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Mar 3, 2009 11:35 AM

Chili you make yours a day ahead for "flavor melding"?

My first attempt at Chil for a chili cookoff at work. I have a recipe I'm comfortable with, but I'm wondering if chili is one of those things you should make a day or so ahead of time, that gets better as it sits, or just the night before? (the cookoff is in the morning)

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  1. Might depend on if you are making an authentic chili with perhaps a chuck roast vs. a 'super bowl' chili with ground beef and beans. In the former case, which is what I make and have won a couple of cookoffs, I would absolutely make it at least a day in advance (probably a Friday night for a Sunday cookoff). I recook it at least once until the beef has broken down quite a bit and the flavors have really developed. Of course if the cookoff is in real time (start now, you have 5 hours, as many are) this is not an option.

    7 Replies
    1. re: bnemes3343

      no this is very low key and low stakes...we make it at home and bring it in warm in a crockpot.

        1. re: bnemes3343

          Completely beef at all. I know that may "offend" some diehard authentic chili fans, but this is what I'm doing. Thanks!!

          1. re: pringle347

            Pringle, I make lentil chili a lot and find it really gets much better after a day or so... or after being frozen and rewarmed. This could, of course, be because I usually saute new onions and red bells and garlic to start the rewarm... Enjoy and good luck!

            1. re: miss louella

              perfect, this is just what I needed to know...thanks so much!

      1. re: bnemes3343

        Is it ok to make chili made with ground beef, ground pork and beer a couple of days ahead?

        1. re: ghn

          Chili will keep for quite a while in the fridge. I've had my latest batch sitting overnight in the iron pot I made it in; much longer and it would pick up a metallic taste, so I'll put whatever we don't eat tonight in a plastic tub.

          The ingredients don't seem to have much effect on longevity, since there's nothing really perishable that ever goes into it. Sure, the beer will be flat, but that happens as soon as you pour it in!

      2. Yes. I made a large pot of chili on Sunday and we had it for dinner that night. We're having the rest of it tonight. I have always enjoyed the flavor more after it's had a chance to sit a day or two in the fridge.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Axalady

          Thank you! This will make my life much easier!

        2. I don't make it in advance - I just make enough so that there will be leftovers (unless I'm feeding lots of company), and yes, it certainly does get better. This is a reason, if not THE reason, why canned chili can taste so good: it's instant leftovers! And I really don't think this improvement with age has much to do with what kind of chili it is - hand-chopped chuck, hamburger meat, lentil or whatever, you're still going to experience the same mellowing as the various flavors settle into each other.

          1. I make beef, turkey, black bean and a vegan recipe. To me they all taste better after a day. The flavor only gets better.

            1 Reply
            1. Day in advance will only help. Be advised, though, that as it might get a little dry (this depends on a lot on your ingredients), it is nice to rewarm gently with a touch of extra liquid.