Need Chili In A Hurry? Don't Cover The Pot

Pot and bowls of chili
Pot and bowls of chili - Rudisill/Getty Images

A big bowl of meaty, belly-warming goodness, homemade chili is one of life's ultimate comfort foods. There are plenty of ways to make this classic dish, and its ingredients vary by region. But when you're letting that hearty chili simmer on the stove, you're likely going for a thick, rich consistency. Since a nicely thickened chili has reduced its moisture content considerably, you need to give it plenty of time on the stove or in the slow cooker. But if you don't have time to let it simmer for hours, and you need to get thick, robust chili as quickly as possible, the best time-saving tip is to avoid covering the pot.

Of course, this option doesn't work for a slow cooker, so if you're in a hurry you'll need to use the stove. With this method, uncovering the pot speeds up the cooking time by releasing moisture at a faster rate. In less than an hour, you're left with a thick, cozy pot of goodness.

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Leave The Lid Off For Quick Chili

Steam released from pot
Steam released from pot - Gorloff-KV/Shutterstock

Thickening your chili faster than normal all comes down to science. Though there are a plethora of chili recipes, it commonly contains canned tomatoes as a base, plus meat (usually beef) and sometimes beans. The tomatoes are loaded with water, so as the chili cooks down, plenty of moisture is released in the form of steam, and if the lid is left off the pot, the steam evaporates in the air. When the lid is left on the chili pot, that steam can't escape. Instead, the water forms condensation on the lid and drips back down into the chili, taking much longer for the chili to lose enough moisture to thicken up.

Temperature also impacts how quickly the water evaporates, but you don't want to burn the bottom of the chili by turning the heat up too high. For a solid simmer (not boil), don't turn the stove dial past medium-low, and stir the chili frequently to prevent burning. You can always add some moisture back in if you take it too far.

Other Tips For Speeding Up Your Chili

Bowl of chili
Bowl of chili - Radu Bercan/Shutterstock

When looking to make a quick batch of homemade chili, there are a few other shortcuts to take. Brown the ground beef and onions as usual, in a skillet with a little vegetable oil; it will cook in about 10 minutes, then transfer to a larger pot. Rather than letting the tomatoes cook down entirely, just grab a can of tomato sauce and some diced or stewed tomatoes, and combine the two in the chili pot. The canned tomato sauce has already been thickened, which will reduce the time needed to simmer.

Canned beans are your best bet here; cooking dried, soaked beans will take too much time. Make sure to season the chili with any desired spices to impart even more flavor. Kosher salt, garlic powder, and paprika are all great additions to the standard chili powder. If you like heat, reach for the cayenne or some hot sauce. In most cases, using canned tomato sauce and beans, plus leaving the lid off to simmer, will give you a ready pot of chili in 30 to 40 minutes.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.