer for 20-30 minutes will help to thin the pot. If even after a long simmer you still find your chili too runny try adding a little masa harina corn flour, or simply try mashing up some of the beans and simmer a bit longer.




Tame The Acidity

Maybe sometimes you find your chili too bitter or acidic? Often times this is from the tomatoes. There are a few easy tricks to cut the acidic taste. These tips also work great on your stews and soups that can tend to be too acidic due to tomatoes.

    • Baking Soda: if your pot is almost done cooking but there is some acidic bite to the taste, the easiest trick is adding a small amount of baking soda at the end of cooking. Baking soda will neutralize the acid rather than mask it.  Use 1/4 tsp for every serving in the pot, sprinkle it evenly around the top of the batch, and then stir it in well, once the bubbles have stopped it’s ready for serving. BE CAREFUL to not add too much as it could become a bit soap tasting and REDUCE your salt in the recipe or add at the end because if you do need to use the baking soda method backing soda will bring out a saltiness in the process.
    • Add A Little Sweet: adding a naturally sweet ingredient will help balance the acidity and add a delicious flavor aspect. Consider using sugar (brown sugar is best due to it dissolving nicely), molasses, honey. For a naturally sweet veggie addition try shredded sweet carrots, sweet potato, or even canned pumpkin. You could also use our Maple Powder or Honey Granules as a delicious dry alternative that is simply dehydrated maple and dehydrated honey.
    • Dairy: Dairy products contain a chemical called Casein and it acts as a buffer and can ‘absorb’ some of the acidity from a dish. Butter, milk, sour cream, yogurt, and cheese all contain Casein.
    • Starch Add-In: an old-time cooking trick is when your dish is too acidic, put half a peeled potato in the sauce, leave it for half an hour and then take it out again. Instant Potato flakes, masa and corn meal also work as starch additives.

Fire It Up

Adding some heat to your chili might be a winner as well!



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