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My chili is too sweet, what should I do?

asked by radrav about 6 years ago
11 answers 43486 views
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Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 6 years ago

What sweetness is in there? Tomatoes? You could make a bitter beer and cornflour slurry and add that, or something smoky like a smoked hot paprika, or some dried chilies if you can take some additional heat.

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added about 6 years ago

I always add a bottle of beer to chili. It adds a bitter taste and flattens any sweetness from adding tomatoes. A bit more cayenne pepper help as well. Corona works fine for me.

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added about 6 years ago

These two replies are spot-on. A flavorful bitter component and a little spice or smoke is the way to attack this problem.

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added about 6 years ago

I love these suggestions. I would also add some of the sauce from a can of Chipotle in Adobo, and some of the chili's in the can as well. Easy though, it can get spicy quick but it lends a smoky flavor as the chili's are smoked jalapenos. Dry mustard would probably offset the sweetness too.

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added about 6 years ago

All good ideas! I think I'd go with a little more heat and maybe a touch of unsweetened cocoa.

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added about 6 years ago

I like the cocoa idea--I also sometimes add a little coffee to these types of dishes.

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added about 6 years ago

My chili recipe uses brown sugar, and sometimes I overdo it. When I do, I add a shot or two of white vinegar.. makes it sweet/tangy instead of just sweet. All the other suggestions sound fantastic, too.. I think I'll try beer in mine next time.

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added about 6 years ago

I'd try acid, too. Like a shot of lime juice, maybe half a lime, or to taste. Lime juice is a natural with chili flavors.

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added almost 2 years ago

I basically just tried adding all of the above at once. Small additions of cumin, beer, ancho powder, salt and vinegar. Less sweet. Still tasty!

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added 16 days ago

Add one bottle of Miller lite beer to a pot of chili..or enough to tone down sweetness. Then cook until alcohol is cooked away. Flavors are blended. Works well.

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added 16 days ago

When my chilie is too spicy I add sweet corn so in the opposite situation, I would add spice.

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