Pepperoncinis Will Spice Up Your Chili In New, Tangy Ways

ladle scooping chili
ladle scooping chili - Veselovaelena/Getty Images

Dark chocolate, beer, and maple syrup are all secret ingredients celebrity chefs use to create deeper, more complex flavors in their chili. But what if you're just trying to add a little spice? You could use typical ingredients that bring the heat, such as chili powder, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, and jalapeños. But if you're searching for more of a unique flavor from your spicy ingredient, you may want to experiment with adding pepperoncinis.

You'll get some heat from these peppers, but it won't be an overwhelming amount. On the Scoville scale, pepperoncinis fall between 100 and 500 heat units -- as opposed to jalapeños, which land between 2,500 and 8,000 heat units. But the lack of one-note spice is made up for with sour, briny, and slightly sweet flavors that pop against the backdrop of some of the chili's heartier ingredients like ground meat, beans, and canned tomatoes. So if you feel like your pot needs a little something beyond plain heat, you may want to opt for these tangy peppers instead.

Read more: Styles Of Regional BBQ In The US

How To Incorporate Pepperoncinis In Chili

jar of pepperoncini
jar of pepperoncini - Katerina Maksymenko/Shutterstock

If you'd like to incorporate these acidic peppers into your pot of chili, you have a few options: You can add chopped pepperoncinis, the peppers' juice, or both. If you choose to use just the sliced or diced peppers, you'll want to drain them beforehand and add them in after you've cooked your meat and aromatics, alongside the liquid ingredients like canned tomatoes and chicken stock. Deploying the pepperoncinis too early, instead of solely as a topping after the fact, allows the flavors to immerse throughout your pot as the chili simmers.

For an extra dose of that briny flavor, you can pour some juice from your jar straight into the pot. You'll want to add it in at the same point in the chili recipe -- alongside the other liquid ingredients -- and the amount you use depends on how much you want to taste the peppers, although a tablespoon is a good starting point. Try adding and tasting as you go, because unlike with other spicy ingredients, overdoing it with sour pepperoncini juice could significantly alter the flavor of your dish. But if your chili is done and you want even more of the peppers' flavor, mix in a dash of the juice or serve individual bowls with more chopped pepperoncinis. And for those who want some extra spice, top your chili with diced jalapeños as well.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.