07 October 2010

Chili Cook-Off: Trial Batch 1 and More Help Needed

I did not take pictures last night, but I spent a few hours making my first experimental batch of pork red chili. I slow roasted a pork shoulder during the day and then added it to my chili. For being completely self-invented, I thought it tasted pretty good. Unfortunately my palatte is not mature enough to be confident that it was really good.

Here's my new problem. I think that it is a very balanced chili - no one flavor or ingredient stands out more than another. I think that may be the way to go. Gas Monkey believes that since each person is only going to taste 1-2 spoonfuls, it needs to have something that jumps out at the taster. So he thinks I should emphasize a particular ingredient.

Please help! Which way to go? A well-balanced chili that is delicious the whole bowl through but may not catch your attention after only one bite, or a chili that is striking and interesting in the first couple of bites but in the end you may not want to eat more than one bowl? Advice please!


  1. Give it some heat!!! Enough so people will notice, but not enough to cover up the flavor.

  2. I just saw a recipe for pumpkin chili that sounds amazing!
    It would be appropriate for this time of year and it would stand out from the others as something unique.

  3. A good chili like most dishes requires a balance of sweet, salty, sour and spice.
    I find that adding a cup or more of beer helps balance out the flavors. Also if the tomatoes are too acidic you will need to add a few teaspoons of sugar. Good luck...keep us posted.

  4. I think a good, balanced well rounded chili will be perfect!

  5. I like chili that has a spice to it, but not so much that you don't taste the other flavors. So maybe a little extra spice, but not too much? Good luck...

  6. @Megan - I think you have solved my problem! I can put pumpkin in so it is subtle, but it will draw people to it. Thanks!

    Thanks everybody for the encouragement!

    @Spanky Bottoms If I burn their tongues they won't be able to taste the competition! Brilliant! Just kidding.

  7. I was a judge for a chili contest at work once. There were about 20 pots of chili and the judges got a few tablespoons of each. Honestly, after the first 3 or 4 spoons of different chili, they all tasted the same. And if the judges get a really hot one, that's it... they can't taste anything after that. good luck with the contest!


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