October 1, 2020

Brian's Signature Post-Hunt Chili Recipe

By Brian Beck

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Well folks, the great people in the social media department have pointed out that I mentioned a chili recipe in my last post, and either they secretly want it (we REALLY do), or they think there are some of you out there that would appreciate it. Either way, I figured I'd try to write out how I normally make my "hunting chili."

Now I just want to preface this by saying I certainly don’t consider myself Gordon Ramsey, but this is super easy to make and I’ve never heard any complaints from those that have eaten it. I find it to be a great recipe because most of the ingredients are non-perishable and can be kept on hand for whenever you get a craving to make it. This should roughly make a full large slow cooker and serves 4-5 people with some leftovers, because everyone knows chili is at its best a day or two after you make it.


  • 1 Large slow cooker
  • 2 Octoberfest Beers of your choice (one for the chili one to drink)
  • 2 lbs of ground deer or deer steak (or a pound of each if you really want to get crazy. If using steak, chopping it while still partially frozen works well to get nice small chunks.)
  • 1 lb of bacon (because why not? P.S. Chorizo is pretty good too)
  • 2-3 packets of chili seasoning (Hot, mild, or whatever you prefer. Hell, you can make your own if you’re that motivated!)
  • 2-3 cans of "chili ready" diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 cans of "chili ready" chili beans(sometimes I substitute one or more of these for a can of black beans and/or navy beans)
  • 1-2 small cans of diced chilis (could be substituted for hotter peppers if you like more heat. I generally just have hotter peppers for garnish so everyone is happy.)
  • 1-2 white onions diced (can substitute dried minced onion in a pinch)
  • 1 can of sweet corn (optional but adds some color)
  • 1 can of tomato sauce (if the combined mixture is too thick once all combined)

Cooking instructions:

  1. Turn the slow cooker on high and combine all the canned vegetables and the beer, making sure you leave enough space for the meat, you can always add more veg at the end. Open the second beer and take a couple sips. (If you found the “chili ready” tomatoes and beans, these don’t need to be drained, but I would drain the peppers you decide to use and the corn.)
  2. Add 2 packets of chili seasoning to the slow cooker mixture and stir in.
  3. Season the meat with salt and black pepper and brown in a pan completely. (if using steak leave it fairly rare to medium rare)
  4. Add the browned meat to the slow cooker and stir in.
  5. Brown the diced onion in the same pan with a little diced garlic and then add to the mixture.
  6. After a few hours on high, turn the slow cooker down to low and let it coast.
  7. Sample a bit while it is coasting and use the last seasoning packet to season to taste. (It may be needed if you didn’t find the “chili ready” tomatoes and beans which already have some seasoning in them.)


There are all sorts of things you can garnish this with, some of them being sour cream, shredded cheese, some chopped jalapeno, fresh cornbread. The possibilities are endless really. One thing that you may not think of though, is something that is very popular in my small part of the Midwest. That being a peanut butter sandwich to dip in it. I know that probably sounds crazy or like a very odd combination, but don’t judge it until you try it! Oh, and I’d recommend washing it down with another of those fine Octoberfest beers!

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