Chili is a hearty stew that became popular in the 1900s, and its popularity only continues to grow. It is served with many toppings and accompaniments. However, it comes with a shelf life like other foods.
Whether homemade or canned, chili typically last for 3-4 days if stored properly in an airtight container. It can also be frozen for up to 6 months.
Chili is made with meat such as beef, pork, chicken, or turkey, beans, chili peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and a blend of spices. Thus, the chili shelf is short and must be stored properly.
Let’s take a look at the correct ways to store chili and the signs that tell it has gone bad.
How Long Does Chili Last In The Fridge?
|In Refrigerator||3 – 4 Days|
|In Freezer||6 Months|
If you just made chili at home or opened a can of store-bought chili, it is important to note that it lasts for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. If you wish to extend its shelf life, chili can be stored in the freezer for six months.
But before you refrigerate or freeze your leftover chili, make sure it is cooled down to room temperature before storing it in the fridge. Before you eat it next, check the quality of chili before consuming it to prevent illness.
Now that you know about the shelf life of chili, let’s look at the signs of spoilage you should watch out for and the ways to store it.
How To Tell If Chili Has Gone Bad?
Food items, especially those containing meat products, are prone to get spoiled much faster. Therefore, you should always check them thoroughly before eating any leftovers. Let’s take a look at the signs of spoilage in chili.
- Appearance: Looks can tell a lot. So, when you remove leftover chili from the refrigerator and find any unusual discoloration or green or black mold, it is a sign that it has spoiled.
- Texture: If you find a change in the texture of your chili, like if it turns slimy, it may have spoiled.
- Smell: Next comes the smell test. If you sense a sour or off odor in your chili, it is likely because of the growth of bacteria. Such a chili is no longer safe to eat, and you must discard it.
- Taste: Lastly, if your chili passes the looks and smell test, check the taste of your chili. It may have gone bad if your chili tastes off or has a strange or unpleasant flavor.
How To Store Chili?
- Let it cool: Before storing leftover chili in the refrigerator, let it come to room temperature. Putting hot food in the fridge promotes bacterial growth by raising the fridge’s temperature.
- Use an airtight container: Before storing chili in the refrigerator, transfer it to an airtight container to prevent exposure to air and moisture. You can also store the leftover chili in a resealable plastic container or an airtight glass container.
- Refrigerate promptly: Chili should be refrigerated within 2 hours of cooking. It should be checked properly before eating or storing if left at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
- Freeze: Chili can also be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months. Freezing increases the shelf life of food items. However, before freezing any food item, or in this case, chili, make sure it is stored properly in an airtight container or airtight freezer bag to retain its quality. To reuse frozen chili, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Label the container: If you plan to freeze your leftover chili, label the container with the date it was made. This will help you track how long it has been stored in the fridge.
Chili is a delicious dish that can be served at get-togethers, parties, potlucks, and even as a hearty meal for one. However, it comes with a shelf life like all food items.
Chili has a shelf life of 3-4 in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen for up to 6 months. While this is the estimated shelf life of chili, its storage plays an important role. Before you consume leftover chili, it’s always best to look out for signs of spoilage to ensure its quality.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the shelf life of chili in the fridge?
The shelf life of chili in the refrigerator is 3-4 days.
What is the shelf life of chili in the freezer?
The shelf life of chili in the freezer is up to 6 months.
How should chili be stored?
Chili should always be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Before storing chili, make sure it comes down to room temperature.
Can chili be left at room temperature?
Chili should not be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours.