For some reason the last three dishes I've cooked seem to get spicer leftover the next day. When they do obtain close to room temp they've all been stored in Pyrex and placed in the same fridge but cooked in different intervals (weeks apart). All three dishes have been cooked in the same 12 quart cast iron dutch oven.

The three dishes are from scratch and do contain fragrant spices:

  • Chili
  • Jambalaya
  • Chicken Tikka Masala

All three are tomato based but for some reason they all seem to get spicer as leftovers. After I bring them to a boil I do simmer them from anywhere to 10-30 mins depending on the recipe. Am I possibly not simmering them enough or am I missing something in the process?

When I search for an answer the closet read I could find was: "Why do spicy foods get hotter in the fridge?"

1 Answer 1


"Capsaicin is soluble in alcohol, but very little in water. Because of the burning sensation caused by capsaicin when it comes in contact with mucous membranes, it is commonly used in food products to give them added spice or "heat" (piquancy)."

Time was your magic ingredient. More capsaicin became soluble. I find rich dishes have no surprise punch reheated:

"Food that's high in oil or fat dissolves the capsaicin, so it can't continue to bind heat receptors. ... Full fat sour cream or ice cream."

  • So you're saying the only way to get the true flavor is cook it the night before?
    – user9447
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 21:24
  • Darth-- a lot of curries will "bloom" the spices in hot oil as part of the cooking process. This is intended to help solubilize those spices in oil (rather than water). But for some things really are better the next day (I think chili is one of those things)
    – AMtwo
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 21:54
  • Chile and other spice flavors generally max out on day two. In almost any dish. Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 1:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.