One Of The Biggest Mistakes You Can Make With Chili

Whether you're looking for a dish to bring to a summer buffet or a way to make game nights extra delicious, chili is definitely the best way to go. You can make a large batch of it for cheap or make it a fun dining experience by surrounding it with several toppings for your guests to choose from. It's also a dish that's easy to make gluten-free, vegetarian, or even vegan if need be! You can literally sweeten the pot by adding cocoa powder to your chili to deepen its rich dark flavor or, spice it up with some freshly sliced jalapeños, but whatever style you like your chili, the most important element is the seasoning spices. No one wants a bowl of watery, bland chili.

The base of a traditional Texas red chili is made up of onion, garlic, pepper, tomato, and a blend of spices, but sometimes those spices don't shine as they should.

Spices are a way of life

While restocking the spice rack can be expensive, there's likely no need to go replacing them all at once. Most spices have quite a long shelf-life, but over time will eventually go stale. According to Healthline, spices can last a few years before they lose their potency.

But that's okay! There is a simple way to ensure that the spices for your chili are rich, flavorful, and more than a bit toasty. Southern Living states that if you're using whole spices in your recipe, you must toast them in a dry pan until their scent washes over you, then grind them up and mix them into your chili. If you are working with pre-ground spices, Today suggests giving them a quick sniff before dumping them into the pot; spices should be bright in color and fragrant — if it doesn't have any smell, it likely isn't strong enough to flavor your food. They should still pack a little punch, and if they don't, it is definitely worth it to replace them. Spices are the backbone of a quality chili, so don't skimp on them!