Your search for the best chili recipe is officially over! This is the Best Darn Chili you will ever eat. Hearty and seasoned to perfection with some seriously delicious ingredients, it’s sure to exceed all your chili expectations.

Best Darn Chili

I’ve always been obsessed with chili and then Brandon created this chili recipe and obsessed is now an understatement. I’m so in love with this chili I crave it constantly, dream about it in my sleep and beg Brandon to make it pretty much every weekend so I can eat the leftovers all week long. I could eat it for lunch and dinner every day of the week and it would never get old. So delicious!

Best Darn Chili

We call it BDC because it is without question the Best Darn Chili we personally have ever eaten.

It’s got it all going on, but in such a thoughtful and balanced way. Brandon has tested and retested the amount and combination of each ingredient to insure that they all compliment each other perfectly. It’s a recipe you fall in love with at first smell, sight and bite.

Sure it requires more ingredients than your quick-fix powdered packet seasoned chili recipes and might take a little more effort to prepare, but trust me, it’s soooo worth it. The taste and texture are the real deal.

Best Darn Chili

It gets its comforting heartiness from ground sirloin, beef chuck and kidney beans.

It’s perfectly seasoned and spiced. Sweetness from brown sugar, a little bitterness from the espresso and unsweetened cocoa, slightly boozy from the beer and optional bourbon, and as much kick as you’d like from the jalapeño pepper seeds.

A chili eating experience like none other.

Best Darn Chili

We hope it becomes as much of a family favorite for you as it is for us. Be it for comfort on a cold winter night, for a crowd-pleasing meal during the big football game, or for that neighborhood potluck supper, it’s a guaranteed winner!



clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Best Darn Chili

  • Author: The BakerMama
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 mins
  • Yield: 8-10 1x
  • Category: Meals


Your search for the best chili recipe is officially over! This is the Best Darn Chili you will ever eat. Hearty and seasoned to perfection with some seriously delicious ingredients, it’s sure to exceed all your chili expectations.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1.5 pounds beef chuck, trimmed of fat & cut into cubes (about 1/2 to 1 inch in size)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle dark stout beer
  • 1 cup strong brewed espresso (or coffee)
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 1 (14 ounce) can low sodium beef broth
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 and 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
  • 4 fresh jalapeños peppers, seeded and chopped (we put in 1/2 the seeds for spice)
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions and garlic until onions are tender and remove from saucepan. Add ground sirloin and cubed beef chuck and cook for 10 minutes, or until the meat is well browned. Add onions and garlic back into saucepan with the meats.
  2. Mix in the diced tomatoes with juice, dark beer, coffee, tomato paste and beef broth. Season with brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, coriander, salt and black pepper. Stir in 2 cans of the beans and the chopped jalapeño peppers. Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  3. Stir in the remaining 2 cans of beans and simmer for another 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in the bourbon just before serving.
  5. Salt to taste. The amount of salt you add will depend on the saltiness of the beef broth you use. You’ll want to add quite a bit of salt to bring out all the flavors.

About The BakerMama

Maegan is the author of the best-selling Beautiful Boards and its next-level follow-up, Spectacular Spreads. She started blogging in 2012 and has over 700 original recipes on The BakerMama. She truly enjoys sharing her easy, family-friendly recipes, creative meal ideas, food board creations, and entertaining spreads to encourage others to get in the kitchen and make something memorable for their loved ones to enjoy together. Learn More

Follow us on social media:



  1. I’ve been wanting to try new chili recipe! Thank you for posting. Silly question, sorry, but when you say hot chili peppers are you talking jalapeños? I would also love to know which beer he liked the best.

    1. Hi Morgan! You’re sure to love this chili! We most often use jalapeño peppers, but red chile peppers work great too. And he uses whatever dark stour beer we have on hand. Usually something local, like Revolver. Enjoy! 🙂

  2. Made this tonight for dinner. I am from Texas, so I have a pretty high standard for chili. I have to say that this is one of the best chili recipes I have ever had. It is soooo good!

  3. This chili is absolutely delicious…….and I didn’t put in the jalapenos! The color also, is rich and luscious!

    1. Hi Kelly! I would recommend doing the first step in a saucepan and then you can certainly transfer it to the crockpot to finish it off. Enjoy!

    1. Hi David! I would recommend doing the first step in a saucepan and then you can certainly transfer it to the slow cooker to finish it off for at least an hour and a half. Enjoy!

  4. I know we all have different taste preferences, but this chili did not do it for me. It has some adventurous ingredients, which I have no issues with … but, I found this recipe to be cloyingly sweet … and, frankly, lacking in a depth of flavor. I’d certainly suggest cutting back the brown sugar by at least half … I’ve spent the last half hour trying to counter the sweetness and add some flavor depth. As it was, it was like if I ordered a mocha and they decided to toss in some meat and beans. I appreciate that many apparently like this, but it wasn’t my cup of meaty mocha. But, this won’t stop me from trying other recipes on here!

    1. Thanks for your feedback, Jerry! We definitely all have different tastes, but I’m wondering why yours turned out so sweet. A very slight sweetness should come through but nothing too noticeable. The 1/2 cup dark brown sugar and 1 tablespoon cocoa are there to add depth and richness with all of the other savory and spiced ingredients. Did you follow all of the ingredients and measurements exactly?

    2. I’ve been making this recipe for years and it’s a crowd pleaser but I use way less brown sugar and I add jalapeños cut up and some uncut habanero peppers. I also season the meat really well before I cook it and it really comes out great!

  5. I’ve made his multiple times, and it comes out phenomenal each time. I used filet mignon in place of the chuck and will continue to do that, made it even better. Very good recipe for a quality chili. Thanks.

  6. Made this last night and it was SO good! We did step one on the stove and finished in the crockpot. Amazing!

    Great job, Brandon!!!

  7. This was by far the best chili recipe I have ever made… and believe me I have tried! The ingredients make this a flavor profile that keeps people guessing ‘what is that I’m tasting’? Thank you – delicious!

  8. Hello! Making this for Superbowl Sunday. How big/small did you cube the meat (beef chuck that’s not ground)? I can’t recall if I’ve ever had a chili with noticeable chunks aside from the ground me but wondering how it would be in the chili. Thanks!

    1. Hi Elowen! The beef chuck should be cut into about 1/2-inch cubes. The tender chunks of meat are a game changer when it comes to chili. You’re sure to enjoy! 🙂

    1. Hi Bonnie! You don’t have to use beer, you can certainly sub beef broth, but watch the salt. If you use low sodium beef broth, you should be great. Enjoy!

    1. Hi John! About 1/2 to 1 inch is great. We don’t measure each cube exactly, but certainly wouldn’t recommend any bigger than an inch. Enjoy!

      1. Thank you, Maegan, for an excellent recipe! I made it on Super Sunday, and loved it. One thing I added was some crumbled Cotija cheese on top. Nice combination.

      2. Yay! So happy to hear! I can’t wait to try cotija on it next time we make it. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  9. Hello my name is Mark and I never leave replies, but I have to this time there is no choice. This was a one off that I was trying for a work cook off, now it’s tomorrow but I have to tell all of you stop looking it’s the best hands down i was skeptical at 1st after reading the ingredients and my wife was also like no way . You made us believers wow just wow thanks and even if I don’t win we have real cooks I’m going against I will never cook chili another way

    1. Hi Jake! It truly doesn’t matter which bourbon so just use whatever you have on hand. For the beer, we tend to prefer a darker beer, like a porter if you’re buying one specifically for the chili. Enjoy!

      1. Since this answer don’t really “answer” the question, we use Guinness Extra Stout. We do not use the bourbon in the last step.

  10. Best chili recipe, ever! I’ve tried so many other recipes, and they all taste the same… just a blah mix of chili powders, beef, and beans. The really good chili recipes always seem to be kept secret… so it’s really tough to find one of those. Look no more! This recipe is bursting with so many flavors that meld perfectly together. My fiance can be picky when it comes to flavors, and he liked this so much he said I’d win the company chili cookoff if I enter it, ha! I left out the final 2 cans of beans (because I forgot), and still loved it. I think I’ll keep it that way, since I prefer more meat than beans anyway. This recipe is going into my binder, and my search for the perfect chili is over! Yes it’s a lot of prep work and time consuming, but waaaay worth it…. especially since this recipe makes a lot, so you’ll have leftovers.

  11. Am planning to make this for this coming Saturday. We smoked a beef brisket and are planning to cook the chili in the smoker (after the 1st step of course).

  12. Made this last night to serve today, because everyone knows chili is better the next day! It is by far the best chili I’ve made.

    I never follow a recipe, I look at ten recipes and make my own from what I like from this one and that one and just wing it until I perfect it. This one I followed really closely except the bourbon, I dont like to keep brown liquor in the house, although now that I think of it I could have bought a little ‘airplane’ bottle at the liquor store and not had to worry about a raucous after dinner! Hahaha!

    The only thing I might change about this recipe is to use 2 jalapenos and cut another one into rounds and serve as a topper if you are serving people who can’t tolerate ‘hot’ food, I might try black beans next time but that’s just me and kidney beans that I find a little stiff, also definitely keep the beef cubes to 1/2 inch, any bigger extends the cook time to get tender.

    Thank You for sharing this Meagan! Love it!!!

    1. Hi Jenger! Yay! That is so great to hear! Makes me so happy that you love it as much as we do. It really is the best! Continue to enjoy!

  13. Lots of great comments. Can’t wait to try. I normally make my own chili and family loves it, but I have been in search of something different. I am in search of a brown chili with a flavor profile I remember as a child in a local mom and pop restaurant. Excited to try this one reguardless.

  14. These recipes all look amazing. If I had kids, I would totally try them with them! Cheese is my favorite food group so…..

  15. This is an outstanding recipe. I made a couple of changes: the 1/3 cup brown sugar sounded too sweet to me so I replaced that with 1 1/2 tbl honey. I also added a can of diced green chiles and I used tw different types of beans, one can light kidney and one can pinto. It’s fantastic! This will be my go-to base for all the chili I make in the future, thank you for sharing the recipe 🙂

  16. I so enjoy your site and your recipes. Would you please consider adding a print option so we can enjoy your recipes a little more easily. Thank you.

    1. Hi Rose! Thank you for your sweet compliments! There is a print option for every recipe in the recipe box just under the image that’s within the box. Hope this helps. Continue to enjoy!

  17. Looks delicious ! I was wondering if you could post recipes for school lunches? I’m trying to eat healthier while trying to balance out homework and exercise and I would like some simple, quick and healthy lunch recipes. Thanks 🙂

  18. I loved this the first time I made it using brown sugar but tonight I made it with Stevia not realizing that the ratios are so different. A word to the wise, if using a substitute use a LOT less. We had to throw the whole thing away!

  19. I’ve been making chili for years, but I have to say – this is one excellent chili recipe. Great depth of flavor and great texture. The consistency was just right. I followed the recipe pretty much to the T – for chili powder I used a mix of Ancho chili powder and San Antonio dark chili powder. I used Mexican oregano because I think it has a slightly bolder flavor. For the beer, I used Founder’s Breakfast Stout which has notes of chocolate, it ended up being the perfect choice. Instead of cayenne I used a heaping teaspoon of dried Thai chilies. For additional heat I used two orange habaneros (with seeds), and two jalapenos (with seeds). Instead of adding brown sugar, I added a tablespoon+ of Mike’s hot honey.

    Ended up being the perfect heat and made a damn good bowl of chili. Kudos to Brandon for coming up with this recipe, it’s quite delicious.

    1. Hi Lu! It adds a nice sweetness to the chili that balances out all of the savory and spiced ingredients so beautifully. Enjoy!

  20. I just started this, in my slow cooker. I had an Anaheim, a poblano, and a bell pepper left from my garden. So, I threw them in too. I can’t wait to try it!

    1. Hi Naomi! No need to cover the chili while it simmers. You actually want it to reduce a little bit so leaving it uncovered will allow the extra moisture to escape. Enjoy!!

  21. I’ve made this recipe a few times before and I LOVE it! It is my go to for chili. I’m planning on making this for the Super Bowl but am thinking I’ll need a double batch this time. For a double batch is it safe to just double all ingredients or are there some I should cut back on? Also for the beans should I do 4 cans at the start and 4 with 30 mins left and will this change the cook time at all?

    1. Hi Jason! So happy to hear you love the chili as much as we do! You can just double the ingredients and follow the instructions as is and it will turn out just as great. We do it all the time! Continue to enjoy!

  22. Hi.
    What do you eat with this chili? Rice, fries, salad or just as it is?
    Im from Denmark and usually we get something with our chili..
    im looking forward to try this chili….

  23. I just made up a batch o’ this but with 5 cloves of garlic (cuz vampires, LOL)…. It’s DELICIOUS!!

  24. My Mom and I decided to make some chicken and dumplings. Your recipe stuck out to us as we were surfing the web. We followed your instructions exactly. The outcome was DELICIOUS! I had a newly purchased box of Bisquick flour which helps, I think. In addition, we grow fresh herbs and used our garden parsley! I really enjoyed going through your blog and I am looking forward to trying more of your recipes. I’ve been gluten free for health reasons for over 7 years. It has made a huge difference in my life. I had lots of hip pain and bloating and YUCK… A few months after I started really working at it (when I was done crying about pizza crust) I felt an amazing difference.

  25. This was a COMPLETE fail for me in spite of following the recipe to a tee. I did not add bourbon or coriander and used all ground sirloin instead of part beef chuck. I just could not get beyond the overwhelming cocoa flavor. I couldn’t taste anything else. I’m so disappointed bc this recipe came recommended to me from a friend and I had a loaf of corn bread I was going to serve with it but it’s not edible. Maybe my tastebuds are wired differently. But I’ll go back to my previous chili recipe.

    1. Hi Lynn! I’m sorry to hear this. Are you sure you measured the cocoa and other ingredients correctly? It just calls for 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder and balances the flavor of the chili so deliciously. I highly recommend the coriander to bring out the full flavor of the chili, but I’m still shocked you got a strong cocoa flavor with just 1 tablespoon.

  26. Wow, you have such stunning photos! And these stuffed bell pepers – YUM! These have been on my bucket list for so long – thanks for pushing me to finally give it a try.

  27. I’ve made a lot of similar recipes in my slow cooker. I wouldn’t be able to survive with out my slow cooker. Thanks for sharing your recipes.

  28. This is the best chili I’ve ever made. Ever! So darn good! I did make some changes but not much! But I will say this. I read almost everyone’s comments. This is neither too sweet not too chocolaty. (Yes people have said that. Personally I think they didn’t measure right.) This was heavenly! First what I did different. And it wasn’t much! I bought a 4 pound roast so I ended up doubling it. Instead of 2 cans doubled of tomato paste, I just used 3 cans total. I don’t like too much tomato paste in my chili so I added it after the meats were cooked and just stirred enough paste in it to cover the meat. I was concerned about the spicy of the chili. So I didn’t double the cayenne and I only left 1 jalapeño unseeded. I also added another 1/4 cup brown sugar. (I didn’t have dark so it was all light.) I shouldn’t have been concerned with the heat. It was plenty warm with all of the samples (and there were a lot!) I ate while it was cooking. Not only that, but after adding the sour cream, cheese, and Fritos, I didn’t detect any heat. So next time I will add more seeds from the jalapeño and/or cayenne pepper. I also added a variety of beans instead of just kidney beans. It was so so yummy! And for the doubling of this recipe? I got 6 quart jars filled for freezing, and a smaller pot set aside for another meal. It made tons but I’m going to love the leftovers! Thanks so much for the delish chili!

  29. Hi! I live in Texas and its finally cold enough for this delicious recipe! I only have 2 cans of beans though. Would you recommend more meat or any adjustments if Im not using 4 cans of kidney beans?

    1. Hi Jen! Me too! So excited Texas is finally cold enough for blankets, sweaters and chili! You can leave the 2 cans of kidney beans out and it will still taste great. It will just be a little more liquidy which if you continue to simmer, it will continue to thicken. Enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating