How to Thicken Chili- 4 Simple Ways to Thicken Your Red Chili

Chili is the shortened term of a dish named ‘Chili con Carne’, which translates into ‘chili with meat.’ This dish originally came from northern Mexico or southern Texas. This is a popular main dish mainly consisting of chili peppers, meat, tomatoes, various kinds of spices, and sometimes red kidney beans. However, Texans tend not to like the last ingredient added to the dish. 

What is chili?

Chili or Chili con Carne is a very popular spiced stew dish that Texans have recognized to be their official dish on May 11, 1977. It is known by the name chili in Us and Canada and known by Chili con Carne in Uk and Australia. This dish has a lot of resemblances and similarities with another well-known dish named Bolognese. 

What is chili

What does it mean by thickening chili?

You asked the right question. What does it mean by thickening chili? It means to lower the chili ingredients in the same amount of recipes or curries. By this, you get more tasty curry or vegetable recipes.

Causes of thin chili:

Since chili is a dish that should be thick in consistency, there are a few reasons why yours may end up being the opposite. Before we learn what thickens chili, it’s important to learn what does not. 

Adding too much liquid:

Although water is an essential ingredient for most items, one should always be careful when it comes to its amount. Too much or too little can both hinder the taste of their dish. And as for Chili, adding too much water can hinder both its taste and consistency. Since the amount of more or less every ingredient in every dish differs with the amount you’re cooking, there is no one-for-all rule on how much water you should use in your chili.

Cooking it for a short amount of time:

Since a short cooking time can ruin the consistency of the chili and high heat can lead your ingredients to clump up with the pot and burn, the trick is to cook it for a long time on low heat. 

Adding too much stock:

Whether it’s chicken or beef stock, adding more than a necessary amount of it can increase the watery compounds of the dish and therefore thin its consistency. 

Adding too many fresh tomatoes:

Another good reason for increased water compounds in your dish is adding too many fresh tomatoes as they release water when cooked. 

How to thicken chili: (4 Easy Ways)

Since we now know the reasons your chili may have a thin consistency to begin with, let’s learn the steps we can take to fix the problem:

Thickcen Chili in your Curry or recipe in minutes:

  1. Turn down your heat or stove
  2. Adding thikcening agents like flour, oats, cornmeal etc
  3. Adding vegetables or beans
  4. Adding chips like potato chips, corn chips, tortilla chips, etc
  5. Adding Shredded Cheese

1. Cooking it for a longer period of time:

Turn down the heat on your stove and let the watery compounds of your dish simmer for at least 5-10 minutes. 

2. Adding thickening agents:

Certain thickening agents such as cornstarch or all-purpose flour, oats, cornmeal, masa harina, etc can help thicken the consistency of your chili even if you’ve accidentally added more liquids. If you’re using cornmeal, make sure to let it simmer with your dish on low heat for about 5-10 minutes. And if you want to use all-purpose flour, you should avoid adding it directly to your dish while it’s on the stove because the heat will not let the flour dissolve with it.

Instead, grab a separate bowl and mix about one tablespoon of all-purpose flour and the same amount of normal to cold water. Then you can add the mixture directly to your dish. And regarding oats, just make sure to set the stove on medium-high heat for just a few minutes to let the oats absorb some of the extra liquid. 

3. Add vegetables and/or beans:

Since many people, mainly Texans, do not like including beans in their chili, adding vegetables will be an excellent way to not only thicken its consistency but also add a lot more flavor. Although what vegetables you use completely depends on your preferences, people commonly use carrots, potatoes, etc. But make sure to chop your vegetables into small pieces so that they soak up the excess liquid easily. 

4. Add chips:

Adding chips to your chili is an effective way of thickening it. You can choose any chips you prefer but mostly used are potato chips, corn chips, tortilla chips, etc. Make sure to crack them up a little before adding them to your chili. Keep in mind that this technique is also an effective way of thickening your chili post-cooking. Once you’re done removing it from heat and serving it in a bowl, add your preferred chips on top. 

So these were the steps you can take to thicken your chili and prevent it from having a thin consistency from the start.