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Mar 17, 2008 03:05 PM

Chili help-put in too much beer!

Hi. I am a terrible cook who had the bright idea to make chili from scratch to surprise my husband. Got a recipe from the Internet that included dark beer and unsweetened chocolate. It tastes awful, I think because of too much beer. What can I do to counteract this? I have it in a crock pot for about three more hours, so will the beer 'burn off'?

Thanks so much! I hope there is something I can do!

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  1. What about the chili's taste is awful? Is it too bland, too bitter, too spicy, too watery, too "beery" (for lack of a better word)? It's hard to give you suggestions on how to fix it without a bit more information. Have you simmered it for 3 hours since the addition of beer? If not, I'd continue to simmer at a low temperature for an hour or so longer to see if the flavors start to come together better. Chili sometimes takes a while for the flavors to meld.

    5 Replies
    1. re: DanaB

      Hi Dana,

      Thanks for replying. Yes, I think it tastes too much like beer. I am not a beer drinker (prefer wine) but I guess dark beer is stronger than light. I started it about 1 1/2 hours ago, so maybe it does just need more time. But if the beer flavor is still strong at that point is there anything you would recommend? More tomatoes or beans? On a post where someone put too much unsweetened chocolate people were suggesting adding sugar, honey, apples, etc.


      1. re: forevermom

        I would probably counter-balance the beer with lime and/or more spice, although I suspect that after it's cooked the full three hours, it will taste less like beer, and I would wait until the three hours is up before I started doctoring it. Good luck!

        1. re: forevermom

          The alcohol and beer taste will cook off the longer you cook it. Just like in a tomato sauce, if you add wine and taste right away it will taste too "winey" but after simmering for some time, you'll no longer taste the alcohol. My advice is to not taste it until the chili is done cooking. Tasting it now will give you no sense of how it will taste in 2 hours.

          If you still taste alcohol after its cooked, the only option is to keep simmering it away. Adding other spices, tomatoes, etc wont help cause the alcohol will still be in there.

          1. re: ESNY

            Well we're getting's not awful anymore, just not great! I think with some cheese and onions, and maybe sour cream, it will be okay. Guess I should go back to my Hamburger Helper!

            Thanks and Happy St. Patty's! My girls and I just got done watching some of their friends perform Irish Dancing at a local restaurant. Very impressive!

            1. re: forevermom

              Don't resort to Hamburger Helper! Commend yourself for trying something new, and move on :-)

              Next time you want to make a kick-a$$ chili, use this recipe for "Spicy Red Pork and Bean Chili," from Epicurious. It's a pretty exact recipe, and it benefits from long cooking. It's excellent. I've had friends tell me they dream about this chili.


      2. the beer may get a bit bitter - a pinch of brown sugar , or some catsup - or honey - a small amt so you don't loose the savory effect will help a bit.

        1 Reply
        1. re: coastie

          I know this is well after the fact, but someone with a similar problem may stumble on this, and I would want to be of help to them. First of all beer chili should always have a touch of honey. If your beer is over the top, exrta honey will help but don't over sweeten. Second, the posters above are right, beereeness steams off a bit so be patient with it.

        2. The problem with the crockpot is that liquids don't really burn off. I don't use alcohol in a crockpot, unless I've simmered/reduced it on the stove. If you want to get rid of the beer taste, take it out of the crock pot and simmer it on the stove, uncovered.

          2 Replies
          1. re: chowser

            Oops, just realized this thread is two years old so am hoping the OP has pulled it out of the crockpot by now.

            1. re: chowser

              that was funny, choswer. i was just blithely reading along, too. LOL!

          2. I just stumbled upon this incredible remedy for too much beer flavor in first time making Martha Stewart's recipe for chicken with cornmeal dumplings. The recipe calls for 24 ounces of Pilsner. After I added it it was truly inedible, and as I am a paid domestic chef and the family was scheduled to eat this meal in under an hour, I began to panic. The recipe also calls for "red wine vinegar to taste". I hadn't yet added that ingredient and wondered if it might actually make the taste worse!! However, the dish was, in my opinion, disgusting at that point, so I figured it was worth taking the chance. Truly amazing!! The red wine vinegar immediately toned down the beer flavor and continued to balance it out as I continued to add it. In the end, and even the next day for leftovers , there is only a trace of beer flavor and a trace of the vinegar flavor. It resulted in a complex and satisfying marriage of flavors. I had never before cooked with beer and I have been very pleased with this new wisdom about the significance of chemical changes in the kitchen.