Y’all, chili is a religion down here. We have chili cook-offs every fall and winter. Everyone gets together, spends all day drinking beer and cooking chili, and then have it judged that afternoon (often during halftime of a big game). A good Texas chili recipe has to be spicy, meaty, and of course, it needs tomatoes. The trick to chili is, you need it to cook all day– unless you have an Instant Pot! I can have the same quality chili in 45 minutes or less using my Instant Pot chili without beans. This means that we can have chili even on school nights with t-ball practice because I don’t have to be home to stir it all day long– Instant Pot Texas chili has solved all my spicy-loving-heart’s problems!
There’s a great debate, though, about whether it should be an Instant Pot chili recipe without beans (or with them, but that half of the argument is invalid). A real chili recipe doesn’t have beans. It just doesn’t, no matter what anyone says. I have proof, too! Chili was created by cowboys on a cattle drive. They’d have tough, dried out meat in their saddle packs that needed to be edible. How did they do that? By making chili! They wouldn’t have had time to soak and cook beans after a long day cattle driving, which means it consisted of nothing but a can of tomatoes and meat. There you go, your proof that REAL chili, especially Texas chili, does NOT have beans.
Now that that’s settled, what DOES a real Instant Pot chili recipe without beans have? The best chili recipe has a few things in it: meat, tomatoes, spicy spices, and earthy spices. By using an Instant Pot, you find a loophole to the most important ingredient: time. There didn’t used to be a replacement for time when the cowboys were making it, but there is now! The flavors all get to meld together, the meat falls apart, the tomatoes cook down, and it becomes this wonderfully smooth, spicy bowl of deliciousness. There’s just nothing better on a cold winter night than a bowl of Instant Pot Texas chili and a warm piece of cornbread. Plus, it’s amazing on hot dogs, tamales (our Christmas Eve tradition), or as Frito pie (every Texas kid’s favorite cafeteria meal)!
Wanna smell it all day long? Just use this traditional (non-Instant Pot) version!
- 2 lbs beef (we prefer a mix of beef and venison when we have it, but plain beef is yummy, too)
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 1 bottle Shiner (or another darker beer)
- 2- 28 oz petite diced tomatoes
- 8 T chili powder
- 2 t garlic, minced
- 1 t red pepper flakes
- 1 t cumin seed
- 1 1/2 t salt
- 1 1/2 t paprika
- 1 1/2 T oregano
- 2 adobo chilis in adobo sauce, blended smooth
- Cut up the meat to be small bite size. Make it a little larger if you want it chunky, smaller if you want it to fall apart into a smooth chili.
- Brown the meat and the onion in your Instant Pot.
- Pour in the beer and allow to simmer for a few minutes, cooking off some or most of the alcohol.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, stir well, and put the lid on.
- Set your Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 30 minutes.
- Serve your Instant Pot chili with cornbread, diced sweet onion, shredded cheese, or Fritos!
Annemarie Krim says
Hi! I made this chili tonight, but a little disappointed at how watery it turned out. Tastes great, but way too thin!!
Any suggestions on how to thicken it up?
Anne from NJ
Hmm… Mine never turns out watery. I wonder if the cut of beef you used might have been fattier than the ones I do? If it ends up too thin, you could always add a cornstarch slurry and hit saute to cook it in!
Do you NRP or QR after cooking for 30 minutes?
NPR– there’s too much liquid to QR without getting it all over your kitchen!