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My chili is a little to spicy

  • t

Any ideas how to bring down the heat without losing the flavor?

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  1. Add more of everything except peppers

    1 Reply
    1. re: FrankJBN

      Or just add more fat. Fat counteracts capsaicin (the irritant).

    2. yoghurt or sour cream? more stock and reduce down again?

      2 Replies
      1. re: smartie

        If you have for instance 1 teaspoon too much hot pepper in a quart of chili and you add a gallon of stock and reduce back down to a quart won't you still have the same excess of hot pepper?

        1. re: FrankJBN

          That's what I was thinking Frank. You'd be just as spicy and way too salty. I don't think chili can be too spicy! Sour cream and cheese will cool it off.

      2. sugar or lemon juice - trick of the thai's.

        2 Replies
        1. re: reannd

          Same sort of question I asked samrtie - if you have overspiced your chili with hot pepper, how does adding sugar or acid negate the heat?

          Also both ingredients change the flavor

          1. re: FrankJBN

            The scoville unit was invented by measuring how many "doses" of sugar water it took to alleviate the burn in your mouth. So adding sugar will "cool" some of the heat. If you are careful, you can balance out the heat without greatly affecting the taste. Same thing if your chili turns out too bitter from the chile peppers. You can balance by adding sugar by the teaspoon until it is nicely balanced.

        2. Honey. It alters the flavor a bit, but in a good way. I make a pork shoulder chili which is braised in poblano chili's and I use the braise for the sauce by putting the chilis and liquid in a food processor. I then add honey to bring the heat down to where I want it.


          1 Reply
          1. re: monavano

            Say you have a pint of sauce measuring about 500,000 on the Scoville scale (hot habaneros). How much honey do you have to add to make it so it isn't overly hot?

          2. anytime i overdo the heat in my chili, i throw in a little hunk of standard mexican chocolate such as Abuelita. these types of chocolate have other flavors in them such as cinnamon and vanilla which blend amazingly well with your cumin and chili powder flavors...

            4 Replies
            1. re: TSQ75

              That sounds amazing! I'll have to tuck that one away in the head.

              1. re: monavano

                I always put chocolate in my chili. It adds such a deep, rich flavor.

                Could you add more tomato sauce, or beef broth to it and then add a thickener like cornstarch or masa harina?

                1. re: danhole

                  another way to make flavor more deep is to add a little coffee ground just make sure if its from beans they are finely ground

              2. re: TSQ75

                I too add chocolate (cocoa powder) and I already added a little more to compensate
                for the added heat, and its still too hot. But thanks and yes the chocolate is great in chili!

              3. Chili? Too spicy? Not sure I understand....

                1 Reply
                1. re: Bat Guano

                  BG You may have the answer!
                  My wife thinks it a great batch of chili. But when we both started coughing I thought it might be a little out of balance.

                2. Please do NOT put a potato in it. That's a wives tale.

                  I'd also suggest making a half or quarter batch more without the chiles and combining.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: C. Hamster

                    I have read, in more than one cookbook, that putting a potato in helps if it's too salty, but not for spicy!

                    1. re: danhole

                      People claim it cures just about any seasoning mishap but it's all false.

                      It doesn't help to make a too salty/spicy/sweet dish less so.

                      It doesn't selectively absorb salt or capsaicin. It just absorbs some liquid -- same as if you'd ladled a bit out. A ladle is easier.

                  2. Sorry...I can't help you. Chili, with one exception, is never too spicy for me. The exception occurred in 1993 when someone used a whole bottle of Dave's Insanity in a batch of chili.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: ChiliDude

                      At an improptu beach party this summer someone whipped up a plate of Nachos and dumped a bottle of Dave's Insanity(without tasting it) on top of the whole mess. The lucky few who tasted them started screaming and running to find water..haha

                      1. re: ChiliDude

                        Oh. My. Gawd. My mouth stung just thinking about it....

                        1. re: ChiliDude

                          I did add almost a bottle of Dave's insanity and wow it did heat up my chili. It tastes great! It is very hot and spicy. I am not sure if I want to tone it down, I eat with butter bread and have some milk to sip. To me its perfect as is and I know no one will eat it but me now because its too spicy! :) I do not think I will add insanity sauce to it again anytime soon and maybe after a couple days in the fridge it will tone it down.

                        2. Agreed...to iterate; adding a potato(to "soak up the chile heat") is an old wive's tale. I'm also of the opinion that chocolate and/or cinnamon(ala Mexican chocolate) has no place in Texas chili...this edges it into quasi-mole' territory...yummy, perhaps...but not chili by any stretch of the imagination. Now, if you're making Greek diner/Detroit/Coney Island/Cincinnati chili feel free to throw the whole baking spice rack in. I'm not a fan.

                          I wouldn't attempt to ameliorate the actual "overly spicy" chili, instead I'd eat it with plenty of dairy products on the side.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: aelph

                            This is going to sound weird, but a little bit of peanut butter (smooth, not chunky). It kind of thickens the sauce too and it does change the flavor a tiny bit, but I think it adds to it and it does bring the heat way down, plus it overrides any bitterness. How much? Start with 2 teaspoons and go from there - I usually add about 2 tablespoons, but it depends on how much chili and your taste buds. Never tried the chocolate, but it sounds good.

                            Also, I never tried it, but I've heard that if you add corn meal it will "soften" the flavor.

                            Good luck!

                          2. add more meat, beans, etc. just no more spices

                            1. I have a good idea. When I make chili, I usually add some crushed corn chips into it. It thickens the chili as well as mellow it a little if it is too spicy. Just beware that this will add some salt and if your chili is too salty, then maybe this isn't a good idea. Otherwise, it's a perfect thickener as well as "body" for an over-spiced chili.

                              1. You have a fabulous excuse to eat copious amounts of sour cream. mmm....

                                Cold dairy will definitely help most!

                                1. Serve it with more sides or toppings - tortillas, cornbread, sour cream, beer ('Only a lager kills a vindaloo' - Red Dwarf). In other words, instead of trying to temper the heat of the chili itself, balance the heat out with other things in the meal.


                                  1. I make this chili recipe from epicurious.com called "5 alarm fire chili"...it's always waaaay tooooo hot the first 2 days. Something miraculous happens on the third day...it cools off.....i don't quite get it, but i've written it into my directions that it must be allowed to sit in the refridgerator for 2-3 days before serving to cool it off...I've given the recipe to others who have found the same to be true for them..
                                    Perhaps the capicium loses it's oopah?

                                    This has also worked for me, though for shorter periods of cool off time, in stuff I've over-garlicked to the point where they are "garlic hot"...I found that over-garliced hummus, left to sit in fridge overnight becomes palatable...
                                    go figure.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: sixelagogo

                                      I've noticed that too, the longer chili sits the more heat it loses. My trick to tone down overly-spicy chili (too spicy for guests that is, not for me!) is to add canned kidney beans with all their liquid. The liquid has a touch of sugar in it, and that together with the bland beans does the trick.

                                      1. re: BobB

                                        A ton of sugar?

                                        I don't think the liquid in my beans has any sugar at all.

                                        1. re: C. Hamster

                                          "The liquid has a touch of sugar in it, and that together with the bland beans does the trick."

                                          Bob said a touch, not a ton.

                                    2. Crème fraîche, Neal's Yard Dairy White Cheddar & call it a day !

                                      1. Too hot chili? You should celebrate!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: famedalupo

                                          You're right ;) No such thing in my mind!

                                        2. Add a dark beer it helps to cut the spice without compromising the taste. You need to add 1 can and then let it cook for a bit.

                                          1. I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to thank everyone for their suggestions. We made a big batch of "too spicy" chili and needed to bring down the heat. Good thing I remembered this thread! I think we tried ALL OF your suggestions. It's still pretty spicy, but now it's edible!


                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                              The suggestion that worked the best for me was the "gastrique" of a little sugar and cider vinegar. Best of all, now I know what a "gastrique" is!

                                            2. I had the same problem. I posted the query, and had people recommend adding more bean cooking liquid.( I had cooked the beans separately and added them after chilling overnight.) Added mashed beans, or more of the bean cooking liquid will tame the spiciness. If adding beans isn't going to work, you could try adding some cornmeal or crushed corn chips. The corn produce will dissolve into the chili, thickening it, and taming the heat as well.

                                              1. In fact, there is a way. I do think that many people need this method. And it is really simple. Just boil the peppers in boiling water. Additionally, the color will also become nicer. I hope that this can help. Have a try! Good Luck.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: foodloverelaine

                                                  The 'chili' that the OP is talking about is an American beef stew seasoned with a mix of ground dried chile peppers. I think you are talking about reducing the heat level of whole fresh or dried peppers before use, not a dish that already incorporates them.

                                                  In the USA, it is common to use 'chile' to refer to the peppers, and 'chili' to refer to a particular stew, short for 'chili con carne' (with meat) or 'carne con chile colorado'. It's not a hard and fast rule, but a convenient distinction. The 'chilli' spelling is not common in the USA.

                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                    Hi paulj

                                                    I am sorry for that misunderstanding. And thanks very much for pointing this out for me. I am only familiar with Chinese cuisine.

                                                2. You could add ketchup and brown sugar to make a sweet and sour chilli. Though anything you do may end up being gross. The only way to fix it would be adding another pound of meat and stock. Even then it might still be too spicy. Just get some pepto and scarf it down as fast as possible. What could go wrong?

                                                  Good luck,