The Best Chili in the World: Beef, Beer, Bacon

Did I ever tell you about that time I won honorable mention for best barbecue flavor at South‘s chili competition? This site has no lack of chili recipes–perhaps why I have waited almost a year since I received the honor to post this recipe to the site. Or maybe it has something to do with typing up what may seem like an excessive list of ingredients. I assure you, I would be remiss to exclude any of them. And for most of the ingredients, all you have to do is throw them in a slow cooker. But enough making excuses for myself and for this recipe–it takes a little elbow grease and the finished product will be the best reward for a little hard work you have ever tasted.


While this is certainly the best chili I have ever had, I am also fairly confident in saying this is the best beef brisket I have ever made. (Or at least I think that is what it means when Harry keeps sneaking more bites of beef when he thinks I am not looking.) So, feel free to skip the chili recipe and go the brisket sandwich route instead. Better yet, make a double batch of brisket: one for the slow cooker and one for you.

Browned Beef

Beef Beef

Triple B Chili (Beef, Beer, Bacon) 

Makes a big slow-cooker full

For the beef chuck:

2 teaspoons canola oil

3.5 pounds beef chuck

salt and pepper

4 onions, chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced

2-4 beers, preferably lager

For the chili:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large white onion

6 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo, finely sliced

11/2 jalapenos, finely diced

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3/4 tablespoon dried oregano

1/4 cup chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 28 ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes, chopped coarsely with juices

1/2 tablespoon tomato paste

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 12 ounce bottle of amber or brown beer

6 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and chopped

2 15 ounce cans of kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Beef MeatFirst, make the beef chuck. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Prepare the beef chuck by patting it dry and rubbing it generously with salt and pepper. Heat the canola oil over high heat in a heavy saucepan. Add the meat, and brown each side well. This should take about two minutes per side. Once all sides are browned, remove from the heat.

Reduce the heat to medium, and add the onion and garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the onions have softened. Add 2 bottles of the beer and the meat. If the meat is not mostly submerged, add more beer until it is.

Browning Onions

Place in the oven and cook for 2-3 hours, until the meat separates easily from the bone. Remove the meat from the pot, and let it cool until you can handle it with your hands. Use a fork or your hands to shred the meat. Put meat aside while you prepare the rest of the chili.

Boiling Beef

To prepare the chili, heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until onions have softened and slightly browned. Add the chipotles and jalapeño and cook for another 4 minutes.

Place the onion mixture, shredded beef, and all ingredients other than the bacon and kidney beans in a slow cooker. Stir well. Cook on high for 5 hours. Add the kidney beans and bacon, and cook with the top removed for another 30 minutes.


Serve with sour cream, cheddar cheese, avocado, red onions, avocado, fresh cilantro, tortilla chips, victory, and all the other makings of a great bowl of chili.

Being Judged


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