How Would You Cool Down Chili That Has Too Much Chili Powder in It?

How Would You Cool Down Chili That Has Too Much Chili Powder in It? (Image: LauriPatterson/E+/GettyImages)

Have you ever found yourself saying, "My chili is too spicy"? It's easy to do. One minute you're dumping in ingredients and the next you have too much chili powder in chili. Choose one of several options for cooling down the too-spicy chili to match your tastes.

Add More Liquid

Liquid thins out your chili to dilute the spiciness. Just don't add too much liquid, or you'll end up with a runny mess.

Water works, but it can also dilute the overall flavor and leave it tasting bland. Try beef broth to tame the spice while adding flavor to the chili. You can also use tomato juice to ramp up the tomato flavor.

Add a little liquid at a time, tasting the chili as you go. Only add the amount of liquid you need to get the spice level under control. If you add too much liquid, let the chili simmer a little longer to help some of the extra liquid evaporate.

Add More Ingredients

Look at your chili recipe and see which ingredients you can increase to dilute the chili powder. Add more beans, meat, tomatoes or veggies depending on your recipe. Keep in mind that if you only add more of one ingredient, it will throw off the ratios and may affect the balance of flavors. Adding a little more of everything keeps the flavor intact while making the chili less spicy.

Add Citrus Flavor

Citrus flavors cut through the spiciness to make it seem less intense. Citrus and other acids pull in a different flavor to help create more balance. Squeeze fresh lemon or lime juice into your pot of spicy chili. Vinegar can also help since it's an acid.

Top With Dairy

Dairy works well for toning down spiciness. Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt works well mixed with chili ingredients. You can add it to the entire pot or let everyone add their own after serving. Shredded cheese added to the hot chili is another trick when you have too much chili powder in chili.

Sweeten the Chili

Sweet flavors help balance out the spice when you add too much chili powder in chili. You don't want to go overboard on the sweet, though. Dumping in too much sugar can make it inedible because of the sweetness.

Add just a pinch of sugar or honey. Taste the chili to see if it's less spicy. Add a little more sweetener if needed to tame the spice. Continue adding a touch of sweetness at a time and tasting each time to get the perfect balance.

Pair it With Cooling Sides

If your chili still seems a little too spicy, serve it with some cooling sides to help tame the flavor. Crush up tortilla chips to add to your bowl of chili. Serve it with cornbread, crusty bread or breadsticks to help cool the tongue between bites of chili.

Cool veggie dishes also work. Have your chili with coleslaw or a green salad topped with a cool, creamy dressing. You can alternate bites between the hot chili and the cooling sides to keep your tongue feeling better.

Avoid Too Much Chili Powder in Chili

It's possible to save your too-spicy chili with these fixes, but it's much easier to avoid the problem next time. Keep in mind that as you simmer your chili, the flavors, including the heat from chili powder, become more concentrated and intense. Always start with smaller amounts of chili powder to see how the flavor develops. Add more chili powder before serving if it's a little too cool for your taste buds.

Also consider heat from other ingredients. Maybe you used spicy chili beans or tomatoes with chilies in them. If you use other spicy ingredients, cut the amount of chili powder you add to account for the extra heat.

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