Recipe Update: Check Out the Latest Versions of Our Chili Recipes

It's chili season, and we've updated all our chili recipes! [Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

I recently published an article about how to make real Texas Chile Con Carne in a pressure cooker in just about an hour. It was based largely on my original Dutch oven version of Texas Chile Con Carne, but when writing the new recipe, it occurred to me that over the years, I've learned a few things about making good chili. Since we're in the middle of chili season, now seemed like as good a time as ever to update all of my previous excursions to take advantage of some of the new tricks I've learned along the way.

The major updates include:

  • Toasting the chilies either on the stovetop or microwave. All of my hardcore chili recipes start with real whole dried chilies (they have much better flavor than powder). I recently discovered that toasting them is easiest in the microwave: you just put them on a plate, and zap them until fragrant. This adds depth of flavor to the finished dish.
  • Searing the meat in whole steaks instead of small chunks. Small pieces of meat or ground meat have a lot of surface area and give up a lot of moisture as they cook. Consequently, they don't brown very effectively; they end up steaming instead of browning. By searing them as whole steaks, you get very efficient browning which cuts your cooking time down and makes for more tender meat. Afterwards, you can cut the meat into chunks or grind it in the food processor to whatever texture you desire.

I've also made a few small tweaks here and there to bring them up to speed. I just love that the internet allows us to make sure that ALL of our recipes are up to our current standards, not just the brand new ones.

Anyhow, go and grab the chili pot. It's gonna be a cold one.

Updated Recipes: