The last thing to add to Slow Cooker Chili before you turn the dial and set it on its long slow journey to chili awesomeness is seasoning
. Like any slow cooked dish, using fresh herbs to season is a waste of fresh herbs. Stick with dried herbs and spices, which have more concentrated flavor.
I will be frank with you. If I am making chili during the week when I am busy with life, then I resort to store-bought chili powder along with an extra hit of ground cumin. I realize that there could be all kinds of strange and unusual ingredients that have been ground into that bottle of chili powder, but I don't mind being ignorant to them for the sake of convenience. If I'm making chili on a lazy weekend afternoon, then I add dried spices individually. If you're ambitious, you can grind the spices yourself and make your own chili powder
to use in the future. Chili powders include, but are not limited to: ground chili, oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper, paprika, and garlic powder.Seasoning the Chili
Add ½ c chili powder
to the beef, vegetables (and beans if you added them) in the crock pot. I like heat in my chili, so I throw in some additional cayenne pepper (about 2-3 additional Tbsp) as well as cumin (additional 1 tsp) for a smokier flavor. Add salt and pepper
to taste, though salt is something you can always add when you serve it.