I firmly believe that everybody should know how to make a big pot of homemade chili.

This means…….. without a store bought seasoning pack.

My recipe for homemade chili incorporates three ingredients that intensify the meaty flavor considerably.

I am going to tell you how to add depth and richness to your chili recipe.

First up, the chili seasoning…..say goodbye spice packets for chili.

You have everything you need in your pantry to create your own homemade chili seasoning packets.

Next up, and the most important……

These three ingredients will be your best friend.

Chocolate, Beer, and Fish Sauce……

Say what?


These three ingredients, when used in combination and in moderation with the homemade chili seasonings, intensify depth and savoriness of your dish tremendously.

No one will be able to taste these ingredients indvidually.

But, they will stand in line to get another bowl……..this I know for sure.

The reason……. over the top umami.

This post contains affiliate links.  If you click on certain links and purchase a product I recommend, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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bowl of chili in small cast iron pot with a beer, hot sauce, shredded cheddar, and fresh jalapenos - J Dub By Design™

J Dub’s Homemade Chili Recipe

5 from 1 review

  • Author: Jennifer Williams
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 bowls (generous) 1x


If you are looking for intense depth of flavor, this chili is for you.  It take just 10 minutes to throw all of your ingredients in a pot before a long simmer on the stove.



  • 3 pounds 80/20 ground beef
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 4 large cloves minced garlic 
  • 16 ounce can tomato paste
  • 228 ounces cans peeled whole tomatoes (Do NOT Drain)
  • 8 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 T granulated onion 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 

  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate

  • 1 cup beer (Shiner Bock or Crawford Bock is typically what I have on hand.)

  • 1 teaspoon Red Boat Fish Sauce

  • 1 Bay Leaf


  1. Cook the hamburger until no longer pink in a heavy duty dutch oven .
  2. Drain the hamburger meat in a colander and set the meat aside.
  3. Meanwhile, sauté onion in butter until translucent.
  4. Add minced garlic and sauté approximately 30 seconds until fragrant.
  5. Return drained hamburger meat to the pot with onion and garlic.
  6. Mix the onion, garlic, and hamburger together.
  7. Add the tomatoes with the juice and the tomato paste to the mixture.
  8. Using an immersion blender, crush the tomatoes.  You can also just crush these with your spoon as the chili cooks.
  9. Add in all of the seasoning spices and mix again.
  10. Add the beer, fish sauce, and chocolate.
  11. Mix again.
  12. Throw in the bay leaf and turn stove to simmer.
  13. Add in all of your spices, beer, fish sauce, and bay leaf.
  14. Give the chili one last stir and cover the pot with a lid, leaving it cracked for steam to escape.
  15. Allow the chili to simmer for at least 2 hours, preferably more. Sometimes I will put it in the oven on 300 and let it simmer for a few hours and just stir occassionally.
  16. Stir the chili occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom of your pot.  Taste the chili and add additional salt if needed.
  17. Serve with crackers, cheese, and your favorite hot sauce.


  1. Instead of beer, I used to add 1/2 cup strong black coffee.  But, then I decided on a whim to change things up.  I may go back to coffee, but right now I’m loving the flavor the beer adds.
  2. If you do not own an immersion blender, you can crush the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.  
  3. As the tomatoes cook, they naturally want to break down.
  4. You need a large stock pot or Dutch oven for this recipe.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours (longer is better)
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American

Why not try my chili at your next weekend get together?

Drop me a comment below and let me know what you think of my homemade chili recipe.

If you are looking for some hot appetizers, try out J Dub’s Black Eyed Pea Dip or my hot Spinach Artichoke Dip.

Both of these make clean up a breeze are are great to serve at any party, including New Year’s and Super Bowl Extravaganzas.

Looking for another hot bowl of goodness? Try my Roasted Tomato Basil Soup.

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