How to Take the Grease Taste Out of Chili

Chili can be delicious and nutritious.
Chili can be delicious and nutritious. (Image: ITStock Free/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

There's nothing like the comforting warmth of your favorite chili. A piping hot bowl of this traditional American fare makes for a satisfying lunch or dinner, especially during cooler months. But as delicious as it is, sometimes chili leaves a greasy aftertaste, which isn't good for your palate or your health. This unpleasant taste is the result of high animal fat content from the ground meat. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this side effect. All it takes is a few tweaks of your favorite chili recipe.

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Choose your ground meat wisely. Buy lean or extra ground meat, ideally with a 93/7 or 95/5 fat ratio. Less expensive, higher-fat meat is responsible for chili's greasy aftertaste. Lower-fat ground beef can be just as flavorful as fattier meat, especially once you add seasonings, onions and beans.

Lean beef has flavor without the fat.
Lean beef has flavor without the fat. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Rinse ground meat after cooking, Put the beef in a colander and gently run water over it to rinse off the fat. Then wipe the pan clean with a paper towel, leaving a little fat for taste. This removes much of the grease that is released from the meat while cooking. Add seasonings and spices after you rinse the meat.

Go vegetarian. Use beans instead of meat. Aside from traditional kidney beans, there are a wide variety to choose from -- black beans, navy beans, pinto beans and butter beans are all good picks. Beans are high in protein and fiber and have very little to no fat, making them a healthy choice for chili. Beans don't contain animal fat so they won't leave a greasy aftertaste.

Beans make delicious, hearty chili.
Beans make delicious, hearty chili. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Use ground skinless turkey breast in lieu of ground beef. Regular ground turkey contains both white and dark meat and can have as much fat as ground beef. But ground skinless turkey breast has only 1 to 3 percent fat, the key to kicking that oily taste.

Ground turkey breast is a good alternative to ground beef.
Ground turkey breast is a good alternative to ground beef. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Tips & Warnings

  • If ground turkey breast is too dry, add extra seasonings and tomato paste.


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