Chili -- got a go-to spice/herb blend for your favorite Chili recipe?

pnwoutdoors

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Like many people, I've toyed with various recipes for making chili, over the years, but I've never gotten the spices and herbs right. It tastes okay, but certainly nothing people clamor for.

What's your go-to, preferred combination of spices and herbs you use in your chili?

If you're willing to divulge, what amounts of these spices and herbs do you use (for a given size pot of chili)?
 

bykfixer

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Good thread idea!

I know people who guard their recipe like it's a formula for Dr Pepper or something.

I just toss a pound of browned ground pork and a bag of Carrol Shelby's chilli mix together in a crock pot. Add a 16oz can of chilli beans. Start it on low at about 8am and enjoy some chilli at about 6pm.
 

kerneldrop

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I keep it super simple. I use ground hamburger, Williams salt free chili seasoning, ranch style beans, fire roasted tomatoes. I'm 10 miles from Texas but want beans in my chili.

2 saltine crackers per bite + sharp cheddar

I do heavily brown the meat in a cast iron Dutch oven…the browned meat plus all the fond is the foundation and will make a difference.

Michael Simon and Geoffrey Zakarian have good chili videos…I think they keep it simple, too.
 

louie

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Yes, the spice mix is the whole deal, you can do anything you want. I am a cheapskate and don't do exotic ingedients - think much of what's at Costco. And I have no authentic chili experience, but here's what I'm currently doing.

I usually use frozen ground beef patties (Costco) just because it's convenient for me. A lot of fresh chopped onions and garlic, sweated or browned with the beef. A lot of normal McCormick chili powder (Costco size), like 1/4 cup for a 3 quart final batch of chili. The tiny bottles of it aren't going to cut it. McCormick is pretty mild, so I add some cayenne and pepper flakes for the heat. Some people will do combinations of various dried/canned chilis. A good spoonful of ground cumin, like a tablespoon for my 3 quart batch. Cumin is a very common chili flavoring. A pinch of Mexican oregano. Some salt to taste - probably not a low-sodium food, you need some salt. Many people add some masa corn flour (used to make tortillas) as a thickener, just be careful to use a technique that avoids lumps. I seldom keep masa around, so I use a spoonful of corn meal, which ends up grainier, but doesn't bother me. I even add a can of beans if I have it around. I do add canned tomatoes, partially pureed in the food processor or blender. Some people will also add tomato sauce and/or paste.

Some people mention ingredients like a little coffee, cocoa powder, beer, soy sauce, etc but I haven't found these to my liking.
 

orbital

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Make my own Tex-Mex blend in bulk::


Kosher salt
granulated garlic
smoked Paprika
ground Chipotle pepper
ground chili pepper
ground Cumin
freshly ground whole dried Arbol Chilies (or your fav heat maker, ground in coffee grinder)
..maybe a bit of whatever else you like😃

>All the amounts are to taste
 

DRW

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This is my recipe. The meat is usually venison.
 

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kerneldrop

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Sautéing the spices in a heavy bottom pan will waken them up and bring out a flavor that doesn't come out when you just add the powders to the water

Pair that with a really browned ground meat and you'll get a much deeper flavor
 

louie

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Made me make another batch yesterday! I try to rotate some sort of soup/stew so I always have something handy.

This time, I had some old Hatch hot red chili to use up, so used that instead of grocery store cayenne and flakes. Most grocery stores have an ethnic food section with a variety of dried chilies, which I want to try after figuring out the heat or flavor of them. I also realize that sauce-to-meat ratio is another personal choice - I like mine a little soupy rather than thick and chunky, which I like better over rice or pasta (Cincinati style).

I also remembered that I add a little ground cilantro, but it looks like my base sauce flavoring is 90% ordinary chili powder from Costco.

I agree that you should brown the raw meat, draining the meat fat if you want and replacing with cooking oil for browning the onions, garlic, spices. I use ground beef and haven't tried cuts. Leftover Thanksgiving turkey was fine, but tofu left me wanting the beef.
 

rwolfenstein

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I make a black bean turkey chili:

1 LB ground turkey
2 cans drained black beans
2 cans drained kidney beans
2 cans tomatoes with green chilis
1 diced yellow onion
1 package hot chili seasoning
1 table spoon of garlic
1 diced serrano pepper (you can leave this out if you are sensitive to heat)
2 table spoon sriracha
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 dash of white pepper and smoke paprika

Simple recipe, you just cook up the meat with the onion and the garlic, add the seasonings and then add the remaining ingredients. As soon as it comes to a bubble, take it off heat and serve with corn bread.
 

pnwoutdoors

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Much prefer the freshness of freshly-ground spices. I just don't have a good combination, yet. (Have tried many. Greatly improves flavors over that of packaged mixes, IMO.)
 

AB8XL

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Hi all, I've been using the recipe below for about 20 years now and have won many competitions in my work places over the years.

2 - 28 oz cans sliced stewed tomatoes
1 - 40 oz can Brook's chili beans (can be mild or hot)
1 - 15.5 oz can garbanzo beans (drain and rise with water in collider)
1 - 15.5 oz can kidney beans (drain and rise with water in collider)
2 - pounds lean ground beef (cook down in a skillet and drain off any remaining grease)
1 - large white onion diced
1 - large green pepper diced
1 - 3 oz container of McCormick chili powder (can add more to taste)
1 - 16 oz container of Garden Fresh Jack's Special Medium Salsa (located usually by the deli)

This will almost fill a 7 quart slow cooker, can be cooked on low or high stirring every hour, done usually in 6 to 8 hours.

Of course adding diced habaneros and jalapenos are a great addition for added heat and flavor.

I used 18 fresh habaneros from my garden for last years contest and took first place again. :)
 

kerneldrop

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Hi all, I've been using the recipe below for about 20 years now and have won many competitions in my work places over the years.
1 - 16 oz container of Garden Fresh Jack's Special Medium Salsa (located usually by the deli)

Geoffrey Zakarian swears by adding salsa at the very end to his chili... i couldn't bring myself to trying it but I'll have to give it a try
 

pnwoutdoors

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I've really become a fan of this flat iron pepper company for a chance to freshly grind the peppers.. So good.

Those look good.

I do much the same, homemade. Make all my own spice+herb blends from scratch. Grind up smaller amounts, from the seeds, corns and dried leaves.

My own "chili" powder blend contains the basic ground dried powder from chipoltle, ancho (poblano dried) and habanero, similar to the Flat Iron Pepper Company's blend. But with several additional ingredients similar to the McCormick's "chili powder" blend that contains thyme, oregano, garlic, cumin, coriander. Continuing to toy with the spices and herbs, to get the "right" blend. Haven't found it yet.
 

louie

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Adding some fresh salsa sounds like a great idea - mostly the same ingredients but different proportions.
 

TPA

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Here's what I use. It's an amalgamation of multiple recipes, but works quite nicely. I usually cook it in the Instant Pot. :

Meat
1.5-2 pounds ground beef, wild game, ground turkey, ground chicken, chunk meat, etc.

Tomato-y things:
2 10 oz. cans Rotel (chunky, but any work), drained
1 Rotel can water
1 8 oz can tomato sauce

Vegetables and such:
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 tsp minced garlic

Peppers, your choice, pick one of the 4 options. All diced with seeds removed:
1-2 poblano peppers or a green pepper (mild)
1 small jalapeño pepper, (medium)
1 small habanero pepper, (hot)
2 Thai chili peppers or 2 Carolina Reapers (HOT!! if I'm making it just for myself)

Beans Beans the Musical Fruit:
2x 16 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Spices
1/3 cup chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano powder
2 tsp paprika or smoked paprika (preferred)
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp Hoisin sauce
1/4 cup taco sauce
2 tsp Worstershire sauce
1 tsp celery salt
4tbsp Better than Boullion. Usually beef, but vegetable, chicken, etc., whichever matches the meat you're using
dash of Liquid Smoke
Hot sauce! I usually use Tijuana Flat's Spank My *** and Call Me Sally. Added in small amounts it adds to the taste. In larger amounts it adds to the heat. In lieu of this, Siracha sauce will do.

Cooking stuff:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter


Optional: 1/2 cup of cheap beer. I've also used a Pinot Noir.
Lizano sauce (Costa Rica's version of Ketchup). This stuff is amazing on just about anything.
Pico de gallo
Cilantro. To some people it tastes like soap. To me it tastes great. I usually save this for batches I make solely for myself, with tha forementioned hot peppers.
 

raggie33

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those who don't use beans should be jailed!!!!!! ok not really but dang i rather skip the meats then the beans ..
 
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