Video Grandpa's Chili Recipe

a close-up of a sliced jalapeno sitting on top of chili and cheese

A smoky chili you can easily make in a crock pot or Instant Pot.

It’s loosely based on one from Sunset magazine – mine tastes better and is made in a crock pot or Instant Pot so it takes basically no work. It’s not too spicy and can be enjoyed by everyone. If you want to kick up the spice I’d say either add more hot paprika or some jalapeños before cooking.


  • 1 pound beef, cut into small chunks (I use lean stew beef from HEB)
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained completely
  • 1 cup flavorful medium-bodied beer (Fireman’s 4 obviously)
  • 8oz (1 cup) dried black beans or red kidney beans (we prefer black)
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp hot paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1.5 tsp salt (smoked salt is best)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke

Preparation in Crock Pot

  1. Combine all ingredients in crock pot
  2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours
  3. 1 hour before serving, stir and break up beef
  4. Garnish w cheese and jalapeños
  5. Eat it

Preparation in Instant Pot

  1. Combine all ingredients in Instant Pot
  2. Cook on High Pressure for 45 minutes
  3. Quick release, stir and break up beef
  4. Saute for a bit to cook down some of the liquid, stirring frequently
  5. Garnish w cheese and jalapenos
  6. Eat it