The Fridge Trick For Boosting The Flavor Of Chili Before You Serve

You may have noticed that when you put certain dishes in the refrigerator — soups, stews, lasagnas — they become more flavorful and delicious when they are served as leftovers. And perhaps of them all, chili is the MVP of next-day reheated foods. But why wait until the second serving to get the most out of chili when you can take advantage of that knowledge before serving it for the first time?

If you are able, prepare your chili before the day you plan to eat it. This will allow you to store the chili in the refrigerator and give it time for the flavors to meld. This results in the ingredients in the chili becoming less individually pronounced and transforming into a more cohesive taste. You will also notice that the liquid element of your chili is thicker and contains more aromatic flavor.

The science behind letting your chili rest

There are actually some scientific reasons why chili is better after resting in the refrigerator. First, ingredients with aromatic qualities, like the peppers, onions, garlic, herbs, and other spices found in chili, go through different chemical reactions to release their full flavor. And, if they are cooked, cooled, and reheated, more of these reactions occur and tastes are further developed.

Secondly, chili is often made with some kind of ground meat, like beef or turkey. When these meats cool, whatever they are bathed in will become trapped in the solidifying gelatinous parts of the meat, which will give the meat more flavor. Similarly, gelatinous material from the meat will make its way into the liquid when it is heated, causing the chili to thicken as it cools and improving the texture when you reheat it.

Next time you make chili, make it ahead of time and put it in the refrigerator so you can have the most scientifically delicious meal possible.