During a cold, winter day, people chow down on hot, spicy chili. This winter comfort food will warm you up from the inside out. If you’re going to whip up spicy, and delicious and comforting chili for you and your family, you’ll need a great chili seasoning.
Instead of going to the grocery store and buying store-bought chili seasoning packet that may contain additives and other food chemicals you don’t want in your body, take the DIY approach and make yourself a homemade chili seasoning.
When we talk about DIY chili seasoning, this doesn’t simply refer to chili powder — or chile powder for that matter. Let’s differentiate these three terms.
Chili seasoning mix consists of a combination of five to eight spices that blend well to make a tasty and hearty batch of chili stew.
You have the option to use this chili seasoning recipe on other dishes. You could, for instance, sprinkle this mix on potatoes before roasting to whip up chili roasted potatoes.
Other suggestions include adding the seasoning to marinades or meat before grilling, as well as putting the mix to vegetable or tomato-based soups. If you’re looking to become an aspiring chef, you’ll want to add chili seasoning to dishes that require a much-needed flavor boost.
Chili powder, on the other hand, is the pulverized and dried mix of one or more varieties of chili pepper along with other spices, such as paprika, peppercorn and cayenne. Home cooks typically use this spice to add flavor and pungency to culinary dishes.
Then, there’s chile powder. This dry ingredient consists of pure dried chile peppers. Some retailers sell this product under the name of the chile, such as Jalapeno, Chipotle and Ancho.
The Ingredients in Chili Seasoning
The ingredients of homemade chili seasoning vary from one person to another. One cook, for instance, may choose to add mustard powder while another may or replace it with something completely different.
Also, take note that the best chili seasoning is completely subjective. If someone wants their chili to be on the sweet side, for instance, they may choose to include a teaspoon of coconut sugar or brown sugar to the mix. This does not mean, however, that their chili seasoning recipe is terrible. That’s just their preference.
What is important, though, is to get the basics right.
Here are a few spices (and herbs) that you should include in your DIY chili seasoning:
You could use regular paprika or smoked paprika to give your mix that extra smokey kick.
This is the hero of your homemade seasoning mix. Chili powder should account for the bulk of the mix.
Feel free to adjust the amount according to your preferred spice level. If you don’t have this spice in your kitchen, you could substitute this for red pepper flakes.
You’ll need to include herbs in your chili seasoning mix. Oregano is one of them. This peppery herb adds a nice flavor and wonderful heat to your recipe. If you prefer a different herb, swap oregano with dried, ground basil or thyme instead.
This is different from granulated garlic. The production of garlic powder involves placing slices of garlic onto dehydrator racks. Once completely dry, you place the garlic inside a food processor and blend until it turns into a fine powder.
This seasoning can bring out the natural flavors in food. Salt is optional, though. If you’re trying to cut back on your sodium intake, leave this ingredient out of your mix.
What About Measurements?
Since you’re the one making the chili seasoning, you call the shots. You could, for instance, tailor your recipe to your liking by adding less chili powder and more cinnamon. Just make sure you have three to four tablespoons of chili seasoning per pound of vegetables or meat.
How to Make Chili Seasoning
Once you have selected your ingredients, the next step is to mix them all together.
Put all your chili seasoning ingredients in a mason jar or a large glass container. Then, cover the jar and shake until you’ve successfully combined all the herbs and spices.
You can now store your chili seasoning mix in a sealed container and use it when you’re ready.
How Long Will Chili Seasoning Last?
Since chili seasoning consists of dry spices and herbs, it won’t go bad the same way that a moist chili paste or spice blend would. The spices’ antimicrobial properties and dryness will help prevent the growth of bacteria. When you store your mix in an airtight container and away from moisture and heat, your homemade chili seasoning mix can last for up to half a year.
If you come across mold growth or clumping in your seasoning container, your chili powder may have gone bad. When this happens, prioritize food safety over taste. Remember the saying, “when in doubt, throw it out.”
Do away with the habit of buying processed chili seasoning packets in the grocery store. Instead, take the DIY approach and create a seasoning recipe that will allow you to whip up spicy and delectable homemade chili.