How to punch up chili?

I made chili for an office thing tomorrow. When I made it yesterday it was perfect, but I heated up a bowl tonight and it had mellowed considerably overnight in the fridge.

What would you suggest to punch it up? I could just add more spices, but I don’t want it to get that grainy, sandy texture you get when there’s too much powdered spices in something.

Did anyone else read this as “How to punch a child?” and do a double take?
I’d chop up peppers and add them.

Chop up a bunch of serranos or jalapenos, cook them in a little oil, then stir the whole mess into the chili. You can also bloom some more cumin in the oil while you’re at it.

Add chili sauce? Heat up some oil, fry the spices in it (and some extra garlic), and stir the fried mixture into the chili?

Frank’s Hot Sauce. I put that sh*t on everything! :smiley:


Heat in oil to release the flavor compounds. Just the thing for bringing out all the flavor of your spices.

A teaspoon of vinegar will brighten up the flavour quite a bit.

That was going to be my suggestion.

Got any booze in there? Peppers have flavor and aroma compounds that are water soluble, oil soluble and alcohol soluble. The best chilis, then, have water, fat and booze. I’m partial to a splash of tequila, but beer or even vodka will work in a pinch. It will make your chili more complex and rounded in flavor even if you don’t add more peppers.

For liquid I used beer and some beef broth.

This is my advice. Doesn’t have to be fresh serranos or jalapenos, either, just chile peppers in oil. Don’t scortch 'em.

I like chipotle peppers in chili.

Bring along a bottle of Tobasco sauce or something similar and set it alongside the chili so that those who want it hotter can make it so.

Think I’m just going to have to do this. I don’t have any more peppers on hand and I don’t have time to hit the store and do any more cooking tonight.

Thanks for the help, all.

But that doesn’t mean to stop with the suggestions; I’m always striving to improve my chili chops.

Some general chili notes: this is the first time I didn’t use ground meat; chuck roast just happened to be on sale so I used that. I am quite pleased with the results. It was definitely a lot more work to cut out the silver skin and trim the big veins of fat, but it seems to be worth the extra effort. I was nervous it wouldn’t get tender but a good 4 hours of simmering really got my once rubbery cubes to fall apart quite nicely.

+1 to the tequila idea. I used to use it to win chili cook offs.

No tequila. All I got is Canadian Club and a nip of Skyy vodka.

Huh, that explains that, then. Last time I made my beanless habañero special — not half bad in its own right, if I do say so myself — a friend and I were hanging out and drinking vodka (Polar Ice, if you wanted to know). After adding the last ingredients and covering it for the final simmer, I called for a toast to its pending excellence. As I poured, my friend asked if I shouldn’t pour a shot for the chili, too. I agreed, so I threw a few ounces in and gave it a quick stir.

Best damn chili I ever made…and now I know why. Thanks! :slight_smile:

Pet peeve. Not targeting you specifically. Habanero.No enye.

I did not kñow that!