Rescue Your Pot Of Burnt Chili With A Common Kitchen Spice

Pot of chili on linen towels with cornbread and cutting board
Pot of chili on linen towels with cornbread and cutting board - Rudisill/Getty Images

Chili is a delicious, comforting, and versatile crowd pleaser that many home cooks turn to for Super Bowl parties or even to top on summer hot dogs. When it comes to the cooking process, though, some have had trouble keeping a pot of chili from burning, particularly on the bottom where the pot has the most contact with the heat source.

Fortunately, there's a handy trick to salvaging scorched chili that can even enhance it with an extra pop of flavor. Even better news? You probably already have the necessary ingredient in your spice rack. It turns out that just a little bit of cinnamon can be the solution to burnt chili.

Cinnamon can sometimes be deployed as a "cover up" for off flavors. But in this case, the spice can actually complement and enhance the flavors of chili. It has the ability to absorb some of the undesirable overcooked notes, and as a bonus, it brings some of its warming spice flavor to your pot, too.

Read more: 11 Of The Best Cooking Tips From Bobby Flay

How To Save Overcooked Chili With Some Cinnamon

Cinnamon in powder and stick form on cutting board
Cinnamon in powder and stick form on cutting board - Annmell_sun/Shutterstock

If you run into a burning situation with your chili, before you reach for the cinnamon, it's a good idea to move the salvageable part of the batch to a different cooking vessel. Doing so leaves behind the scorched bits at the bottom of the original pot, so it won't be distributed throughout the chili you are able to save. At this point, give a taste to the contents you transferred over; if you feel there's any unpleasant and overcooked parts, that's the time to incorporate some cinnamon.

Depending on the freshness, you may find your spice to have varying degrees of kick. You don't want to overpower your dish, however, so start small — about ⅛ teaspoon ground per 3 quart batch is a good starting point — and then adjust to taste.

Even with this simple trick, you may want to try some preventative tips to avoid burning chili in the first place, that way you don't have to do any extra work. Lowering the heat, and also opting for a heavy-bottomed soup or stock pot rather than a less dense vessel that may have hot spots, will help distribute even heat, and ensure a well-cooked batch.

Other Ways To Amplify Your Cinnamon-Spiced Chili

Chili in a bowl with tortilla chips
Chili in a bowl with tortilla chips - Yulia Gusterina/Getty Images

Some of the greatest culinary masterpieces can be the result of a "mistake," and in this case, there's no reason not to own this new flavor profile, even if it wasn't the one you originally intended. Cinnamon, which has subtle notes of citrus and can be reminiscent of cloves, is a common and widely loved spice that pairs well with so many other flavors, so you can get really creative here.

Some complementary spices that may already be in your classic chili recipe include cumin, fennel seed, red pepper flakes, and chili powder — but if they're not incorporated already, you can add some in for an extra kick. There are even cinnamon-spiked chili recipes, like Cincinnati chili, that call for chocolate, which is a natural and well-known friend to the spice (think Mexican hot chocolate).

If you feel like branching out with the protein in your chili, cinnamon pairs beautifully with lamb, and when it comes time to serve, garnish with thyme or even some grated nutmeg, either of which bring out some of cinnamon's best qualities. Crumble some homemade tortilla chips over the top for texture (corn goes great with this spice, too). Whether you choose to highlight your spice or simply allow it to meld together with your recipe's already delicious flavors, you can be sure you won't lose your chili when cooking goes slightly awry.

Read the original article on Daily Meal