I like a thick chili, not too hot. I like to savor all the flavors of the ingredients. Making it too hot just masks out those flavors for me. You can always add more heat to your own bowl if you like without making it too hot for others to enjoy.
1brown first 7 ingredients, separate off grease, I have to do it in 3 batches, too much for one frying pan.
2mean time fry the bacon and let cool, crumble. Add the drippings and crumbles to crock pot.
3mean time add all the other ingredients to crock pot, put on high heat. Add the bacon and the three batches of browned ingredients as they are done.
4I don't have a huge crock pot so I have to start out in a big Dutch oven until it has simmered down for a while then transfer to a crock pot to continue to simmer for many hours until you get the consistency that you like. I like a thick chili. As you can see from the photo that the center of the picture is sitting above the rest of the pot. That is in the ball park of 6 hours on low heat or 4 hour at high heat. If you use he high heat or continue to cook in the dutch oven keep stirred so you don't burn the bottom.