The Possible Reason Your Chili Turned Out Watery

Chili is one of those dishes in the United States that people get really passionate about. During Superbowl Sunday, the Fourth of July, and even sweltering summer cookouts, chili is one of those dishes you can't help but grab a big bowl of and eat with gusto. National Geographic claims historians such as Frank X. Tolbert believe the chili we know and love today likely originated in Texas. 

A heady mix of ground beef, chili peppers, and heavenly rich sauce is key to any true chili dish, but anything added after those basics make chili lovers really touchy. Some people bemoan the fact that beans were ever added into the mix while others scoff at the addition of sour cream and cheese to top off a bowl of the stuff. 

But despite the raging debates slung around the chili-lover community, whether people prefer a classic Texas red chili to a vegan three bean chili, there is one thing nobody wants their chili to be: thin.

The cause and the solution

The beautiful thing about chili is that it is super filling, hearty, and warm. It is meant to heat you up on cold nights and give you a little comfort, but it can't do that if the chili is thin and watery. MasterClass says one of the major causes of a runny chili is using too much stock. Beef or chicken stock is often used in chili recipes to add a little more flavor and to loosen up some of the thicker ingredients. However, it is important to remember that chili is neither a soup, nor a stew. The ingredients in chili aren't meant to be swimming around in broth — the meat and veggies you've cooked up are supposed to be coated in chili sauce.

So, how can you fix a thin chili? Boat Basin Cafe recommends a few ways to thicken your chili backup. First and foremost, you can add a thickening agent to the pot like flour or cornstarch, which will allow the stock to congeal. Another option is to cook down the pot. If you don't have any more veggies or meat to add to the pot to bulk up the chili, you must cook it down until some of the excess stock evaporates.