Slow Cooker Award Winning Chili

Donna Graffagnino


One of the secret ingredients in this recipe is the beer, so don't leave it out. All of the alcohol will cook out but the unique sweet flavor remains. If you must, non-alcoholic beer can be used. You can make this chili as mild or hot as you like by adjusting the chili powder and cayenne pepper. Using this slow cooker method makes it super easy and delicious.

★★★★★ 2 votes
30 Min
8 Hr
Slow Cooker Crock Pot


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1 Tbsp
bacon grease (or veg oil)
1 lb
sirloin, london broil, or venison, 1/2" dice
1 lb
ground chuck
1 lb
breakfast pork sausage chub (hot or mild)
1 lb
chili stick or brick
2 large
onions, chopped
1 large
bell pepper, chopped
2 stalk(s)
celery, chopped
2 Tbsp
garlic, minced
28 oz
can petite diced tomatoes with juice
15 oz
can regular diced tomatoes with juice
1 bottle
chili sauce
6 oz
can tomato paste
8 oz
can tomato sauce
8 oz
beef broth or can water
beef bouillon cubes if using water
1 can(s)
beer (regular or light)
2-3 Tbsp
mexene chili powder, or more to taste
1/2 c
dried chives
2 Tbsp
lea & perrin worcestershire saucd
2 Tbsp
granulated or powdered garlic
2 tsp
granulated or powdered onion
1 tsp
cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
1 tsp
cajun seasoning (zatarain's or tony cacherie's)
15 oz dark red kidney beans or combination of your favorite chili beans (drained and rinsed)
crushed red chili flakes for added heat (optional)
salt & pepper to taste

How to Make Slow Cooker Award Winning Chili


  • 1Season ground beef, breakfast sausage and cubed sirloin with a good amount of garlic and onion powder and brown in a skillet with the bacon grease until completely cooked. Remove meat to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Discard grease.
  • 2Turn slow cooker to High and add in order: chili stick and cooked ground meats. Let heat from cooked meats help melt the chili stick until they are blended together.
  • 3Add onions, bell pepper, celery, diced tomatoes, chili sauce, tomato paste, tomato sauce, can water, beef bouillon, beer, garlic, chili powder, chives, Lea & Perrin, and remaining dry seasonings. Mix well and let mixture come to a good simmer.
  • 4Reduce temperature to Low and set timer for 7 hours. Periodically check the mixture and stir. If it seems to need more liquid just add water, or tomato juice, (I use V-8).
  • 5About 1 hour before chili is finished cooking add the beans. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. If you want more heat add the red chili flakes now.

    Serve with corn bread muffins and your choice of garnishes: sour cream, finely chopped onion, thinly sliced green onions, sliced or diced fresh or pickled jalapeno peppers, grated sharp cheddar cheese, and hot sauce.
  • 6*Note: This makes a very large amount. An 8 quart slow cooker will hold all of the chili mixture.

    Competition Tips:

    Always make this medium hot so that everyone can enjoy it and have plenty of cayenne, hot pepper sauce, red chili flakes, and chili powder on hand for those who want to spice up their bowl.

    Always make way more than you need for the competition because when the other contestants run out, you'll have some left for those who still want to eat. If they keep coming back to your chili, you'll most likely get the People's vote.

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