Does Chili Go Bad

Does Chili Go Bad?

Chili originates from Mexico and dates back to the 14th century. The full name is Chili Con Carne. Chili Con Carne’s main ingredients are chili peppers, meat, tomatoes, and kidney beans; however, people also add other vegetables to the dish as per their liking.

In different regions, there are variations in the recipe ingredients. Another famous variation of this recipe is wrapping it up in a tortilla and cheese, jalapeno, and other vegetables for taste boosting. The recipe got its fame after World War 2.

Like any other cooked dish, Chili Con Carne also requires proper storage and indeed does not have a longer shelf life due to meat as a basic ingredient.

How To Store Chili

Chili Con Carne is a dish made with meat as the main ingredient, due to which it has a low shelf life. To store chili, different methods are used around the world depending on the region its weather conditions.

Room Temperature

Chili Con Carne is eaten as it is made, but if you want to eat it later in that day, you should contain it in an airtight container. You have to cover the dish at room temperature so the moisture from the surround may not spoil it. If you do have to consume after a few hours, then you can also cover the dish with plastic wrap.

It is suggested that you consume it right after cooking it, but in any case, 24 hours have passed by, then dispose of the dish.


Placing your dish in the refrigerator is another most preferred method to store Chili Con Carne. To place it in the refrigerator, make sure to place it in a dry airtight container. Do not place the freshly cooked meal in the fridge; wait for it to cool down at room temperature first.

If you do not have an airtight container, you can put your meal in a bowl and then cover it tightly using plastic wrapping.


If you want to freeze your meal for a longer time, you can freeze it. The meal can last longer in commercial freezers. Just cool down the freshly cooked meal and then place it in an airtight container or bowl with plastic wrapping.

It is preferred to freeze in different quantities; you may not need to freeze and leftover meal, which will result in taste loss. Chili Con Carne will be rock hard and will need to be thawed to reuse it.

Can You Freeze Chili

You can freeze Chili Con Carne in an airtight container. Do not place warm chili in the freezer, or sudden cooling down of the temperature will affect the meal’s taste. You can store the dish for 2-3 months in domestic freezers, but in commercial freezers, the dish can stay up to 3-4 months.

Chili Con Carne is easy to make, so it is consumed fresh; however, in areas where natural gas issues or markets are very far away, people there prefer to freeze the meal and later enjoy it as they like.

How Long Does Chili Last

Chili’s survival depends on the environment and the storage used to store it. In areas where the standard room temperature is about 25°C, the dish lasts for a day. In cold regions, the dish can easily last for two days, provided that it is stored in a closed, airtight container.

On a domestic level, Chili Con Carne is usually stored in the refrigerator because it is easy to use the dish more often. In the refrigerator, if contained properly, then Chili Con Carne can last for a week.

Freezing the dish can make it last for 2-4 months, depending on the temperature it is stored in. The lesser the temperature, the more it can last longer. It is preferred to discard the dish if it has been kept for around three months.

How To Tell If Chili Is Bad

You can easily tell if your chili has gone bad by its appearance, smell, and taste. A rogue chili will have obvious signs of expiry from which you can save your stomach. Following are the traits of a bad, spoiled chili.

  • Appearance: Spoiled chili won’t have any effect on the appearance. However, on warming the dish, you will see pale liquid along with the dish. Also, look for mold development on your dish cause by natural moisture if stored in the refrigerator for a long time.
  • Smell: A spoiled chili will have a foul rotting smell of meat and vegetables. You won’t be able to smell when the dish is cold. On warming the dish, the smell will be evident.
  • Taste: If you failed to identify a spoiled chili using appearance and smell, you would identify one by tasting it. A spoiled chili will taste like rotten meat and vegetables.