Have you ever wondered how to thicken up chili in the slow cooker because it looks just like a soup rather than actual chili? Well, This article will give you all possible solutions to thicken up chili in the slow cooker.
You can either use techniques to thicken chili while cooking in the slow cooker or you can thicken chili after it is cooked and ready to serve.
The rest of the article discusses the following tips regarding the thickening of chili in the slow cooker:
- Reduce the amount of liquid
- Simmer the chili in the crockpot
- Adding cornstarch or flour to thicken chili (the natural thickening agents)
- Adding cornmeal to thicken up the chili (enhanced corn flavor)
- Add Masa Harina in chili (a special corn flour)
- Add vegetables to the crockpot while cooking (natural source of starches)
- Add beans to thicken up the chili
- Add Instant Oats for quick thickening of chili
- Thickening of chili in the slow cooker with tomato paste
- Thicken up the chili by adding potato flakes
And following tips regarding thickening after cooking:
- Thickening of chili with Tortilla chips
- Thickening of chili with Cheese
- Thickening of chili with Crackers
Thickening of Chili in the Slow Cooker
Here are the things you can do to thicken up chili in a slow-cooker while cooking:
Reduce the Amount of Liquid
Slow-cooker is tightly sealed and it does not allow liquid to evaporate. When you cook chili in a crockpot, reduce the amount of water or stock as the steam will be enough to cook the meat in it.
Simmer the Chili in the Crockpot
If you have enough time and you are not starving, you can ultimately thicken the chili without adding anything to it.
This is the best method to thicken the chili in the slow cooker without changing its taste or texture just by using the magic of evaporation.
All you have to do is to uncover the crockpot and lower the flame and let it simmer for an hour or till you get desired thickness.
Be careful of the temperature as a high flame will dry the chili and may burn it in some cases. Just keep stirring it to avoid any scorches. This method is time taking but in the end, it’s worth it.
Adding Cornstarch or Flour to Thicken Chili (The Natural Thickening Agents)
Mix an equal ratio of cornstarch and cold water (or 1:2 of all-purpose flour and cold water). After mixing it well, slightly pour this slurry into the pot with continuous stirring. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
If your chili is still not thick enough, repeat the procedure until you get the required results.
You can replace cornstarch with potatoes starch if you don’t like the flavor of cornstarch in the chili.
Adding Cornmeal to Thicken Up the Chili (Enhanced Corn Flavor)
Cornstarch and cornmeal both come from corn but corn starch has a starchy taste while cornmeal has more corn flavor in it.
So, in case you don’t have cornstarch, you can always use cornmeal to absorb excess liquid and thicken up the chili in the slow cooker.
After adding a tablespoon of cornmeal directly into the pot, allow the chili to simmer for about 10 minutes. You can decide if you want to add more if the chili is still not thick enough for your requirement.
Add Masa Harina in Chili (A Special Corn Flour)
It is known to add extra richness to the actual chili recipe. Increase the flame, add two tablespoons of masa Harina into the chili and wait 10 minutes to see if thick enough. You can always add more according to your desire.
Be aware that it will slightly change the taste and texture of the chili recipe.
Add Vegetables to the Crockpot While Cooking (Natural Source of Starches)
Vegetables are the natural source of starches that absorbs the surrounding liquid. It will also add nutrients to the chili. You can add small chunks of carrots, potatoes, onions, and celery to enhance the thickness and the flavor of chili.
Add Beans to Thicken Up the Chili
Large beans like kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans are the best choice for thickening chili as they also release starches.
The best and most common practice while thickening a chili in a slow cooker is to add a cup of blended beans or mash the beans after adding into the thin chili that will absorb the liquid.
Leave it on a medium flame for 30 minutes. If you add beans, remember to adjust the seasoning and spices in the chili accordingly.
Safety Note: While blending hot beans in the blender, cover the blender with the lid and handle it with a kitchen towel to avoid any splashes.
Add Instant Oats for Quick Thickening of Chili
Oats are also a healthy alternative to cornstarch and cornmeal. Once you add instant oats, let the chili boil for 3 minutes to soak excess liquid.
Thickening of Chili in the Slow Cooker With Tomato Paste
Adding tomato paste will thicken up the chili and gives your dish a tangy flavor. Add a 60 oz. of tomato paste into the pot of chili and cook it on a medium flame for about thirty minutes.
As chili itself is a tomato-based dish, adding tomato paste will not alter its taste that much. It is also the best substitute for tomato sauce.
Thicken Up the Chili by Adding Potato Flakes
Adding potato flakes is also a common practice as it absorbs extra liquid and enriches the taste.
Add the desired amount of instant potato flakes and stir it continuously. Leave the crockpot on high flame and uncover it. Simmer it for 30 minutes for the best results.
Related Article: How to Cook Bob Evans Sausage Patties on the Stove
Thickening of Chili After Cooking
If the chili is not thick enough, you can serve it with different tasty ingredients to balance it. These may include:
Thickening of Chili With Tortilla Chips
You can crush a pack of tortilla chips in a zip lock bag and sprinkle it on your cooked chili. Doing this will absorb extra liquid and give pleasure to your taste buds.
Thickening of Chili With Cheese
Cheese is loved all across the globe. Adding cheese garnishing is so helpful in thickening up the chili while serving the chili.
Add the desired amount of shredded cheese to the hot chili. As the cheese melts, it binds with the chili and absorbs some of the liquid from it.
Thickening of Chili With Crackers
Serving chili with saltine crackers is also a good idea to thicken up the chili.
Safety Note While Using a Slow Cooker
Never open the lid of a slow cooker while cooking. Turn off the flame, wait for the vapors to sit down and after 10-15 minutes, open the lid while covering your face or keeping a distance to avoid steam burn.
Related Article: How to Cook Cheesy Potatoes With Shredded Hash Browns
Thickening up chili in a slow cooker can make your life so much easier if you use the ingredients mentioned above. Let us know if you found this article helpful.