1. Don’t Open Up A Can
After hours of cooking, canned beans will turn mushy compared to dried beans soaked overnight in salted water.
2. Brown Your Meat
Before adding the liquid and other ingredients, brown off the meat to develop a deeper flavor. Ground beef is standard but don’t overlook chuck roast, brisket or even bone-in short ribs.
3. Go For Dried Chiles Over “Chili Spice”
Most supermarket chili spices resembled finely ground colored cardboard. Trust us, it’s easy and interesting to become a chili mixologist and create your own.
Pasilla, Ancho and Guajillo are a good start. Toast the dried peppers over high heat, cover with boiling water for 30 mins and puree. You won’t crawl back to powder again.
If you want to go the spice route, try Oaktown Spice Shop
4. Season Throughout Cooking
Don’t just add salt at the end. Soaking the beans in salted water will keep them together better during cooking and seasoning the meat when browning will yield better results.
5. Toast Your Spices
Many chili recipes call for cumin or coriander. Toast spices in a dry skillet until fragrant before grinding in a coffee grinder, mortar and pestle or by crushing under a frying pan on the cutting board.
6. Add Flavor Bombs
Cinnamon, ground coffee, bacon, tomato paste and even 70%+ chocolate will add another level of flavor.
7. Top It Off
People love to customize. Offer up a couple options from sour cream and sliced jalapeños to fresh lime and grated Monterey jack cheese.