Adjusting the HEAT and Spiciness of Chili


Adjusting the spice level of Texas-style chili can be done using various culinary techniques. Here are some proven methods to help decrease or increase the heat level and spiciness:

Decrease Spice Heat:

  1. Dilution: Adding additional beer, tomato sauce, broth or some combination thereof can help dilute the spiciness of the chili.
  2. Dairy: While we believe the greatness of our chili is best savored without adding additional food items, we understand that it is the preferred way to enjoy chili by many. Having said that…adding dairy products like sour cream, yogurt, or cheese will certainly help neutralize the heat and mellow out the spiciness.
  3. Sweeteners: Adding a bit of sweetness can also balance out the heat. You can add a small amount of brown sugar, honey or maple syrup to the chili to counteract the spiciness.
  4. Acidity: Acidic ingredients like vinegar or citrus juices can help cut through the heat. Adding a splash of vinegar or a squeeze of lime juice can help balance the flavors.

Increase Spice Heat:

  1. Peppers: Try floating fresh sliced peppers to the simmer and removing them once ready to serve the chili. Jalapeño peppers for more modest heat addition, serrano peppers for a bolder addition of heat. Including the seeds of said peppers will play a significant role in increased heat. Be cautious with hotter peppers as they can quickly overpower the dish, and it is very common for peppers to vary in heat level from batch to batch…especially jalapeño peppers which can vary from bell pepper-like mild to extremely hot.
  2. Spice Blends: Adding more cayenne pepper is a sure way to add additional heat to the chili; however, be cautious and sparing with a “dash” or “pinch” as a little goes a LONG way when using cayenne.
  3. Hot Sauce: Incorporating hot sauce or chili paste allows you to control the level of heat precisely. Add a few drops at a time and taste as you go to achieve the desired spiciness.
  4. Red Pepper Flakes: Sprinkling red pepper flakes into the chili is an easy way to increase the heat level gradually. Start with a small amount and adjust according to taste.