Previous   Next

What is the key to a great bowl of chili?

Asked at Hy-Vee, 400 W. Sixth St. on October 13, 2010

Browse the archives

Photo of Diane Karpowitz

“Serve it on a really cold day.”

Photo of Scott Elwell

“Invite a friend over that knows how to cook.”

Photo of Barbara Anderson

“A bottle of beer.”

Photo of Gary Coffman

“Hot peppers, hot Rotel sauce and green peppers.”

Related story


RoeDapple 7 years, 7 months ago

venison, skinless tomatoes and jalapenos. Mrs Roe makes a three bean chili that'll blow the socks right outa yer shoes!

Flap Doodle 7 years, 7 months ago

Half ground buffalo, half beef stew meat, salsa instead of tomato sauce.

Rae Hudspeth 7 years, 7 months ago

Coffee and cumin. ... and rinse the beans well.

Danielle Brunin 7 years, 7 months ago

Steak instead of ground meat. This simple change has revolutionized my chili life.

somedude20 7 years, 7 months ago

I see your five and give you five others to ponder: "Welcome to the Real World"- Mr Mister "Nervous Night"-The Hooters "Trixter"-Trixter "Side Kicks"-Thompson Twins "In God We Trust"-Stryper

Stay thirsty my friend (or Stay Hungry if you like TS)

nobody1793 7 years, 7 months ago

Dag nabit. Y'all a bunch of lilly livered greenhorns. T'ain't none of them thar beans in chili, con sarnit!

nobody1793 7 years, 7 months ago

Gunshots + lots of flammable gases = Kablooey

puddleglum 7 years, 7 months ago

2 cans of dark red kidney beans and chili powder, of course.

when you are as pretty as I am, the food usually makes itself

nobody1793 7 years, 7 months ago

Amen. I loves me some chili. I loves me some red beans and rice. But may the two never meet in a dark alley.

Kent Fisher 7 years, 7 months ago

PART 1 OF 2: This is a long read, but worth it! Tell this story aloud to a group of people and you'll be laughing in tears by the time your done.

For those of you who have lived in Texas, you know how true this is. They actually have a chili cook-off about the time Halloween comes around. It takes up a major portion of a parking lot at the San Antonio city park. The notes are from an inexperienced chili taster named Frank, who has visited from Springfield IL.

Frank: "Recently, I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cooking contest. The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judges table asking for directions to the Coors Light truck, when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (native Texans) that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy and, besides, they told me that I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted."

Here are the scorecards from the advent: (Frank is Judge 3)

Chili #1 Eddie's Maniac Monster Chili

Judge #1 -- A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.

Judge #2 -- Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.

Judge #3 -- (Frank) What the hell is this stuff?! You could remove dried paint on my driveway. Took me two beers to put out the flames. I hope that's the worst one. These Texans are crazy!

Chili #2 Austin's Afterburner Chili

Judge #1 -- Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeno tang.

Judge #2 -- Exiting BBQ flavor; needs more peppers to be taken seriously.

Judge #3 -- Keep this out of reach of children. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.

Chili #3 Ronny's Famous Burn Down the Barn Chili

Judge #1 -- Excellent firehouse chili. Great kick. Needs more beans.

Judge #2 -- A bean less chili, a bit salty, good use of peppers.

Judge #3 -- Call the EPA. I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now. Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my back bone is in the front part of my chest. I'm getting pie-eyed from all the beer...

Chili #4 Dave's Black Magic

Judge #1 -- Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.

Judge #2 -- Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish, or other mild foods; not much of a chili.

Judge #3 -- I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Sally, the barmaid, was standing behind me with fresh refills. That 300-lb woman is starting to look HOT...just like this nuclear waste I'm eating! Is chili an aphrodisiac?


Kent Fisher 7 years, 7 months ago


Chili #5 Lisa’s Legal Lip Remover

Judge #1 -- Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.

Judge #2 -- Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.

Judge #3 – My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off may forehead, and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I’m burning my lips off. It really pisses me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw those rednecks.

Chili #6 Pam’s Very Vegetarian Variety

Judge #1 -- Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spices and peppers.

Judge #2 -- The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb.

Judge #3 -- My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous sulphuric flames. I pooped on myself when I farted and I’m worried it will eat through the chair! No one seems inclined to stand behind me anymore. I need to wipe my butt with a snow cone.

Chili #7 Carla’s Screaming Sensation Chili

Judge #1 -- A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.

Judge #2 -- Ho-hum; tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last minute. **I should take note that I am worried about Judge #3. He appears to be in a bit of distress, as he is cursing uncontrollably.

Judge #3 -- You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn’t feel a thing. I’ve lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili, which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are filled with lave to match my shirt. At least during the autopsy, they’ll know what killed me. I’ve decided to stop breathing; it’s too painful. Screw it; I’m not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I’ll just suck it through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.

Chili #8 Karen’s Toenail Curling Chili

Judge #1 -- The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili. Not too bold, but spicy enough to declare its existence.

Judge #2 -- This final entry is a good, balanced chili. Neither mild, nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge #3 farted, passed out, fell over, and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he’s going to make it. Poor fella, wonder how he’d have reacted to REALLY hot chili.

somedude20 7 years, 7 months ago

Jack, you could be her "Father Figure" I dedicate this song to you and Whipme: "I will be your father figure (Oh baby) Put your tiny hand in mine (I'd love to) I will be your preacher teacher (Be your daddy) Anything you have in mind (It would make me) I will be your father figure (Very happy) I have had enough of crime (Please let me) I will be the one who loves you till the end of time"

whats_going_on 7 years, 7 months ago

the secret? WHY would I tell you?

Just kidding, never made the stuff.

Hmmm, if it isn't my mother in laws, than I wont eat it.

trinity 7 years, 7 months ago

a big ol' glass of cold milk, alongside. oh and Fritos...but it must be scoops! :) and the chili? has to be my own. period.

eotw33 7 years, 7 months ago

Death Lizard Sauce with freshly chopped onions, a liittle mustard, and frito scoops on top.

somedude20 7 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

somedude20 7 years, 7 months ago

What's it gonna be?! (What's it gonna be?!) Gonna make, gonna make, gonna make your body wet (Make your body wet, c'mon) Gonna make, gonna make your body scream out yeah (Make your body scream yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah) Gonna make, gonna make, gonna make your body cream (Make your body cream) Make you have wet dreams (Make you have wet dreams) What, what, what, what's it gonna be?!

janet jackson and one mr busta rhymes

Kent Fisher 7 years, 7 months ago

Agreed...LJW hasn't even updated the miner rescue story in Chile (see the connection to this thread???).

Flap Doodle 7 years, 7 months ago

A cow fell over. AP reports suggest that it said "moo".

Flap Doodle 7 years, 7 months ago

Get plenty of fiber in your diet. If you don't, you may have to have your colon removed and then you'll be forced to punctuate into a rubber bag the rest of your life.

BorderRuffian 7 years, 7 months ago

ya makes yer own Chili Powder. Plenty of chili arbol for heat, some chili ancho for da flavor, some chili chipotle for the nice smoky flavor and a little kick, some good ole granulated garlic powder, plenty of ground cumin seed - the Mexican kind. Oh, and add some more chili arbol - ya needs lotsa heat. If'n ya doubts, add more.

Plenty of good beans - dark red kidney, some pintos, maybe a few white. Oh, and add some chili arbols.

If'n ya gots ground venison, dats real good, too, and a little pork for sweetness. Did I mention adding in some chilis arbols?

Don't ferget a bit of black coffee to darken up the flavor. And some termaters. And add some more chilis arbols.

RoeDapple 7 years, 7 months ago

Yeah but, . . . what about the chili arbols?

RoeDapple 7 years, 7 months ago

G'bye Jack. Say hello to the 'hog for us . . .

Sagecasey 7 years, 7 months ago

I agree with no beans. One that I have found to be delicious is going chunky not soupy.Use half Italian sausage and half hamburger/deer meat., green pepper, red pepper, white onion, ro-tel, and jalapenos plus spices of your choice. Good chili should cause a nice forehead brow sweat.

riverdrifter 7 years, 7 months ago

I like chili with beans beans and I like it without beans. Don't soak'em for added entertainment. (ô¿ô) Snap's advice with the dash of dark chocolate is spot-on and I like Roe's opening shot at (gasp) 428 am. Was that late yesterday or early today, BTW? At least Roe didn't say "first".

mdrndgtl 7 years, 7 months ago

The best chili is made with the ground-up remains of your enemy's parents.

Kontum1972 7 years, 7 months ago

a box of strike anywhere matches or a BIC lighter...

Commenting has been disabled for this item.