Cheater Chili

Two things make this Cheater Chili recipe great.

  1. it’s really good
  2. It’s really easy – that’s why we call it Cheater Chili

Let’s start with the really good part.  This chili will taste 100 times better if you make it outdoors in a dutch oven.  Especially if you use a camp dutch over, the kind with the little feet on the bottom.  You can use charcoal or the coals from your campfire.  It just needs to simmer.  Yes, you can make it in a sauce pan on your stove at home but I’m not responsible for the results.  Also, one word of caution, if you do cook this in a dutch oven always use gloves when touching the pot or your utensils. I use welding gloves. When checking the chili, always use a good lid lifter to avoid burns and always be careful with the charcoal or coals.  A small shovel helps with the coals.

And now the really easy part.  Get a half gallon container that you can easily pour into and out of.  You can see the one I use in the picture.  Pour all the ingredients except the chili meat in the container and give it a good shake.  Just a little word of advice based on experience, make sure the lid is on tight.

Now that the hard part is over, you can relax.  Put the container in your fridge overnight if you make it ahead.

These are the ingredients for the container.  Yes, spaghetti sauce, just try it.

1 jar good spaghetti sauce
1 can Rotel
1 can dark beer
1 t oregano
1 t Salt
1 T onion powder
1 T garlic powder
2 T cumin
1/4 cup chili powder
2 lbs chili meat.


On the day you make the chili, start with heating your camp dutch oven, over the coals .  Add two pounds of chili meat and brown but don’t drain.  Pour in the contents of the container and simmer for at least an hour.  Stir every 15-20 minutes to make sure it doesn’t scorch.  You don’t want to boil it, just gently simmering bubbles.

Once the chili is a deep reddish brown color and you can’t fight off your guests any more because of the smell, it’s time to serve.  I like to serve it with campfire cornbread but corn chips and cheese also make a great chili pie.

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