This Set-and-Forget Slow Cooker Chili Is Spicy and Delicious

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A pot of simmering all day sounds like the perfect cozy, . But what if you didn't have to stay near that pot, stirring and loving on your easy (yet time-consuming) chili? Enter: the . This slow cooker chili recipe brings all the long, slow-cooked flavors to your dinner table, without hovering over a simmering pot all day long! It's an ideal dish to add to a —just plug in your slow cooker and set out toppings like chips, cheese, and sour cream for everyone to build their own bowl!

Do you have to brown the meat for slow cooker chili?

Technically, no. The beef, bell pepper, onion, and garlic will all cook in the slow cooker, but browning the meat and sautéing the vegetables in a skillet before adding it to the slow cooker brings much more flavor to the chili. You'll be glad you did—promise!

How long can chili cook in the slow cooker?

If you need it done sooner, cook the chili on high for four hours. But if you have a little time to spare, you can cook it on low for six hours instead. After it's done cooking, set your slow cooker to the warm setting to keep the chili hot for longer.

Is chili better in a slow cooker?

We say, yes! Sure, there are plenty of other amazing chili recipes that are cooked on the stovetop, like or . However, many of the ingredients in traditional chili (like onions and garlic) and dried spices (like chili powder and cumin) develop excellent flavor thanks to low-and-slow cooking. Making chili in a slow cooker appliance, like or , gives you just that result with zero effort.

Can you put raw ground beef in a slow cooker?

You can certainly put raw in the slow cooker (as well as raw onions, bell peppers, and garlic) but browning them first in a skillet will provide lots of extra flavor. It may seem easier to throw the beef in raw, but we recommend browning the meat in your skillet first!

What kind of beans go best in chili?

Beans are a super versatile chili ingredient. This recipe calls for four cans of red kidney beans, but you can use what you have on hand. Black or pinto beans make a nice swap, as well as white beans such as great northern or cannellini varieties. And in case you were wondering, you can mix and match as many types as you like!