The Ultimate Craftsman Winter Chili Recipe

Chili Cook-off 2-cm

There’s nothing better than wolfing down a massive bowl of chili in the dead of winter. It’s hearty, filling, and tasty. Plus, it’s a great way to get all the nutrient-dense grub you need to prepare your body for winter. So, roll up your sleeves, break out the culinary tools, and prepare to crown yourself chili chief with this ultimate craftsman winter recipe. Whether you’re whipping up a whole batch for your family or even your team, make sure to set some aside for yourself because people won’t be able to keep their paws off it.

What You’ll Need (AKA Ingredients)
  • 5 lbs ground beef
  • 2 cans of tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 2 bell peppers (any color)
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • A lot of chili powder
The Process (AKA Directions)

Step 1: Grab your grade-A, lean ground beef (is it really chili without it?), and throw it into the biggest pot you own over medium-to-high heat. Break it up and stir it around until it’s brown. Then, drain out the excess grease.

Step 2: Put the pot back on the same range but turn the heat down to medium. Add the pre-chopped onion, peppers, and garlic along with the kidney beans. Stir the mixture for just a few minutes until the vegetables are a bit softer. Resist the urge to start digging into this pre-chili concoction. It’s tempting!

Step 3: Start smacking your lips because here’s where things get really good. Add the canned tomatoes and tomato sauce with some chili powder. Don’t be afraid to add too much! You might also have to pour in a bit of water at this stage to keep everything from burning.

Step 4: Tighten your belt and distract yourself for the next 30-40 minutes as the chili cooks. This is when all of the delicious flavors combine into a wintery masterpiece. Set a timer so you don’t end up overcooking it.

Step 5: All the hard work is done. The only thing left to do is grab a giant bowl and fill it with more chili than it’s reasonable to eat in one sitting. And then go back for seconds. Make sure you cook enough for leftovers. Chili makes for an easy lunch on the job site.

Don’t forget the secret ingredient.

Every master chef has at least one secret ingredient in their chili that makes people scratch their heads with curiosity. It’s what makes your winter chili 100% yours. Here are some potential candidates for the mystery ingredients that all give off a unique and intriguing flavor that will have people begging to know what makes your winter chili so darn good:


If you’ve already popped some cold ones, feel free to pour a generous amount into the chili. Not a beer fanatic? No worries! Wine and liquor work just fine too. But each gives off its own flavor. Beer’s sugars and malts make the chili pop. Red wine adds some body and richness to the mix while liquor elevates all flavors with a swift kick of its own.


Looking for a tinge of tanginess or acidity in your chili? Toss in some brine from a jar of picked anything or even some standard white cooking vinegar. Apple cider vinegar and balsamic work great for capturing some sweetness with the perk. Keep the additions light and taste test regularly to find that perfect balance.

Coffee Powder

You probably never imagined adding coffee powder to your chili. Yet, here we are! You can’t get enough of the flavor during the day, so why not beef up the flavor of your chili with a tidbit of dark roast coffee grounds. The bitterness of the grounds will complement the sweetness and acidity that are present in most forms of chili.

Smokey Flavor

Ever wonder how storebought chili achieves that subtle, yet tongue-tingling smokiness? There’s actually an additive known as liquid smoke that’s tossed into the mixture to give it a campfire-ish flavor. At home, you can achieve the same mouthwatering smokey notes by grilling in the winter. Ground beef, bacon, and even vegetables will trap that smokiness for the entire chili dish.

For many craftsmen, winter is a tough time to find a rewarding and competitive position in the construction industry. If you’ve been struggling to land a reliable gig, you’re in the right place! The expert staffers at Madden Craftsmen have been helping people just like you get hired with some of the best construction companies in the northwest. Visit for the latest job openings. We also offer a thorough apprenticeship program where you can gain all the skills you need to succeed in the field if you don’t have your qualifications yet. Let’s build something.