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Old 11-19-2006, 07:29 AM   #1
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How to adjust consistency of homemade chili?

Not to sound dumb - but to get the same consistency of chili in the can do you do something special to the ground beef when you make it at home?

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Old 11-19-2006, 03:13 PM   #2
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hiya, lkcheat. Kinda depends on what else you're putting in with the ground beef. Give us some more information.
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Old 11-19-2006, 03:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkcheat
Not to sound dumb - but to get the same consistency of chili in the can do you do something special to the ground beef when you make it at home?
If you mean the thickness, we use tomato paste, which will give the chili structure. But as mudbug asked, what else is in your chili?
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Old 11-19-2006, 03:33 PM   #4
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Aside from draining the fat from the meat ... no. The problem with soupy chili isn't the beef. To "thicken your chili up" ... you can use one of these methods:

1) Limit the amount of moisture added (for example - drain diced tomatoes if you are using them and, heaven forbid, canned whole beans).

2) Simmer your chili for a couple of hours without the lid. This will help reduce the liquids and make the chili thicker. (this is my method ... I limit the amount of moisture I add and then simmer until a spoon stands up in it!)

3) You can thicken chili a couple of ways:
a) add a can of refried beans (I only do that after a couple of days when I want to make burritos)
b) Make a slurry of cornstarch or corn flour (masa harina) and water and add at the end of cooking time. (really not necessary if you cook your chili long enough - see #2 above)

Reheating a good thick chili requires (a) use a microwave oven (b) a double boiler so you don't scorch the bottom (you could probably get away with a nonstick pot if you stirred it almost constantly until hot).
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Old 11-19-2006, 03:40 PM   #5
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Michael and Katie gave you some good ideas. Here's another: chili always tastes better the next day, so go ahead and make it and wait a day before you eat it.

There's some kind of special mojo that happens to chili overnight that makes it even thicker and more yummier the next day.
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:10 AM   #6
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Cool a little help

Quote:
Originally Posted by lkcheat
Not to sound dumb - but to get the same consistency of chili in the can do you do something special to the ground beef when you make it at home?
you can cook the chili with the lid off the help the liquid evaporate or you can or drain the grease really good out of the meat. use some beans to absorb the liquids too.
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:58 AM   #7
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If you are making chili from fresh or dried chili peppers, then use less water to cook the chilis... then when you add the cooking water to the meat- it will be drier.
Also the beans. The beans may take up some of the water to make it thicker.

If you actually add tomato sauce, (which you don't really need) than careful of the amount. As you add the other things like beans- if you must- then also watch the liquid in the can. etc.

Tomato paste will help too, but if you have a real gusher... then the flour trick.
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Old 11-20-2006, 09:38 AM   #8
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Add masa harina or pureed beans. You'll probably have to tweak the seasoning a bit to account for these additions.

I set some beans aside after cooking them for just this purpose. I also add masa harina as I like the corny flavor it adds to the chili.

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Old 11-20-2006, 10:04 AM   #9
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Hopz sounds like a chili purist, which I would like to be if others in the house did not like the addition of beans and tomatoes.

But the definition of chili has apparently become quite loose (as has apparently that of martinis, a subject that should be discussed elsewhere).

First, as a suggestion, do not add too much liquid from the start.

Can take a few beans, mash them, and they will thicken it.

Have even had a chili that was thickened with a roux, it was a bit different and no chili head would approve, but it worked. And was surprisingly good.

Our chilis, which we have not made in a while, vary.

I am more of a chili purist, neither tomatoes nor beans, but usually cave on both.

Next time we make it think I will toss in some green olives.

I think they would work.

If I have to add tomatoes and beans to a stew that I cannot in good conscience call chili, I am going to add what I want.

Sorry for the venting. Have a great day.
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Old 11-20-2006, 11:33 AM   #10
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I'm with others who have aleady chimed in -- I use tomato paste if I need to thicken. But there are so many kinds of chili. I make green chili once a year, and tomato paste won't work for that. (a little cornstarch or wondra made into a slurry will do it, but just being careful when adding the water works best!). For my annual Christmas party I make Cincinnati chili (in other parts of the country you'll hear it called "Greek Chili" or "Greek spaghetti sauce")
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