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Why does anyone put any sweetener of any kind, molasses, brown sugar, etc., in Chili?
I've never used any in any chili recipe I've tried and there have never been any complaints.
 

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Sriracha sauce, not sweetener. .... :p
 

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Sounds to me it's the type of chili served at BBQs that are also serving sweet stuff like BBQ ribs or pulled pork. Sweet chili would go good with those.
 

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I always add a little bit of brown sugar to my chili to balance out the hot sauce and cayenne pepper in my recipe.

Chip
 

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Could also be a regional thing...

The strangest chili variant I've ever heard was the practice of adding chocolate - then again, the maxim "There's no accounting for taste" applies here.
 

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Never thought chili should have BBQ sauce and brown sugar. Then I was given a recipe for Venison chili. It calls for the BBQ and brown sugar. We don't have it all the time, but Wow. I was impressed.
 

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We dont sweeten it. My wifes venison chili is awesome in my opinion. I cant eat really spicey stuff,,, but the ketchup and a touch of Durkee hot sauce sure hits the spot.
 

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The sweetest thing in my chili recipe is tomato paste. Everybody has their own method, none of them wrong as long as it tastes good.
 

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Chili is one of those recipes where you can make it the way you like it. I don't go by a set recipe, just a few basics and after that ...the sky's the limit !
Pork, beef , venison , buffalo , beefalo even ground turkey have all made wonderful pots.
The only thing I consistently do is make it red. I must admit I do add a spoon of brown sugar (especially if using tomato paste) , it cuts the acid in the tomato (Italian cooking secrete here ) , and... I just like the taste ! I also thicken it with a little masa-harina (corn flour).
It's your chili and there are no chili police to enforce "The Recipe" law.
Now you done got me thinking how a good bowl of chili would be tonight....going to the store to get fixings...Chili Rocks !
Gary
 

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I suspect a small amount of sweetener is added to cut the acidity of the tomato sauce/paste in the recipe, same as in Italian tomato sauces. Not intended to give a sweet flavor.
Chocolate (the unsweetened variety, I believe) is added to a lot of Mexican dishes.
This comes from watching a lot of cooking shows, not from my own expertise! YMMV
 

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My wife is from Cincinnatti and she introduced me to Cincinnatti style chile which calls for cinnamon; guide tasty.
 

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Maybe they use it for balance. Kind of like using some salt in dessert recipes to balance the sweetness. My wife is from Texas and never used any sugar or sweeteners to hers. I guess different strokes for different folks.
 

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Chili is like curry. There are thousands of variations and everybody has their own idea of perfection. Unless you get really weird like trying to make fish & asparagus chili or something goofy like that it's kinda hard to screw it up.

In our house the chili is fairly traditional. It's tomato sauce based. The only thing that changes is what kind of meat is in it and how spicy we make it. The kind of meat is based on what happens to be in the freezer and it could be anything from venison to pork to chicken to sausage. The spiciness is predicated on who's gonna eat it. If it's for me and Mrs Bonk we'll spice it up but for the grandkids we tone it down.
 

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Could it be because of the digestion system of some of those intended to eat it? For me, if it is too hot/spicy, I will walk away from it.
 

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I don't put any sugar in my chili (or spaghetti sauce), but I know that some people do. I've noticed that chili with brown sugar has less "bite" (different from heat), so the sugar probably tones down some of the acidity from the tomatoes. Also, some people just like their food sweeter than I do; I like the acidity - it helps cut through the fattiness of the meat.


Jim
 

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We put brown sugar in chili to cut down on the tomato acid. Beside chocolate, I've also seen people put peanut butter in their chili.
 

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Having been raised in Texas and designated as a Bishop in the church of BBQ I vote strongly against beans and any "sweetener" in chili. To do so crosses the line from chili to stew in my experience. As it was written so shall it be done! LOL. Thanks ya'll.
 
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