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Crock Pot Takes the Work Out of Game Day Chili

It’s Super Bowl Sunday! Whether you’re staying in to watch the game or inviting friends and family to join you, once the game starts (commercials included) the last thing you want to be doing is running to the kitchen to check on the chili you have simmering on the stove. Bust out your good ol’ friend the crock pot and you won’t have to.

When I make chili, I like to let it cook all day. Since we have a gas stovetop and oven, I’m not comfortable with the idea of leaving one of the burners running for 6 or more hours for a couple of reasons.

  1. I’d like to prevent myself from taking out a second mortgage to pay my Vectren bill.
  2. Our kitchen isn’t very big and running an open flame for a good chunk of the day will end up getting the rest of the room uncomfortably warm.
  3. Something about having an open flame indoors for 6 or more straight hours doesn’t sound safe to me.

With the crock pot, I can let my chili simmer all day and meld the various flavors together without having to worry that I may set my house on fire. Side note, I do realize that an electrical fire could in theory break out which would also set my house on fire, but in my mind the chances of that happening are slimmer than with the gas stove. So there. Moving on.

There are a million ways to make chili and everyone thinks there way is the best. Here’s how I generally whip up a batch for me and the family.

  • 2 pounds of ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 1-2 green peppers
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 can of dark red kidney beans (undrained)
  • 2 cans of chili tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1-2 packets of chili seasoning*
  • Choice of BBQ sauce

*I’ve found Chili Man or Brooks brand seasoning to be the best

The directions are pretty simple, brown and drain the beef, chop the vegetables, open the cans and seasoning packs, pour it all in the crock pot, stir it up, set it for 6-8 hours on low and walk away.

The great thing about chili is you can make it however you want. Many people I know and recipes I’ve seen stir in a can of tomato sauce. I’ll leave that out opting instead for a few squirts of BBQ sauce. Personally I prefer Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory and Brown Sugar to add a little sweetness.

May result in "gamey" taste. (Courtesy flickr, Focka)

If you like it hot and spicy, throw in some diced jalapeno (be sure to include the seeds because that’s where the heat comes from) or dried red pepper flakes. I enjoy spicy food, but I generally keep my chili pretty mild for the kids and add additional chili powder to my personal bowl.

Whatever chili route you decide to take, make sure you break out the crock pot. You’ll be able to enjoy the game without worry.

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