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Chili Ingredients: Master Them Today

Updated on August 28, 2012

Recipe for Chili

If you are looking for a new chili recipe rather than ways to improve your personal recipe check out my homemade chili recipe. You will be cooking great chili in no time.

Tips for Chili Ingredients

Most people already have a chili recipe. However, I also know that most people are always looking for a way to improve their personal chili recipe. Most types of chili include meat, chili powder, and tomatoes, but chili can be a lot more than that if you get a little creative. Here are some tips or ideas that you can play around with the next time you make chili

Tip 1: Meaty is Better

Don't just use beef. Beef plays a huge role in chili, but if you add venison or pork sausage it makes the flavors more interesting. You'll be shocked by how just adding a variety of meat to your beef chili recipe can improve it drastically. You could also try adding meats like bacon or even consider making a chicken chili.

Tip 2: Cumin and More Cumin

Don't be afraid of cumin. I can't stand it when people only use chili powder and some Italian spices. It makes a chili taste like a spicy bolognese meat sauce. That is fine when you are making a bolognese, but we are making chili. Cumin and chili powder make a match made in heaven so use some cumin in your chili. Don't be afraid to use a variety of spices for chili.

Tip 3: Chicken Stock not Beef Stock

Don't use beef stock or broth. Your chili is already filled with beef, I'm sure it is going to taste like beef. Try using chicken stock in your chili, I have found that it makes a huge difference. You can also try things like red wine or beer, but I prefer to use chicken stock in my chili. Be sure to cook off the alcohol in the wine or beer if you decide to go that route.

Tip 4: Don't Forget the Vegetables

Meat should be the star in your chili recipe, but don't forget about the vegetables. Vegetables improve the texture and flavor of a chili. No one wants to eat a pile of beef covered in sauce. People enjoy eating things with a bit of crunch or sweetness, so give it to them by adding vegetables. Vegetables also add color to a dish, which will make it more appealing and give people a better first impression of your dish.

Tip 5: Feeling Spicy?

Mix up the heat. Don't rely on one ingredient to add heat to your chili. Every pepper has its own unique flavor so make things interesting and mix up your peppers. Some peppers have a subtle heat where other peppers will smack you in the face. It's a good idea to mix up your peppers so that the spiciness of your chili becomes part of the flavor rather than just being hot.

Tip 6: People Love Toppings

Everyone loves toppings. When serving up your chili be sure to include a few things like cheddar cheese, crackers, sour cream, corn chips, and green onions. These toppings are what really finish off a great chili recipe. Plus, providing these allow people to prepare their chili the way they like it. It is also a good idea to provide sour cream for those who may find your chili too spicy. The sour cream will make it more bearable for those who are sensitive to hot food.

Tip 7: Mix up the Tomatoes

Tomatoes play a huge role in chili and that is exactly why you shouldn't overlook them. I recommend you mix up the size and types of tomatoes you use in your chili recipe. Try mixing diced tomatoes with stewed tomatoes. Each type of tomato has a different texture and taste, so experiment with what works best for you. Don't forget to add tomato paste as well.

Tip 8: Chili Beans

Beans are another essential ingredient in chili. I recommend you use two types of beans in any chili. I like to mix red kidney beans with light red kidney beans. It makes the chili more interesting by mixing up two flavors and textures. You may also want to try black beans or canned chili beans.

Tip 9: Long and Slow Cooking

Chili is always better when you cook it on low heat for a long time. I think that is probably why slow cooker chili is so popular. If you want a really good chili I suggest you make your chili the day before and allow it to sit in the refrigerator overnight. This allows the flavors to develop in the chili and will make it taste amazing. The next day you will just need to reheat the chili and serve it up to your friends and family.

Putting it All Together

Hopefully, these tips have got your creative juices flowing. Chile is a fascinating dish that everyone prepares very differently. If you are looking for a way to improve a recipe or a simple way to change things up I hope my chili tips have helped you. Chili is a fun dish to make and I think it is a great idea to experiment with flavors and ingredients when working on any chili recipe. Enjoy!


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    • Robin profile image

      Robin Edmondson 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Yumm. I make chili often and our kids love it, but it is usually with chicken. I think that you're right, the cumin is what really makes chili stand out! I also need to add the fritos, I know the kids would love that!

    • cardelean profile image

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      Love the photos and the guide! We love to add toppings to our chili, especially cheese and sour cream. Thanks for the great tips!

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      Hey kgala - great photos! Excellent tips too. Tempting! I usually hold off on the beans and I'm big on lots of toppings. I was glad to see the fritos - they are a great addition :)

    • Teresa Coppens profile image

      Teresa Coppens 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      You've provided some great ways to improve my chili. I will be trying out some of them!

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 5 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Lots of good ideas here, but I particularly like your suggestion of venison. I often buy this in winter, and it sounds like a great idea.

    • Lilleyth profile image

      Suzanne Sheffield 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      Good tips. I love chili. I like celery and onion in mine.

    • ithabise profile image

      Michael S. 5 years ago from Winston-Salem, NC

      Wonderful! Your photos are excellent.