Jalapeño Is The Ultra-Spicy Ingredient Your Chili Is Lacking

Chili is a hearty and comforting meal, perfect for a cozy night in during the winter — or, even summertime nights, too. If you're looking for a way to make your chili a bit more exciting, then you need to consider one ultra-spicy ingredient: jalapeño.

You can add jalapeños to any chili recipe that you enjoy to amp up the spice a notch. Start with your favorite chili base — stick with a classic chili con carne or vegetarian dish, or switch it up with the addition of ground bison, sweet-and-spicy chorizo, or green veggies (for chili verde). To add jalapeños to any of these dishes, start by slicing or dicing them before stirring them into the stew while it's still on the stove. If you're looking for even more heat (and an opportunity to amp up the final aesthetics), add a few slices of jalapeños to garnish the chili.

You can choose how hot you want the jalapeños

The great thing about jalapeños is that they do not have to be super spicy if you don't want them to be. To achieve a more mild taste, all you have to do is remove the seeds. Simply slice the jalapeños in half and then use a spoon to scoop out the middle — you can also wear gloves to avoid a burning sensation in your hands that is sometimes referred to as "jalapeño hands."

Then, when it comes down to integrating jalapeños into your chili, you'll end up with a much milder spice factor if you use the jalapeños without seeds — but enough of a kick will still be there for you to notice the difference. Or, you could skip the step of infusing the jalapeños into the stew and simply use them only as a garnish. This method works well for a crowd, as each person can decide how much spice they want by opting for jalapeños with seeds or without.