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How to Make Chili

How to Make Chili

Learn how to make chili in a few simple steps

Chili gets its name from one of its ingredients: chiles (sometimes referred to as chili peppers).

Whether you like it mild or red hot, chili is a cold-weather favorite. And, chances are good you’ve come across quite a few different chili recipes. Regardless of whether you want to make a chicken chili or a more traditional red chili with beef, there are a few basic steps you should always follow.

• To make a meat-based chili, start by browning the meat and draining off any excess fat that remains after the chili is cooked.
• If you’re adding vegetables to your chili (like onions or peppers), sauté them until they’re translucent then add them to the chili meat.
• After the meat is fully cooked (and any vegetables have been added) simmer the mixture for at least one an hour with tomato sauce and spices, adding small amounts of water to the chili periodically, if needed.
• If you’re adding beans to your chili, add them at the end of the cooking process.

Click here for our best chili recipes.

Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.


How to Use Dried Chiles for Beef Chili

Learn how to belnd your own chili powder for a better beef chili.

Want to know the easiest way to make better beef chili? Dump the commercial chili powder. This mixture of cumin, dried chile, sugar, salt and garlic powder, among other things, usually has a dusty, muted flavor. (Especially if you’ve had yours on the shelf for years.)

Instead, you can blend your own chili powder using single varietal ground chiles, each of which has its own nuances and flavors. For example, widely available ground ancho chile is mild, earthy, fruity and a little smoky, but not as smoky as ground chipotle (which is also quite a bit spicier).

If you want an even more complex dish and don’t mind a little extra work, use whole dried chiles instead of ground. After ripping off the stems and dumping out the seeds, soak them in very hot water for 15 to 30 minutes, until very soft. Blend the chiles with the soaking water to create a silky and seriously flavorful liquid to add to your chili.

This recipe from Boston chef Tony Maws is a delicious example of a beef chili based on dried chiles.

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.


How to Use Dried Chiles for Beef Chili

Learn how to belnd your own chili powder for a better beef chili.

Want to know the easiest way to make better beef chili? Dump the commercial chili powder. This mixture of cumin, dried chile, sugar, salt and garlic powder, among other things, usually has a dusty, muted flavor. (Especially if you’ve had yours on the shelf for years.)

Instead, you can blend your own chili powder using single varietal ground chiles, each of which has its own nuances and flavors. For example, widely available ground ancho chile is mild, earthy, fruity and a little smoky, but not as smoky as ground chipotle (which is also quite a bit spicier).

If you want an even more complex dish and don’t mind a little extra work, use whole dried chiles instead of ground. After ripping off the stems and dumping out the seeds, soak them in very hot water for 15 to 30 minutes, until very soft. Blend the chiles with the soaking water to create a silky and seriously flavorful liquid to add to your chili.

This recipe from Boston chef Tony Maws is a delicious example of a beef chili based on dried chiles.

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.


How to Use Dried Chiles for Beef Chili

Learn how to belnd your own chili powder for a better beef chili.

Want to know the easiest way to make better beef chili? Dump the commercial chili powder. This mixture of cumin, dried chile, sugar, salt and garlic powder, among other things, usually has a dusty, muted flavor. (Especially if you’ve had yours on the shelf for years.)

Instead, you can blend your own chili powder using single varietal ground chiles, each of which has its own nuances and flavors. For example, widely available ground ancho chile is mild, earthy, fruity and a little smoky, but not as smoky as ground chipotle (which is also quite a bit spicier).

If you want an even more complex dish and don’t mind a little extra work, use whole dried chiles instead of ground. After ripping off the stems and dumping out the seeds, soak them in very hot water for 15 to 30 minutes, until very soft. Blend the chiles with the soaking water to create a silky and seriously flavorful liquid to add to your chili.

This recipe from Boston chef Tony Maws is a delicious example of a beef chili based on dried chiles.

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.


How to Use Dried Chiles for Beef Chili

Learn how to belnd your own chili powder for a better beef chili.

Want to know the easiest way to make better beef chili? Dump the commercial chili powder. This mixture of cumin, dried chile, sugar, salt and garlic powder, among other things, usually has a dusty, muted flavor. (Especially if you’ve had yours on the shelf for years.)

Instead, you can blend your own chili powder using single varietal ground chiles, each of which has its own nuances and flavors. For example, widely available ground ancho chile is mild, earthy, fruity and a little smoky, but not as smoky as ground chipotle (which is also quite a bit spicier).

If you want an even more complex dish and don’t mind a little extra work, use whole dried chiles instead of ground. After ripping off the stems and dumping out the seeds, soak them in very hot water for 15 to 30 minutes, until very soft. Blend the chiles with the soaking water to create a silky and seriously flavorful liquid to add to your chili.

This recipe from Boston chef Tony Maws is a delicious example of a beef chili based on dried chiles.

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.


How to Use Dried Chiles for Beef Chili

Learn how to belnd your own chili powder for a better beef chili.

Want to know the easiest way to make better beef chili? Dump the commercial chili powder. This mixture of cumin, dried chile, sugar, salt and garlic powder, among other things, usually has a dusty, muted flavor. (Especially if you’ve had yours on the shelf for years.)

Instead, you can blend your own chili powder using single varietal ground chiles, each of which has its own nuances and flavors. For example, widely available ground ancho chile is mild, earthy, fruity and a little smoky, but not as smoky as ground chipotle (which is also quite a bit spicier).

If you want an even more complex dish and don’t mind a little extra work, use whole dried chiles instead of ground. After ripping off the stems and dumping out the seeds, soak them in very hot water for 15 to 30 minutes, until very soft. Blend the chiles with the soaking water to create a silky and seriously flavorful liquid to add to your chili.

This recipe from Boston chef Tony Maws is a delicious example of a beef chili based on dried chiles.

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.


How to Use Dried Chiles for Beef Chili

Learn how to belnd your own chili powder for a better beef chili.

Want to know the easiest way to make better beef chili? Dump the commercial chili powder. This mixture of cumin, dried chile, sugar, salt and garlic powder, among other things, usually has a dusty, muted flavor. (Especially if you’ve had yours on the shelf for years.)

Instead, you can blend your own chili powder using single varietal ground chiles, each of which has its own nuances and flavors. For example, widely available ground ancho chile is mild, earthy, fruity and a little smoky, but not as smoky as ground chipotle (which is also quite a bit spicier).

If you want an even more complex dish and don’t mind a little extra work, use whole dried chiles instead of ground. After ripping off the stems and dumping out the seeds, soak them in very hot water for 15 to 30 minutes, until very soft. Blend the chiles with the soaking water to create a silky and seriously flavorful liquid to add to your chili.

This recipe from Boston chef Tony Maws is a delicious example of a beef chili based on dried chiles.

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.


How to Use Dried Chiles for Beef Chili

Learn how to belnd your own chili powder for a better beef chili.

Want to know the easiest way to make better beef chili? Dump the commercial chili powder. This mixture of cumin, dried chile, sugar, salt and garlic powder, among other things, usually has a dusty, muted flavor. (Especially if you’ve had yours on the shelf for years.)

Instead, you can blend your own chili powder using single varietal ground chiles, each of which has its own nuances and flavors. For example, widely available ground ancho chile is mild, earthy, fruity and a little smoky, but not as smoky as ground chipotle (which is also quite a bit spicier).

If you want an even more complex dish and don’t mind a little extra work, use whole dried chiles instead of ground. After ripping off the stems and dumping out the seeds, soak them in very hot water for 15 to 30 minutes, until very soft. Blend the chiles with the soaking water to create a silky and seriously flavorful liquid to add to your chili.

This recipe from Boston chef Tony Maws is a delicious example of a beef chili based on dried chiles.

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.


How to Use Dried Chiles for Beef Chili

Learn how to belnd your own chili powder for a better beef chili.

Want to know the easiest way to make better beef chili? Dump the commercial chili powder. This mixture of cumin, dried chile, sugar, salt and garlic powder, among other things, usually has a dusty, muted flavor. (Especially if you’ve had yours on the shelf for years.)

Instead, you can blend your own chili powder using single varietal ground chiles, each of which has its own nuances and flavors. For example, widely available ground ancho chile is mild, earthy, fruity and a little smoky, but not as smoky as ground chipotle (which is also quite a bit spicier).

If you want an even more complex dish and don’t mind a little extra work, use whole dried chiles instead of ground. After ripping off the stems and dumping out the seeds, soak them in very hot water for 15 to 30 minutes, until very soft. Blend the chiles with the soaking water to create a silky and seriously flavorful liquid to add to your chili.

This recipe from Boston chef Tony Maws is a delicious example of a beef chili based on dried chiles.

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.


How to Use Dried Chiles for Beef Chili

Learn how to belnd your own chili powder for a better beef chili.

Want to know the easiest way to make better beef chili? Dump the commercial chili powder. This mixture of cumin, dried chile, sugar, salt and garlic powder, among other things, usually has a dusty, muted flavor. (Especially if you’ve had yours on the shelf for years.)

Instead, you can blend your own chili powder using single varietal ground chiles, each of which has its own nuances and flavors. For example, widely available ground ancho chile is mild, earthy, fruity and a little smoky, but not as smoky as ground chipotle (which is also quite a bit spicier).

If you want an even more complex dish and don’t mind a little extra work, use whole dried chiles instead of ground. After ripping off the stems and dumping out the seeds, soak them in very hot water for 15 to 30 minutes, until very soft. Blend the chiles with the soaking water to create a silky and seriously flavorful liquid to add to your chili.

This recipe from Boston chef Tony Maws is a delicious example of a beef chili based on dried chiles.

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.


How to Use Dried Chiles for Beef Chili

Learn how to belnd your own chili powder for a better beef chili.

Want to know the easiest way to make better beef chili? Dump the commercial chili powder. This mixture of cumin, dried chile, sugar, salt and garlic powder, among other things, usually has a dusty, muted flavor. (Especially if you’ve had yours on the shelf for years.)

Instead, you can blend your own chili powder using single varietal ground chiles, each of which has its own nuances and flavors. For example, widely available ground ancho chile is mild, earthy, fruity and a little smoky, but not as smoky as ground chipotle (which is also quite a bit spicier).

If you want an even more complex dish and don’t mind a little extra work, use whole dried chiles instead of ground. After ripping off the stems and dumping out the seeds, soak them in very hot water for 15 to 30 minutes, until very soft. Blend the chiles with the soaking water to create a silky and seriously flavorful liquid to add to your chili.

This recipe from Boston chef Tony Maws is a delicious example of a beef chili based on dried chiles.

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.


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