Most folks prefer their chili thicker but sometimes what you cook end up with is soupier. Here’s how to thicken chili. The key is to be able to thicken up the chili without really affecting the favor of the chili.
Some chili recipes with beans will thicken up in to pot so you don’t need to worry so much about how to thicken up the chili. However, some recipes end up a little more soupier, and those of us who prefer their chili a little more thicker will want some tips on how to thicken up their chili.
Evaporate Excess Water
One simple method on how to thicken chili is to just let the excess water evaporate. Basically you are concentrating the chili. Remove the lid and sit your chili on low heat (so you don’t burn your chili) and then let the excess water slowly evaporate. Check every 20 minutes and stir the pot. The only drawback to this method is that it’s slow, usually it takes about an hour for the excess water to evaporate to the level that gives your chili the thickness you want. However, you preserve the flavor of your chili because you’re not adding any additional ingredients.
Add Cornmeal, Cornstarch or Flour
Another great cooking method to thicken up chili is to add either white or yellow cornmeal to the chili. Don’t use coarse-grind cornmeal. Try something this is fine to medium grain.
Another ingredient that folks like to add to thicken up chili is fine corn flour made from hominy (called masa harina). Adding this will thicken up your chili also.
Cornstarch is a common agent to thicken up soups, stews and sauces, so it’s a sure ingredient to add to your chili to thicken it up. Combine a tablespoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of cold water and mix them really well, and then add that to your chili.
Turn Some Beans Into Paste
Another way to thicken your chili is to take out some of the beans in your chili. Take out about half a cup and mash them up in a blender. What you get is bean paste. After you finish, add this back into your chili and stir, then let the chili cook for a few more minutes.
Add Crackers or Cheese
A tried and true method for how to thicken up chili is add crackers to the chili before eating. You can add as much crackers as you want based on your thickness preference. You can also experiments with different kinds of crackers to refine the taste of your chili.
Related to the cracker method is to add cheese to thicken up the chili. Most people usually use grated cheese and add as much as they want until they get the desired thickness.
Mash That Chili
Here’s a method that will work well if you have a potato masher. If you chili is soupy, use the potato masher to mash the chili. What happens is as you mash the chili, the beans and vegetables will release starches, which naturally make the chili thicker. Try this method but don’t over smash the chili.
Most folks like their chili at a little thick. It’s called chili and not soup. If you follow any of the tips on how to thicken chili above, you’ll find you can have the delicious, thick chili without much fuss or mess.