Chili is a spicy stew that is a favorite of many people in the south and beyond. The stew owes its beginnings to Texas, where it was made famous by Mexican women.
The name chili comes from ‘chili con carne’ or ‘chili con carne’ which means chili with meat in Spanish.
The main ingredient of chili is typically beef, but other types of meat may also be used. It is cooked with chili powder, beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and also cumin.
Other common seasonings include jalapeños and cinnamon. However, the ingredients vary according to personal tastes and location.
Because the stew is cooked with a number of seasonings, you might ask, does chili go bad?
In this post, we will find everything you need to know about the shelf life of this delicious and versatile dish. Let’s dig deeper.
Does Chili Go Bad? How Long Does Chili Last?
The shelf life of chili depends on two primary factors:
The best way to store leftover chili is to store them in an airtight container. Cooked chili lasts the longest when it is cooled and stored within two hours of cooking.
This is essential to keep the chili fresh without spoiling it. If you did not store the chili within two hours of cooking, it is better to discard it.
Bacteria and mold will start growing in the dish if left at room temperature for longer than this. It is especially true if you live in a place that is about 140o F or more.
When stored in the freezer, cooked chili will last longer. In temperatures below 0o F, chili can last up to 6 months without any problem. However, the freezer must be on all the time.
Frozen chili can last indefinitely without getting spoiled. However, unless you run a business or cook chili for commercial purposes, it is always great to prepare chili and eat it fresh. Freezing, of course, does not compromise taste in any way.
The best way to freeze cooked chili is to put them in heavy-duty freezer bags. Additionally, you can also store them in airtight containers as well.
Freezing your food is an excellent option if you love to cook your food in bulk. It is also a great help for those who are crunched for time.
How to Tell if Chili is Bad? Chili Shelf Life!
Similar to other food items, chili will eventually go bad. It is important to know when the food is unsafe for consumption. But how do you know when this happens?
Below are some of the signs to watch out for bad chili.
The primary reason why chili becomes unsafe for consumption is the growth of microorganisms.
To check if your food is safe for eating or not, you can also consider using apps. One of the best apps is FoodKeeper from the USDA.
- Rubbermaid Brilliance 100% leak-proof food storage containers feature BPA-free Tritan lids and bases with 360-degree clarity; airtight seal and secure latches prevent spills and leaks and help keep food fresh and secure
- Perfect for a variety of occasions and events—like lunches, snacks, meal prep, parties, holidays, and more
- Crystal-clear containers are clear like glass so you can always see what’s inside, but are light and easy to carry; stain-resistant material keeps plastic food container looking like new, and resists odors
- Built-in vents under latches allow splatter-resistant microwaving with the lid on
- Containers stack perfectly to one another to save space and stay organized in the pantry or fridge
While it is important to use leftover food, it is equally essential that it is unspoiled. No food in the world is worth compromising your health, however tasty it may be.
Chili is a nutritious and comforting dish that comes with a lot of health benefits.
Just remember to keep it fresh by storing it correctly and within two hours of cooking.