Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Apr 1, 2012 05:03 PM

Another chili thread...

I know there are a thousand chili threads already but I'm looking for some specific advice..

I've been experimenting with my chili and I've gotten it pretty decent I think but I'm looking to try and get that really deep, smoky flavor, with a little bit of tangy sweetness.

I make mine without beans... just a personal choice. I just don't like the texture of beans in my chili.

I season and brown ground chuck, then saute onions, green peppers and garlic in oil and brown sugar.

Throw all of that in a big pot and add fire-roasted crushed tomatoes and then add chili pepper, oregano, and cumin and then beer (bock is what I seem to like best) and chipotles in adobo (i pour in some of the adobo sauce for heat.)

I've been experimenting with adding coffee/cocoa/simi-sweet choc chips.

Anyway the flavor is pretty good but it's just not very smoky and complex.

Any ideas? I don't have a meat smoker. I've also been trying to add brisket meat too but it keeps coming out too tough.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. For 'chili pepper' I'd substitute powdered varietal chiles such as guajillo or ancho. In American chili, I usually use some powdered ground chipotle (dried green jalapeno with tobacco color) - more smoky, possibly different cultivar than the canned ones (morita - dried red jalapeno).
    My best local sources are Cost Plus and Penzeys; Mexican markets are hit or miss except for whole dried chiles.

    1. Along the same lines as DiveFan - what chili pepper are you using?
      Ancho and guajillo might get you closer to something you are looking for as far as being smokey and complex. Also, personal preference, but I'm not sure what the green pepper adds for you?

      1 Reply
      1. re: gordeaux

        I was thinking the same thing about the green peppers. I would add that poblanos add a little extra complexity if used fresh [and in lieu of the fresh green peppers].