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The Best Easy Crock Pot Chili

Homemade Chili is a classic comfort food that everyone loves. This Easy Chili Recipe can be made in the crock pot or the Instant Pot making it fast and convenient. Our Crock Pot Chili is made up of ground beef, beans, bacon and savory condiments that make it hearty and delicious.

 

Our family loves a good Chili Recipe. We were introduced to this recipe by my wife’s sister years ago and it instantly became our go-to Chili recipe that we make often. We’ve made this recipe for family, friends, and it’s included in every church Chili-Cook Off  we’ve ever entered.

The ingredients make this chili a little sweet and little savory which is the perfect combination. It is now to the point where we don’t really measure what we are putting in- we eye ball it all and it still turns out delicious every time. Because this is basically a “dump” recipe it is hard to mess up and is fairly forgiving.

We are including instructions for both chili in your crock pot and making chili in your Instant Pot so hopefully you will find a method that you enjoy using.

Tips for making the best ground beef for chili

I like to use ground beef with an 8020 ratio because we like the extra flavor it lends. But you can also use Lean ground beef, or ground turkey, too.

Other protein options could be ground bison, veal, turkey or sausage.

How to brown ground beef

  1. Turn your stove to medium heat and place a large skillet on burner
  2. Add a little olive oil to pan
  3. Put ground beef in skillet and break up into small chunks with a spatula or spoon as it browns
  4. Once it’s cooked through (no longer pink) drain excess fat and turn heat up medium high and watch carefully while you let it brown to your liking
  5. Add salt and pepper and garlic powder to taste

How do you make good homemade chili?

This chili is packed full of beans and beef and you won’t want to skip or omit any of them. Together they make this chili delicious. If you want your chili a little thicker add an extra can of beans and reduce the amount of ketchup or vinegar you put in. If you want your chili to be runnier than add extra vinegar, ketchup, liquid smoke or include some of the juice from kidney or butter beans.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef – Lean ground beef gives flavor but also less fat and grease
  • 1 can kidney beans drained– rinse and drain in strainer before using
  • 1 can butter beans drained– rinse and drain in strainer before using
  • 2 cans pork and beans- we prefer using Busch’s Baked Beans but you can use classic cheap pork ‘n beans, too.
  • 1 12  cups ketchup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup onions, chopped– we always leave the onion out but if you like onions it would be a great addition
  • 13 cup white vinegar
  • 2-3 Tablespoon liquid smoke– this is an important ingredient! Don’t omit it because it helps to give the chili a nice smoky, rich flavor
  • 6 pieces of bacon, crumbled– you can substitute bacon bits or use pre-cooked bacon

Crock Pot Instructions

  1. Dump drained and rinsed kidney and butter beans into a crock pot
  2. Add pork ‘n beans to crock pot
  3. Brown ground beef, drain excess fat and add to crock pot
  4. Add ketchup, liquid smoke, brown sugar,  white vinegar and bacon
  5. Stir everything together
  6. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8

Instant Pot Instructions

  1. Turn your Instant Pot to Saute, then select More. Add  a little olive oil to the pot and add ground beef and cook until browned (add your chopped onions if desired and saute along with ground beef)
  2. Break up the beef with a spatula or wooden spoon as your stir
  3. Add  beans, bacon, brown sugar ketchup, liquid smoke, white vinegar  to the pot and stir together
  4. Turn the Instant Pot to the Chili/Beans setting and place the lid on the pot
  5. Cook for 20 minutes
  6. Release the pressure either manually or allow it to release naturally.

The Best Ever Easy Crock Pot Chili

The Best Ever Easy Crock Pot Chili

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes

Homemade Chili is a classic comfort food that everyone loves. This Easy Chili Recipe can be made in the crock pot or the Instant Pot making it fast and convenient. Our Crock Pot Chili is made up of ground beef, beans, bacon and savory condiments that make it hearty and delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef , – Lean ground beef gives flavor but also less fat and grease
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained– rinse and drain in strainer before using
  • 1 can butter beans , drained– rinse and drain in strainer before using
  • 2 cans pork and beans, - we prefer using Busch’s Baked Beans but you can use classic cheap pork ‘n beans
  • 1 1 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup onions, chopped– we always leave the onion out but if you like onions it would be a great addition
  • 1 2 cup Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2-3 Tablespoon liquid smoke, – this is an important ingredient! Don’t omit it because it helps to give the chili a nice smoky flavor
  • 6 pieces of bacon, crumbled– you can substitute bacon bits or use pre-cooked bacon

Instructions

  1. CROCK POT INSTRUCTIONS
  2. Dump drained and rinsed kidney and butter beans into a crock pot
  3. Add pork ‘n beans to crock pot
  4. Brown ground beef, drain excess fat and add to crock pot
  5. Add ketchup, liquid smoke, brown sugar, white vinegar and bacon
  6. Stir everything together
  7. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8
  8. INSTANT POT INSTRUCTIONS
  9. Turn your Instant Pot to Saute, then select More. Add a little olive oil to the pot and add ground beef and cook until browned (add your chopped onions if desired and saute along with ground beef)
  10. Break up the beef with a spatula or wooden spoon as your stir
  11. Add beans, bacon, brown sugar ketchup, liquid smoke, white vinegar to the pot and stir together
  12. Turn the Instant Pot to the Chili/Beans setting and place the lid on the pot
  13. Cook for 20 minutes
  14. Release the pressure either manually or allow it to release naturally.
Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

How long does homemade chili stay good for?

Place leftovers in an airtight container and place in your fridge. I should stay good for 3-5 days.

Can you freeze leftover chili?

Yes! Chili is a great meal to freeze. Place leftovers in an airtight ziploc or container and be sure to release any excess air. Place in your freezer and consume within 3 months.

You can also make this into a freezer meal by cooking ground beef and then placing all the ingredients in a freezer bag. Place bag in the freezer and cook within 3 months. Take the bag out of the freezer to thaw, place in Crock Pot and cook on high for 4 hours.

How do you reheat chili?

If you are enjoying chili straight from the fridge you can simply reheat it in the microwave or you can use a pot on the stove top. Warm slowly and stir often until it has reached your desired consistency.

If you are reheating it from being frozen take leftovers out of the freezer several hours (or a day) before you want to eat it and place in the fridge to let it thaw. You can reheat leftovers in the microwave, stove top or your crock pot. Start on medium heat and warm slowly, stirring often.

What goes good with homemade Chili?

We can’t seem to eat chili without making delicious corn bread to go along with it. You can also add toppings like sour cream, cheese, more bacon, scallions, jalapenos, soda crackers, Fritos or tortilla chips.

Here are more crock pot and instant pot recipes you may enjoy:

 

Homemade Chili is easy to make a family favorite.  Our Easy Chili Recipe can be made in the crock pot or the Instant Pot! . Crock Pot Chili is made up of ground beef, beans, bacon and savory condiments that make it hearty and delicious.

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