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Chili is Too Sweet

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I put too much sugar in a batch of Chili and was wondering what to do.

Any ideas?

Dale from Pelican Rapids, MN


Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Karli K. (Guest Post)01/20/2009

I use brown sugar in my chili recipes because it's DELICIOUS! And I also use canned stewed tomatoes (sliced) because I find they have more flavor and are heartier than the diced tomatoes. Give it a try some time! (P.S. I usually cook the chili 8 hours in a crock pot on low)

By carol (Guest Post)01/08/2009

Would vinegar, lemon juice, or mustard also correct the "too sweet" taste in spaghetti sauce? I made my own meat sauce and then extended it with Prego sauce....too sweet!

By presto (Guest Post)11/17/2008

I put a little baking soda in my chili and I want to get rid of the acid taste from the baking soda in the chili that I made

By Pam J. (Guest Post)09/09/2008

I got a little out of hand with the sugar trying to recreate my mom's chili. The advice for Dry Mustard really helped! I also added a tsp. more of cumin with that and I think I've cracked the recipe.Thanks.

By Julia (Guest Post)05/21/2008

What started out as a simple pinto bean soup that called for sugar, turned into chili. So, to transform it I needed to take away the sweetness that clearly does not go well in chili. Borrowing the suggestion Alph shared, I used DRY MUSTARD, a little at a time and, viola...chili. I gave the unsweetened cocoa powder a thought too. I never had Chili Mole, but that's another day. I don't have the courage to press my luck on this large batch.

By Steve (Guest Post)07/20/2007

I'm no chef....however......

I have noticed that by adding just the right amount of sugar to an especially spicy chili, you get a delayed reaction from the consumer's tastebuds.

By guest (Guest Post)04/12/2007

I tried the cider vinegar idea... didn't work. I called my sister & she said to add more cumin (I had chili powder; worked the same) or try beef boullion. With both, I barely had a sweet taste. I don't add sugar to my chili, but I had some green chili that a friend had made & oversalted then sugared to counteract the salt. It had some heat to it, but those 2T of green chili made my entire crock of chili sweet.

By Lori (Guest Post)03/11/2006

Many people use sugar to cut the acid in TOMATOE BASE recipes. Use Baking Soda instead. It cuts the acid and it makes it sweet. Simply bring whatever it is that you are cooking to a low rolling boil, stir in 1/4 teaspoon of Baking Soda. Stir rapidly, it will foam, keep stiring, bring it to a low rolling boil. When it is at a rolling boil, LOWER the heat and allow it to cook VERY low, STIRING often, for at least another hour. YOU WON'T BELIEVE HOW WONDERFUL IT WILL TASTE. No acid burping and a nice soft sweet taste! Family Secret passed on for a few generations ENJOY! : )

By (Guest Post)02/02/2006

I always add sugar to anything with tom. so you are not alone. I would probably try heat also a little at a
time though.
Walkerton, IN

By Debbie Dzurilla [24]02/02/2006

Here's another one I came up with for the crock pot. Try it, you'll like it!


1 -1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1 small-medium onion, chopped
3 cans diced tomatoes (undrained) (that's the can that is around 15 oz)
1 can tomato sauce
1 can (tomato sauce can) water
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chilies (undrained)
2 cans Bush's mild chili beans
couple dashes of cumin
1/4-1/2 tsp garlic powder
chili powder to taste.

Cook onion with beef. Drain grease and add meat to crock pot along with all other ingredients.

Cook on high about 4 hours, then turn to low a while till dinner (I have a warm setting so after cooking some additional time on low, I set on warm).


By Debbie Dzurilla [24]02/02/2006

Here's one of the chili's I like to's easy and really tasty!

Debbie's Yummy Chili

About 2 1/2 lbs. ground chuck
1 medium - large onion, finely chopped
Large can of whole tomatoes, undrained
1 can Mexican style chili beans
1 can Ro-Tel Tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste
chili powder to taste

Fry meat, onion, and garlic together in a large skillet until meat is nicely browned; drain fat. Add meat and all other ingredients in large pot. Bring to boil and then simmer atleast one hour. It gets better longer it cooks and also is better next day.

Serve some shredded cheddar cheese on the side. Cornbread is good with it.

I came up with this chili recipe on Super Bowl Sunday 1-30-00

By Debbie Dzurilla [24]02/02/2006

Yes, why would you put sugar in chili in the first place? I've made lots of chili and never added sugar. I have heard of putting some in spaghetti sauce, to cut down on acidity....I've just never done it. I would think you'd have to add some heat to take away the sweetness.

By JoAnn [2]02/02/2006

I put sugar in my chili if it tends to have too much "tomato" taste...don't know how to describe it but the sugar seems to mellow it out a little. I never measure anything! I just don't have the patience for it! I've created some awesome recipes experimenting, so I try to keep track of what I'm doing! I agree with the vinegar and onions tip though. I wish my mom would have taught me to cook, she made the most awesome chili and it was sweet. It was so good though! Guess I better start experimenting again! Good luck!
Elkhart, IN

By (Guest Post)02/01/2006

why would you put sugar in chili in the first place?

By Warren D. Lockaby [2]02/01/2006

I'd probably try adding more cider vinegar and yellow mustard first, a little at a time, tasting as you go. More onions might be in order as well. Another trick you might try is adding a bit of unsweetened or semisweet cocoa powder or perhaps a little instant coffee. Keep in mind that you are experiamenting here and be careful. Try these tricks by putting a few spoons of chili in a small bowl or coffee cup and play with very small amounts at a time, writing notes on what you did and how it came out. Who knows, you might create a great recipe!! It is a good idea to play with this stuff on a small scale though; if you're like me you are going to eat your mistakes so it's best to keep them to a minimum.

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