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My Family Chili (No Beans)

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“This recipe started off by following Alton Brown's pressure cooker chili recipe. We never had a pressure cooker, so we used a crock pot. Over time, my wife and I have changed the ingredients up, but we still follow the spirit of AB's recipe. You could also use a dutch oven over a low heat (200-250°F)”
8hrs 30mins
1 gallon

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 lbs chuck roast (Cubed)
  • 2 lbs pork shoulder (Cubed)
  • 1 lb bratwurst (Johnsonville Beer Brats)
  • 12 lb ground beef
  • 2 (12 ounce) jars salsa (Use your favorite)
  • 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin (freshly toasted and ground)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder (homemade is the best. See my recipe)
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 4 ounces chipotle peppers
  • 2 (12 ounce) bottles beer (I like Shiner Bock. Don't go with a beer darker than that)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (smoked)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 ounces tortilla chips (crushed)


  1. Toss the cubed chuck roast and pork shoulder with the oil and salt.
  2. In batches, sear the cubed meat in a high sided sautee pan over med-high heat. When there is a brown crust on the outside, transfer to a bowl or to your crock pot. Don't crowd the pan, the goal is to get a good brown crust on the meat to build some flavor.
  3. Cut the skins on the brauts and place in the pan that was used for searing the meat. Add the ground beef and crush up all the meat, making sure to scrape the the bottom of the pan to get all the flavor bits off. I like to use a flat wooden spatula and a potato masher for this.
  4. Once all the meat is evenly ground, take a few good swigs off one of those beers and pour the rest in the pan with the meat. Let it simmer until most of the liquid is gone.
  5. Add the ground meat to the cubed meat and put it all in the crock pot.
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients to the crock pot and turn it to a low setting.
  7. Let it slow cook for about 8 hours.

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