Recipe Review: Easy Crockpot Chili

Original Recipe from Spend With Pennies.

This is the second of three chili recipes that I’m going to review here on my blog. I went over the first one last week and it was a smashing success. I’m here to say that this week’s recipe wasn’t quite as good.

First and foremost: disclaimer/changes I made:

  • I only made half the recipe
  • I (mistakenly) did not halve the amount of beer the recipe called for
  • I used fire-roasted tomatoes from Aldi
  • I used crushed tomatoes, not whole tomatoes

20181014_103052.jpgNow, I’m going to be very clear with you: as I just stated, I realized (as I was writing this review, actually) that I messed up how much beer I put into the recipe. This means that my flavor might have been off, but I don’t see by how much. I still followed all of the instructions exactly, and let the beer cook off before putting the meat into the slow cooker.

This time around, I decided to use a slow cooker liner, because the clean up last time was the worst part. Things had caked onto the edges and it just wasn’t fun. Plus, these are BPA-free, so (hopefully) no risk of harmful chemicals, yay. I’m unsure as to whether or not I’d want to use the liner with the actual competition chili, for fear of a taste transferring. But who knows?

This recipe differed from the last chili recipe I tried because this one required a lot of prep before you put it in the pot. The other one was brown onions, brown meat, dump everything in a pot, and you’re good to go. This one was a little trickier. It involved seasoning the meat, browning the onions, and then putting the beer in and waiting for it to cook off before putting everything in the pot. This is where I messed up by putting too much beer in, so it took nearly twenty minutes for everything to cook out, and even then I still wasn’t satisfied. I did drain the meat before I put it in the pot, so I didn’t have too much extra liquid.

20181014_170915.jpgSince I halved this recipe, I also cut the cooking time down a little to five and a half hours. It started to smell really good almost right away, and I had a hard time restraining myself from taking the lid off to get a better smell.

The true test was the taste, of course. This one came out much more liquidy than the other one (and I’m not sure if that’s because it had absorbed more beer or what), but I wasn’t a fan of how soupy it was. It also barely had any spice to it, which was super disappointing. I think the lack of green chilies had something to do with that, because this didn’t call for spicy/Rotel tomatoes like the last recipe had.

Steven was able to confirm that it warmed up well the next day, but it also didn’t gain any more spice like the other one had.

All in all, I’d give this one a solid 3/5 stars. Maybe I’ll try it again with the proper proportions (but really, how badly could that beer have made it?), but I doubt it. The other one just had so much flavor to it, and didn’t require as much prep before it went into the pot.

I’m making another batch of chili (the last one!) this weekend, so stay tuned for next week where I’ll give you the final run-down of my great chili taste test! And the following week (on Halloween!) I’ll give you the results of the chili cook-off.

And as always, keep reading.

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