I made this chili: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQ9eY0_DoEk

I ended up with a chili that, while robust, only gave a mild heat and a heavy tomato/meat flavor, even after excessive salting and peppering. This recipe has two whole jalapeños and half a habanero, so I am not positive this is intended.

There's a few things that could have gone wrong. First, I have never made chili from scratch, so I may have simply under-cooked it. Also, I accidentally added 2 tbsp cornmeal to the spice paste. But, I feel like these are unlikely.

The last difference is what I suspect to be my culprit - I had to blend the tomatoes and onions together in a food processor, due to somebody in the household being a picky eater who can't stand the texture of them. I added it in around the point the tomatoes are added in the recipe, opting to add only the peppers and garlic where the onions would have also been added.

Did this kill my chili's heat? And, if so, how do I avoid this from happening if I make it again? Or did something else do it? Am I missing something?

  • 3
    Hey, whenever you ask for help with a recipe, it's really helpful to your answerers if you include a link to a text version of the recipe. Asking them to watch a 15-minute video to answer your question doesn't get you good answers. The recipe is here: bingingwithbabish.com/recipes/2017/1/18/kevinschili?rq=chili – FuzzyChef Oct 6 at 2:54
  • I suggest you follow the recipe and see what happens. You did not have to blend tomatoes and onions together. – paparazzo Oct 6 at 2:55
  • 2
    Paparazzo, he explains why he did that in the question. – FuzzyChef Oct 6 at 2:57
  • @FuzzyChef He still not need to do them TOGETHER. – paparazzo Oct 6 at 3:00
  • Ah, I see your point. Still, I wouldn't expect that to affect the spice level, as I'll detail in my answer. – FuzzyChef Oct 6 at 3:02
up vote 5 down vote accepted

So, first, that chili recipe will always be heavily meat-flavored because it has 3lbs of beef in it; at a glance, that recipe is more than half beef by weight. So if you want a recipe with a subtler meat flavor, that's probably not the right recipe for you.

There are several possible reasons for it being less spicy than you expected, among which are:

  • the dried anchos and cascabel you used were old and had lost most of their flavor
  • heat level in fresh peppers can vary a lot; maybe you got ones that were on the less-hot side for their variety
  • many fresh peppers vaporize a lot of their capsaicin when fried. So it's possible that adding just the peppers and garlic to the pan could have burned a bunch off; I've had this happen particularly with habaneros

All of that aside, I wouldn't expect that recipe to be super-spicy, more medium-hot. So maybe you just have a high pepper tolerance.

  • That checks out. I think it was the third one, the peppers and chiles both tasted fine as I was preparing them. Thank you! – harmothic Oct 6 at 6:07
  • Try cooking the peppers & garlic less long, or over moderate heat, then. – FuzzyChef Oct 6 at 17:49
  • 1
    I completely agree with this answer, so let me just note that heat can always be reintroduced by adding a tiny amount of a chilli extract or chilli powder from a very hot pepper such as Trinidad Scorpion Butch T. – JohnEye Oct 9 at 16:26

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