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How thick is your Chili

KaimukiMan Jan 29, 2014 02:37 PM

I've seen chili that was a thin soup, I've seen chili that was almost a solid. I tend to like/make mine about the constancy of a batch of fresh concrete (roughly like it comes out of a can.) How thick do you like your chili?

I know this is a matter of personal preference, not a right or wrong.

  1. ennuisans Feb 3, 2014 04:05 AM

    I only a few weeks ago discovered that some folks put masa or other corn meal in their chili. ATK said to throw tortilla chips in the food processor and put that in to thicken. I tried the corn meal once and it made things unappetizingly pale. Does anyone else do this for thickening?

    2 Replies
    1. re: ennuisans
      KaimukiMan Feb 3, 2014 12:08 PM

      On occasion I have ground up a corn tortilla and let them 'melt' in. And yes it made it a little paler, but it doesn't take much to thicken.

      1. re: ennuisans
        monavano Feb 3, 2014 02:53 PM

        I used masa in my chili for many years.

      2. s
        scoyart Jan 31, 2014 04:42 PM

        However it comes out, honestly. My chili is pretty seat-of-the-pants, but I can't remember a bad batch. I like it wet or thick, as long as it's tasty.

        1. HillJ Jan 31, 2014 02:22 PM

          I've tried the 3 Bears approach to chili over the years and I'm fond of the semi thick style. Beans or no beans. Thick enough to enjoy with a fork but enough juice to dip bread.

          1. w
            WNYamateur Jan 31, 2014 01:18 PM

            Pretty thick - definitely stand a spoon up in it. I add half the beans at the beginning and cook until they break down enough to provide thickening, then the other half so they're toothier.

            1. jrvedivici Jan 31, 2014 12:40 PM

              Thick, if it's soupy is it really chili?

              You could stand the spoon in the middle of the pot and it would stand in place for awhile..........

              1 Reply
              1. re: jrvedivici
                KaimukiMan Feb 3, 2014 03:40 AM

                I think so long as it has chili powder in it, its fair to call it chili. I had a friend who's mom made a concoction of ground meat and ketchup. If she put it over pasta it was spaghetti, if she threw beans in it it was chili. To me that doesn't qualify.

              2. monavano Jan 31, 2014 12:00 PM

                Just thin enough to be saucy, so that it spreads nicely over pasta.

                5 Replies
                1. re: monavano
                  sandylc Jan 31, 2014 12:05 PM

                  Ooh, you're looking for a fight! I'm going to make popcorn and then sit back and watch! ;-)

                  1. re: sandylc
                    monavano Jan 31, 2014 12:12 PM

                    I'm putting up my dukes as I write!

                  2. re: monavano
                    KaimukiMan Jan 31, 2014 05:41 PM

                    in Hawaii we serve it over rice, not pasta.

                    1. re: KaimukiMan
                      monavano Jan 31, 2014 05:54 PM

                      I enjoy rice, too. We like to switch it up, but having the chili a bit saucy is imperative for rice, too!

                      1. re: KaimukiMan
                        Jerseygirl111 Jan 31, 2014 09:57 PM

                        We do here in NJ too.

                    2. pinehurst Jan 30, 2014 03:06 PM

                      I have two answers for you.
                      When I make Texas chili, it's about the consistency of beef stew.

                      When I make chili verde, it's even broth-ier.

                      No beans in either, recently.

                      1. mucho gordo Jan 30, 2014 02:58 PM

                        Thick. I wrap it as a burrito with just enough liquid to serve it 'wet'.

                        1. s
                          sparrowgrass Jan 30, 2014 08:37 AM

                          I lived in Southern Illinois/Indiana, where 'chili' was watery tomato soup with hamburger and kidney beans, and maybe a teaspoon of chili powder, but you didn't want to get carried away with the spicy.

                          My chili is sturdy--you could eat with a fork, but a spoon is better. Don't want to miss a drop. Penzey's chili powder and a can of green chilis, and not too many tomatoes.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: sparrowgrass
                            hill food Jan 30, 2014 11:43 PM

                            sparrow - that's my mother's version too, I've at least managed to recently get her to switch to red beans. I figure they're the gateway legume to pinto. and occasionally I can get her to let me add fresh chopped garlic and minced beef and pork leftovers instead of or in addition to that ground beef.

                            1. re: sparrowgrass
                              sandylc Jan 31, 2014 11:58 AM

                              That's my mom's chili exactly, sparrowgrass! She grew up in Southern Illinois, and moved to Indiana.

                              1. re: sandylc
                                sparrowgrass Feb 3, 2014 12:35 PM

                                It is just sad, isn't it? :)

                                Spaghetti has a similar recipe--tomato sauce, hamburger, one teaspoon of 'Italian seasoning'. And be sure to cook the spaghetti noodles until they are total mush.

                            2. Cheese Boy Jan 29, 2014 10:20 PM

                              Medium consistency ... like hummus maybe.

                              1. ipsedixit Jan 29, 2014 08:06 PM


                                It's chili. Not soup.

                                1. Ttrockwood Jan 29, 2014 07:43 PM

                                  Really thick-a good sized mug is a hearty portion- the leftovers often need a splash of water when reheating.

                                  1. s
                                    sandylc Jan 29, 2014 07:35 PM

                                    I like it fairly thick. My mothers' chili was watery and tasted mostly of salt.

                                    1. Wahooty Jan 29, 2014 07:31 PM

                                      Thick. I use beans, and the starches always provide some thickening. If there is a noticeable brothy component, it's not what I think of as chili. And it is always thicker after a night in the fridge.

                                      1. jgg13 Jan 29, 2014 07:22 PM

                                        Depends on the style of chili I'm making.

                                        However, if we're discussing the style that most of the US would describe, it's pretty thick. I hate the soupy stuff

                                        1. j
                                          Jerseygirl111 Jan 29, 2014 06:20 PM

                                          My husband's is pretty thick. You could almost stand a spoon up in it but it's not solid.

                                          1. hill food Jan 29, 2014 04:26 PM

                                            almost spackle like.

                                            1. chefj Jan 29, 2014 04:21 PM

                                              Loose enough that you can not eat it with a Fork.

                                              1. f
                                                ferret Jan 29, 2014 03:24 PM

                                                Mine? Fairly thick, I'd say just a little looser than from a can, slump-test wise. My wife's? Like soup. I've made plenty of helpful suggestions but she still gets it too soupy.

                                                1. Perilagu Khan Jan 29, 2014 03:20 PM

                                                  Mine tends to be pretty brothy. I thicken it some with an arrowroot emulsion towards the end, but I'm sure it would never pass muster in a serious competition, no matter how great it tastes. And it does taste great.

                                                  1. Cherylptw Jan 29, 2014 02:43 PM

                                                    Pretty thick with just a little give

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Cherylptw
                                                      Clarand Jan 31, 2014 05:56 PM

                                                      I agree, I like it as thick as possible. Without being solid of course

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