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Taking the heat out of my too spicy chili

So last night I decided to make this great sounding chili recipe I got off of the Craigslist message board for Chicken and Chorizo Chili. It sounded great, but the fact that part of the directions read "throw all the shit in the pan and cook it" should have been the first sign that the person who posted it was not the most meticulous recipe writer. Despite my better judgement, I ended up following the recipe, and 1 jalepeno and 1/8 cup of cayenne powder later (i know, i know), I had a great tasting chili that burned the crap out of everyone's mouth. The initial taste was great, but this guy was converting a restaurant-sized recipe to one that feeds two people, and was totally off.
My question to you is, is there any way to take the heat out of chili when you accidentilly put too much hot stuff in? I know if something is too salty, you can put a potato in to soak up the extra salt. I read a couple places that extra stock or even extra veggies or beans can help, but it just made it more liquidy without really taking away enough heat. Clearly, I will alter this recipe before trying it again, but it'd be nice to know what to do in the future. Thanks!

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  1. If you have really good quality mild paprika, the sort sold at Indian markets, or even mild chile powder then the best way would be to make another batch, substituting that for the cayenne, and blend the two.

    An easier way, I suppose, would be to make a simple chile gravy with the mild powder (roux, powder, water, cumin, oregano and salt) and add it along with some beans. It would dilute the heat without making the end results all watery.

    1. Yeah - dilute the chili with more ingredients (can you increase the amount of veggies and beans?) AND serve it with sour cream or yogurt.

      1/8 CUP??? That's very funny.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Nyleve

        That's 2 tablespoons, isn't it?

        1. re: Kagey

          Correct. But that's a lot of cayenne, seriously. And I like hot food.

          Of course if the recipe was for, like, 50 servings, that would be a different story.

          1. re: Nyleve

            One of my favorite recipes is Paul Prudhomme's Crawfish Etouffee which requires 2 Teaspoons of Cayenne. I love hot food, and I love his recipe, but 2 teaspoons is too much for my guests, so I cut it in half. I can't imagine 2 Tablespoons.

            1. re: dhedges53

              A bit off topic, but: I read a Prudhomme interview once where he bemoaned the oversight that his first cookbooks didn't note that cayenne comes in different heat levels. The cayenne that he used in LA is really milder than the cayenne that people buy in most parts of country. Only once, in the D.C. area, did I find a grocer that sold (I think) three different cayennes, each marked by heatness level with a Scoville number or whatever that system is.

              Prudhomme regretted that this mistake actually established what he regards as a false national impression of how blazing hot cajun/creole cooking is supposed to be.

        2. while certainly not traditional, some dairy would remove the burn. However, I think the best way is a little sugar. It doesn't necessarily cut the fire, but it eases the blow. I actually always over spice my chilli a little bit, then give it some sugar cause I like what it does to the chilli. I've also noticed that any spicy concoctions like that mellow out if they age a bit.

          1. I am not sure how it would go with chicken and chorizo chili, but I am a big fan of mixing a little bit of 70% or unsweetened chocolate into chili at the very end (1/2 or 1 oz per batch). This might slightly cut down on the spiciness. Otherwise I might suggest using it as a nacho topping with cheese and sour cream. Dairy and starch are the best things I have found for cutting down on spice.

            1. Foodrocks, My suggestion is to take a teaspoon of Dave's Insanity Sauce each morning to start your day. In no time you will find that no chili is too hot and that Szechuan peppers are better than popcorn for watching movies.

              4 Replies
                1. re: berrrdman

                  Capsaicin does not cause or promote ulcers in any way. It actually helps to prevent them.


                2. re: Walters

                  I'd go with this approach no problem! lol

                  1. re: Walters

                    ummmm wow.
                    I once put a SINGLE drop of Dave's on my tongue just to see if what the bottle said was true to form, I almost died. all day I walked around with a mouthful of milk. my husband &the kids loved my discomfort.

                  2. When I've overdone the heat, a trick my grandmother taught me was to float a large Idaho potato in the pot to which can act as a neutralizer/sponge. Sometimes it works, sometimes its too late BUT it won't require adding add'l flavors to balance or alter the consistency (as in watering down) the chili.

                    37 Replies
                    1. re: HillJ

                      A potato doesn't do anything other than act as a sponge, alas. You could throw a household sponge in and it would have the same effect. It would soak up some of the liquid, certainly, but the heat (substitute "salt" "sweet" "sour," etc, as th epoor potato is suggested as a remedy for many a culinary miscue) level remains the same. Potatoes don't selectively soak up excess capsaicin (or salt or sugar, etc.). In fact, you'd have the same result with a potato or sponge as you would have ladling out some liquid. The only thing you can do is dilute the chili's heat by adding more of the non-heat producing ingredients, preferably in the same ratio as called for in the recipe.

                      1. re: C. Hamster

                        PHd in potato science? Thank you for the clarification. :)

                        1. re: HillJ

                          Nope, though Tater Tots are dear to my heart :-) Just a McGee, Wolke, etc. fan

                          1. re: C. Hamster

                            In respect to my dear Grandmother I'm going to keep her suggestion in the family but thankfully the OP has your help!

                            1. re: HillJ

                              ok 3 med russets in there , more broth/1 T honey/2 c of small white beans that I'd already sealed in the sealameal bags for another meal/another day. now I'm off to the market to buy 2 large bricks of cheese &sour cream.

                        2. re: C. Hamster

                          Thank you. The myth of the potato added to desalt food was de-bunked by food scientists in the 90's.

                          They also debunked the myth of searing a steak to keep the juices in. If searing worked why do all the juices cover the plate when meat is left to rest before cutting?

                          Old habits die hard especially when our families or old time chefs taught them to us. See Frank McGee or Shirley Corrigher (sp?).

                        3. re: HillJ

                          I'll now grab a huge potato and plop in my white chix chili that is onnnnn fire. who knew chili powder came in variable strengths of heat. I think I bought inferno .

                          1. re: iL Divo

                            I don't think the potato thing actually works. There two ways to take the heat out, one is to make another batch of chili minus the heat and add it to the original too hot chili, the second way is to strain a bunch of the too hot liquid out of the kettle, and even maybe rinse some of the meat and make a new, less hot sauce.

                            1. re: John E.

                              2 smart thoughts John E.
                              I'm frustrated because I know better than to just add a new ingredient without tasting first. usually a finger tip gets tasted. I'm sick, off work right now, but still wanted to make my husband something he'd enjoy after a hard day at work.
                              I've tried-the potatoes seemed to do nothing, nor did the honey or extra added broth. after the market I came home with mozzarella and jack cheese, sour cream and scallions hoping they'll cut something. tasting it, still too hot, so all I could think of was opposite flavors.........embarrassed to admit this but I've added 2 T of light brown sugar, 2 T ketchup, 1 T white vinegar and stirred. it's better but by far not one of my best accomplishments.
                              oh well. in the oven right now a mix of corn bread&basic sweet Sally Lunn muffin with a dollop of raspberry jam in the center and cinnamon sugar topped. at least it may sort of balance out the heat.

                              1. re: iL Divo

                                You've been working on this too spicy thing a good while. Any tips you've decided do work for you?

                                1. re: HillJ

                                  yep > stick to things I know, stick to basics, don't go out so often on a limb thinking oh it'll work out. I can fix it if I goof, not always, no, I can't.

                                  one of my favorite meals is very very good every time I make it is a very old chili recipe, very easy, probably too easy, but the flavors are spot on. maybe realizing I have no taste buds that are working, I'm totally conjested so why would I even attempt something that requires a lot of tasting I have no clue. since most of the broth has cooked off and it's now a chili consistency, I added 1/4 cup milk and stirred. it is (as far as I can tell) better, but only mildly so.

                                  on a good note, those 3 potatoes that are sitting in there will make a great addition to something someday, like a cream of chicken soup with NO ADDED spice other than salt & pepper.

                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      (((HillJ))) I so appreciate all the help from you kind folks. my husband sat down for dinner took his first bite and said "wonderful, really good honey." I give up ...
                                      after 2 Dr. apts this morning I'll be buying chili powder for sure.
                                      I already sent him a note saying dinner tonight is:
                                      sautéed cod, simple salad , garlic bread, broccoli, fried rice.

                                      thanks again

                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                        Now take good care of yourself...let the hubby cook dinner!

                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          (hj)major sinus infection.
                                          but all is done @ Dr & dinner tonight couldn't be easier. (((((he'd))))) do it if I asked tho

                                        2. re: iL Divo

                                          Normally in asia most of the food is extra spicy so those who wants to remedy the spiciness is by adding 10- 15 small shallots or 7-10 big onions (blend). Saute the onions first until it's golden brown then you add in the other dish. If you can get shallots you can subsitute with tomatoes.

                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                    I'm sure your husband will be pleased with that dinner. When I'm sick or not feeling all that well, we have a well-stocked freezer of homemade soups, chili, and stews.

                                    1. re: John E.

                                      John E. we do as well and thank you for helping me. he was pleased very pleased maybe it was the addition of raspberry Sally Lunns.

                                2. re: iL Divo

                                  Oh yeah, that inferno version is not for the mild at heart.

                                  1. re: HillJ


                                    gad who knew? surely not me.

                                  2. re: iL Divo

                                    Potatoes don't work.

                                    Kitchen myth. Not with salt, heat, sweet or bitter.

                                    John is right. The only foolproof way to fix it is to add more ingredients minus the offending taste

                                    1. re: C. Hamster

                                      For iL's purposes now btwn the broth/honey/cheese/sour cream there's already an alteration to the heat level.

                                      I believe potato can work. Not every time but not a myth.

                                      The only way to avoid the entire scenario is to double check your heat levels before they ever hit the pot....in a perfect world.

                                        1. re: C. Hamster

                                          This banter is dumber but feel free to carry on, C. Hamster. You must be bored.

                                          1. re: HillJ

                                            Bored ?

                                            Perhaps. But still interested in saving fellow CH's from bad advice.

                                              1. re: C. Hamster

                                                thank you CHam, appreciate any help anyone could offer.
                                                I know better, don't cook when you're sick. it's too much of an effort.

                                          2. re: HillJ

                                            I'm pretty sure the potato thing will not help with 'desalting' a soup or broth.

                                            1. re: John E.

                                              I'm pretty sure that w/out actually being in iL's kitchen none of us have a clue what is best for the dish at this point. I wrote my original comment back in 2006.....

                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                ...............and I love you for your ever helping nature HillJ, you know that...................

                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                  Right back atcha, iL! Anytime :)

                                                2. re: HillJ

                                                  LOL That's too funny! Obviously there are a lot of peeps slippen with the Pepppppppers! ;)
                                                  I don't make a lot of Chile, per se, but I do make just about everything with one hot pepper or another. IE, I make Won Ton Soup with serranos. So if I get a little heavy on the hawt stuff, I can't really use potato, or cream, and I think thick Won Ton soup would not please my palate.
                                                  What I do that not only tames the heat and really enhances all the other spices I use and adds to the all around flavor, is I add about a tablespoon of both peanut butter and molasses in approximately 5 quarts.
                                                  I have had many compliments and so far, no one even knew what it was made that made their taste buds get up and dance! ;) Peanut butter can work with most any soup or stewed dish.
                                                  I put a teaspoon or so, of peanut butter in my instant ramen soups, along with a few drops of hot sauce. It mellows out the Caspian due to the oils, and the molasses brings all the flavors together. ;)
                                                  BTW This blog has made for some funny reading! ;)
                                                  Peace y'all!

                                                  1. re: TangledHeart

                                                    THANK YOU Tangled, for getting the spirit of it all!

                                              2. re: HillJ

                                                HillJ, you're right, I know longer have the intended white chicken chili that I started out thinking I was making. the sour cream isn't in, it'll go on top with the cheddar, mozz and jack plus scallions. I'll for sure be buying more Gebhardt's chili powder, gad, do they even still make that?

                                        2. Competition cooks sometimes add brown sugar to their pots to even out the bitterness and heat of chiles. Against that much cayenne I don't know if it will work.

                                          Carrot puree could be added for a vegetal sweetness that might balance out the heat. Many of the best tasting hot sauces start with a base of carrot puree to give the sauce body and flavor while slightly taming the heat.

                                          This really is one of those instances like oversalting - easy to add but very difficult to take out. Add gradually, tasting as you go and remember that with chili the flavors get more concentrated as it ages.

                                            1. Make four more servings of the chili (minus the cayenne) and dilute your original chili among the four. Freeze what you can't eat. Every time you get the urge to use cayenne in anything, go to the freezer for a remind of why that's not a good idea.

                                              If it's still too hot, dilute with lots of dairy like cheddar cheese and sour cream or even yogurt.

                                              1. add apple sauce. unsweetened is best.

                                                1. yes, dairy will cut the hot

                                                  1. You can

                                                    (1) Dilute it (make more, except without the heat, and combine),

                                                    (2) Serve it in small portions over rice or noodles,

                                                    or (3) Get different diners - I believe it would be just fine for me as it is.

                                                    1. A couple of things:

                                                      1. The potato myth has been busted for tampering seasoning imbalances. It's a placebo at best, as it were.

                                                      2. You cannot reduce heat unless you can somehow float the capsaicin oil to the top and skim it. So, heatig up, adding liquid and refrigerating to skim fat can sometimes help, but the double refrigeration process is not going to help the overall quality of the leftovers....

                                                      3. Dilution and small servings are really the best bets. The only other remedy is emulsification of that hot oil. The single best emulsifier of capcaisin are nut/seed butters (peanut butter is classic). Fatty dairy (like sour cream) is next best.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Karl S

                                                        Well, that explains why my tahini/chipotle/piquin wing sauce has never reached the levels of heat that I expected. Good to know.

                                                      2. My DH made a batch of Joy of Cooking's Wild Caribbean Chili (great recipe BTW) and put in about four times the amount of chile pepper as the recipe instructed. He was using habaneros so this was quite a bit hotter than we wanted. We ended up doubling the ingredients, basically a lot more beans and other seasonings, except for the chile. This worked except that we ate chili for a long, long time.

                                                        1. I have stirred in a couple tablespoons of smooth peanut butter to cut the heat. Sounds strange, but it seems to work, and doesn't alter the taste (gives a little depth to the flavor). It also makes the chili a little creamier, if that makes sense.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: kloomis

                                                            Just tried the Peanut Butter...worked great! Thanks for the suggestion.

                                                          2. 1/8 CUP of cayenne powder ... that is going to be almost impossible to dilute ...

                                                            Sometimes you just have to toss it and vow never to do it again ...

                                                            1. Sour cream or a lime crema would do the trick

                                                              1. My chili was too spicy yesterday so I added some Cocoa Powder and some molasses and it took the heat down perfectly. Hope this helps

                                                                1. I would add a very dark beer, the whole bottle. A heavy stout, and a tsp of sugar after for the bitterness. 1/8 of a cup. That reminds me of the time I first made pizza dough I followed a recipe to the T and it advised about the same in salt, and I didn't know any better. That was the hardest dough ever.

                                                                  1. Add a gastrique of some description, even just one as simple as some plain table sugar dissolved in cider vinegar. Fruit (mango, for example) can add a great, hard-to-pin-down note in chili.

                                                                    But really, as others have said, your best bet is to make another batch of the same recipe with zero heat and mix the two.

                                                                    1. Made a batch of pork chili with too much chipotle and chili powder. Just stirred in two tablespoons of brown sugar and a tablespoon of peanut butter and a bit more chicken broth. It's settled right down and will be grand. Thanks for the suggestions.

                                                                      1. A dollop of sour cream will help. If you serve the chili with rice, it should mitigate the heat. Though, isn't the point of chili the chili? I like it when the back of my neck sweats after a bowl.

                                                                        1. I've been known to go heavy on the heat myself (but sometimes ok w/me!). Have tried many options to turn down the heat for the woosies, depending on the dish flavors; but usually more broth/liquid usually does the trick and other non-heat spices will do or more veggies. Just made a great Moroccan Beef stew which called for habenero, and cayenne, and bunch of other great spices. Turned out tasting great BUT some thought it too hot...SO I added more beef broth and some orange marmalade. Have to say its fantastic now! It even improved the flavor of my stew!! Really blended all the flavors nicely. So, really no set rule, just be creative to the flavors of your dish! ~ Bon appetet!

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: roosterlady

                                                                            I too had a problem with Moroccan Beef stew, but keeping kosher requires us to separate meat and dairy - so sour cream or yogurt were out of the question. I drained off some of the original liquid (crock pot), added 1 tbsp brown sugar, a can of tomato sauce, 0.5 cup of OJ (since I ran out of my favorite orange marmalade). I also added more chickpeas and white beans, and just a 1/4 cup of barley for thickening the whole dish since I didn't have any rice or potatoes in it to begin with. I ended up needing more salt, but that problem was easily remedied. I saved the liquid, which is basically your beef stock with curry, and at a later date I will use it to make either a quick chicken dish or as a base for another beef stew.

                                                                          2. Only 1/8 cup of cayenne? I'd dump in a tablespoon of CaJohn's 10 or a couple of blasts of Holy Jolokia.

                                                                            1. I made my soup too spicy using chili paste so I used natural sunflower butter and it worked perfect, also gave it another layer of flavor.

                                                                              1. My son and I just made some BYFAO chili for a cook-off tomorrow. We used 2 tbsp cayenne PLUS another 3/4 cups of various chili powders. We're definitely gonna try the brown sugar thing!

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: JeLo

                                                                                  Now that's what I'm talkin' about.

                                                                                2. After reading this post, I tried adding 2 Tbsp peanut butter AND 1/2 Cup pureed carrots to my spicy chili. IT WORKED!! Thanks for the advice from the posters!

                                                                                  1. Well, considering that the Scoville scale is basically based upon the amount of sugar needed to be added to neutralize capsaicin, the addition of sugar(s) will help mitigate the heat of your chili. That sugar can be in the form of molasses, brown sugar, carrots, peanut butter, dark beer (as each was mentioned above), or honey, fruit, corn syrup, etc.

                                                                                    1. Yes, add some sugar. If you don't mind it getting lighter add dairy, probably sour cream. If you do mind it getting lighter, you could add some beef base or kitchen bouquet to darken it back up.

                                                                                      You could also calm it way down by serving it with a dallop of sour cream and a dallop of quacamole and cheese on top.

                                                                                      The trick to eating food that is too spicy is to get fat in it somehow. That is why buffalo wings are served with ranch dressing or blue cheese. I believe the fat shields your taste buds.

                                                                                      In fact, if you ever go to a social event and the host tries to force his firehouse whatever on you. Just grab the queso or the quacamole or the sour cream and even some milk. It will calm it right down and nobody will call you a girly man.

                                                                                      Vanilla Ice Cream afterwards is great too.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: tonka11_99

                                                                                        When I had a situation like this, I didn't add sugar, because it didn't occur to me. What I did was to add more meat, onions and beef stock, basically I just doubled the batch of chili and the heat was fine without changing the flavor. You need to have freezer space for this solution I suppose.

                                                                                        1. re: tonka11_99

                                                                                          The vanilla ice cream afterward is just so the next morning when the Scofield units are having their way with the lower end of your digestive system, you can groan out, "Come on, ice cream!" :-)

                                                                                        2. I've found that just waiting a day or two will sometimes mellow out a spicy dish that's just too over-the-top (although we're quite fond of a spice level many think is over-the-top anyhow).

                                                                                          If all else fails and you don't want to throw it out, extend it with the addition of more meat and lots of glazed onions. Serve it with plenty of avocado cubes, and some sour cream, served on top.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: shaogo

                                                                                            Onions, especially cooked, are a great source of sugar. Sour cream, too.

                                                                                          2. Added 2 Tblsp of Hershey's Cocoa powder, 2 Tblsp of dark Karo syrup, and my too-spicy chili cooled down some -- but not enough for the kids. Went to the reefer and added about 1/2 Tblsp of sour cream (all I had left in the reefer) and a 1 to 2 Tblsp splash of whole milk, and it's good to go. Wanted to try the peanut butter, but only had chunky and didn't want to encounter those chunks of foreign flavor in the chili. Thanks to all previous posters for some great suggestions!

                                                                                            1. Trust me, nothing works! Tried everything on the Internet. Well, I take that back....I did finally fix it. I tossed it down the garbage disposal and started over from scratch. A very time consuming and expensive way to learn a lesson but the kind that sticks with you.

                                                                                              The only thing I did different with my chili that I've made successfully for years......I used CHIPOTLE Chile Powder instead of my standard mild chili powder. I had no idea Chipotle was so much hotter. Burned my mouth, throat and nose. I do NOT like to hurt when I eat! :)

                                                                                              Oh, it also had nothing to do with the amount of Chipotle chili powder I used, I know this because I tasted the Chipotle chili powder AFTER this disaster by wetting my finger and touching the inside of the lid and then my mouth. HOT HOT HOOOOOOOT! So it was the Chipotle and not the amount.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: JudiMorrison

                                                                                                Regular chili powder is frequently made with Anaheim or New Mexico chiles which are not that hot. Chipotle is made from smoked jalapenos which is considerably hotter. The heat of your chili really was due to the amount of Chipotle chili powder you used because obviously if you used less of it, it would not have gotten so hot. You could have doubled the recipe without any chili powder and added it to the too hot chili and it probably would have been fine.

                                                                                              2. YOu could do what I do for my 3 year old. Take half the chili and rinse it under cold water in a strainer until all the sauce/spice/heat is gone. Mix back in with the chili. Voila, you now have half the heat as the original. Unless your chili is really dry, there will be enough sauce. It actually doesn't affect the taste at all other than cutting down the heat. I do this all the time for her.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: achtungpv

                                                                                                  I remember reading most of these posts some time ago and I don't recall anyone else suggesting the rinsing of the chili/meat idea. It sounds like that would work.

                                                                                                2. I took more beans and mashed them with a potato masher and mixed them into my too hot chili and it did the trick without diluting the liquid.

                                                                                                  1. Karl S, Peanut Butter is the bomb! (oh, did I just date myself? LOL) Seriously, I found this post because the batch of Tortilla soup I made tonight was blazing hot. I know better than to allow peppers to simmer too long, but never-the-less did so. Terrified no one would be able to tolerate more than a spoonful, I searched the net for solutions and wound up here. With no time to make a new batch, I decided to try the peanut butter, just a tiny bit at a time. Surprisingly, just a small dab (maybe 1/2 a tablespoon) made a difference. So, I added another dab of the same size. And wow, just as Kloomis said, you can hardly taste it and it adds a "depth of flavor". Not only is this a great solution for human err, but I believe a future purposeful addition for the lovely, roasted flavor it adds. THANK YOU!

                                                                                                    1. Simple answer: FLOUR.

                                                                                                      Put 2 tbl. regular flour in 1/8 cup of cold water. Dissolve (it should kinda look like smooth glue). Pour into chili as it cooks and stir. Wait a few minutes and taste. Repeat as necessary.

                                                                                                      Flour mixed in water mutes the taste of most strong ingredients in any stew/soup.

                                                                                                      BTW, it'll thicken whatever you add it to. Just an FYI.

                                                                                                      1. Just a quick note. The main cook in this house prepares authentic Mexical Charro Beans like you wouldn't believe. She made a batch to sit for a day before serving to Nebraska friends who are "Picante" intolerable. Used too many Serrano Chilis this time and knowing the guests for Sunday evening will not be able to enjoy them, I searched this site and find that to either throw them out and begin anew or make a double batch with no spices and merge them are the only solutions. She is in the process of the latter. Will post with the results after they are finished. I shall have a plethora of leftovers to enjoy later, whatever the outcome.

                                                                                                        1. Oh thank you, molasses person! I must've put some super spicy chili powder in my pulled pork and when I opened the crock pot (I know, I hate them) it was like pepper spray. Dumped various sweet things in, barely registered. And then, molasses. YES! Totally mellowed. Let's see what happens in the a.m., but I'm hopeful.

                                                                                                          1. thank you all for your help with the chili. I made up the Zatarain's dirty rice and was able to tone it down with your suggestions!

                                                                                                            1. 2 tbsp cayenne and 1 jalapeno is too hot for someone who likes spicy food? I usually use about 7 or 8 chipotles, 20 chiltepines, a few guajillos, 10 chiles de arbol, a few fresh red jalapenos, a large ancho, a couple New Mexico, and some cheap vinegary cayenne sauce for some acidity, and it's not extremely hot.

                                                                                                              Capsaicin dissolves in oil though, and the oil floats on the top while cooking, so skimming off some oil from the top would probably help. You could probably pour in some extra oil and stir thoroughly every few minutes for awhile, then let it float to the top, then skim and discard the oil (or save it for something else). I've never done this to reduce the heat but I don't see why it wouldn't work. I've noticed that if I don't stir the chili before scooping the first few bowls are much hotter than the rest.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: StringerBell

                                                                                                                So glad I checked in here! Made a batch of beef chili (williams Sonoma cook book) no cayenne here, but half cup of chili powder. Flavors were too strong. I tried two tbs of peanut butter and one tbs brown sugar. Perfect! And a little chocolate. Thanks for your help. The fat and sugar work.

                                                                                                              2. ain't no fixing - you're down the rabbit hole. chuck it into small freezer containers and thaw them out gradually as a small STARTER base for a new batch every time. you'll be sick of spicy chicken chorizo chili after a while, but space the meals out enough with enough of everything else and nobody's hair should be on fire. (or if it does chalk it up to experience and stoner recipes off Craigslist. - there's a time around 1985, I inflicted much the same on friends)

                                                                                                                think of it like a sourdough starter or a roux.

                                                                                                                1. I made Chili for a cook off and instead of using 2 cans of green chili's I used 2 cans of chipolte chili's, Whewww HOT, I read all of these post and I split the pot in 2 and in 1 pot I used a heaping spoon of peanut butter and the other a couple tsp of red wine viniger, HANDS DOWN, the viniger took the heat out !!! I was SHOCKED !! So I added a couple tsp to the other pot with the peanut butter and am hoping for the best !( I put the viniger in after I was done cooking and refrigerated over night) and again I'm shocked it worked !! Wish me Luck !!

                                                                                                                  1. Add beans... lots of beans! More of the 'mild' spices if necessary... and serve it with potato or rice. Don't forget the sour cream.

                                                                                                                    1. for those who can't have peanut butter, try tahini

                                                                                                                      1. After a first taste of the chicken chili that's now on the stove, I googled "fix chili that's too hot" and got this site. Thanks, everyone! After tasting it again in a couple of hours, I now have several things to try.

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: CWick

                                                                                                                          After you get your chili fixed, join us on some other threads/topics on this site. If you like to cook, you should like the conversations here.

                                                                                                                          Oh, let us know how your chili turns out.

                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                            I'm so glad to find this site!
                                                                                                                            Added a little molasses to the chili--perfect. Still very hot but took out the burn in the throat. Thanks!

                                                                                                                        2. I made a new southwest dish that was a very hot spicy tomato sauce, way to hot and spicy with adobe sauce and peppers, I took a sip of the sauce and WOW, so I tried the peanut butter!!!! it worked fantastically, still has a bite but not so much heat thank you everyone

                                                                                                                          1. I just made a pot of chili and used 2 packages of the dry chili mix...I normally only use 1....I put some red vine vinegar in it and it was perfect...I have tried the peanut butter before, too..

                                                                                                                            1. Hi foodrocks, I also made the chili too "HOT", even though both my husband and I love spicy food. What I did was add a couple tablespoons of molasses at the end, and it rounded the flavor out beautifully without losing the heat.

                                                                                                                              1. Try some dry milk (a staple in every good pantry) or dollop with sour cream when served. Chili is supposed to be on the spicy side.

                                                                                                                                1. Ahh man, hate when that happens. Im not aware of anything that will take the heat out of it. I think once its done, its done! Would you mind sharing your chile recipe? Im always down to try a new one. My favorite so far is the one on chow. Here it is if you wanna try it

                                                                                                                                  ps, its not too hot!

                                                                                                                                  1. Sugars help as will dairy...but off topic a but to all those saying potatoes do not remove salt from over salting you are incorrect. I am a proffessional chef of over 20 years and without getting into the science of it I can assure you that I have first hand trained dozens of cooks on their culinary journeys and this is one of the most common mistakes made(over salting)potatoes coupled with additional slow cook times will absolutely draw out excess salt....it Will also draw out other seasonings so be sure to retaste and adjust

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                                                                                                                                    1. re: chefsaunders

                                                                                                                                      My turn to make this mistake. I don't make chili often so I forgot to use almost NO chili powder. My lips burn (and my mouth will peel like a 7th grade science experiment by tomorrow. My ears are ringing and my sinuses are totally clear...the silver lining in all things when one looks hard enough. So I can't double the recipe as the freezer is too small. It is not perfect but better. The peanut butter and red wine vinegar I think helped the most of all the goodies I added which included molasses and brown sugar. It may get renamed spicy chili dessert. The thing I will finally do to solve the problem is give a lot away to my hot friends, setting some aside for me, and just add another can of beans and corn and lots of yummy cheese when it is time to eat. I loved all the posts and thanks to all for saving a huge batch of chili and lots of money!

                                                                                                                                      AND thank you chefsaunders for confirming that my grandmother and mother were correct... potatoes help pull spices out of liquids!

                                                                                                                                    2. Frozen sweetcorn has saved my chili many times!

                                                                                                                                      1. my chili recipe calls for 2 tablespoon of sugar with the chili powder etc. than it says if to spicy and more suger so give the sugar a shot it wont hurt it and we never taste it in my chili

                                                                                                                                        1. I have some homemade soup an aunt gave me that is too spicy ... I now have several ideas to try to calm it down. I have enjoyed all of the remarks. Thanks everyone.

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