What Are the Best Tips for Making Ground Beef Chili?

Rhonda Rivera

Some of the best tips for making ground beef chili are to brown the beef with vegetables, use a slow cooker, and make more than needed for later use. Browning the beef with onion, garlic, or green pepper gives it a boost of flavor and cuts down on overall cooking time. Using a slow cooker allows a cook to spend less time cooking and more time doing everyday activities, as long as he or she can keep an eye on the dish’s progress. Many people cook much more ground beef chili than they need for dinner to freeze in batches. In addition, using cheap meat but good vegetables will save money while maximizing flavor.

A bowl of chili with ground beef.
A bowl of chili with ground beef.

To give the ground beef more flavor, it should be browned with onion. Green pepper, garlic, and similar foods can also be tossed with the meat. The cook can also add salt, pepper, and other spices to flavor the meat while it cooks. Not only does this give the dish better flavor, it can hurry up the completion of the dish, especially if the cook is using precooked beans. Easy chili recipes sometimes require a simple browning of the meat and vegetables and then warming up the sauce and beans once everything is together.

Using a slow cooker allows a cook to spend less time cooking and more time doing everyday activities.
Using a slow cooker allows a cook to spend less time cooking and more time doing everyday activities.

If a cook cannot give complete attention to a ground beef chili dish, he or she can use a slow cooker. Slow cooker chili recipes are abundant and can be just as delicious as stove-top or baked chilis. All ingredients are mixed into the slow cooker pot, covered, and allowed to cook for three to ten hours. Modern slow cookers usually have low or high settings, allowing cooks to determine how long to cook the food. In general, a properly filled slow cooker takes about eight hours on low or four hours on high.

Ground beef chili is a healthy meal that freezes better than many other dinners. If attempting to save money or time, ground beef chili can be frozen in small batches to thaw and eat later. It also has a variety of uses as a condiment if one gets tired of eating the chili as a main course. Ground beef chili is a popular on hamburgers, hot dogs, and cheese fries.

In the past, chili was used to disguise the taste of cheap cuts of meat. Inexpensive meats still work well in chilis, especially when slow-cooked to perfection. On the other hand, the vegetables in the chili are most prominent and not something to be skimped on. To cook the best chili, the freshest vegetables should be used.

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Discussion Comments


If you find that you don't have quite enough ground beef in your chili, you can add some frozen vegetarian "meat crumbles" towards the end of the cooking time and most people won't notice. The texture and flavor is about the same as regular ground beef, as long as you don't add it to the chili too soon.


I like a lot of ground beef in my chili, so I always recommend using twice as much beef as the recipe calls for. I have never heard anyone complain about having too much beef in their chili. Just make sure to add enough water and tomato products to account for the added volume of meat.

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