When I moved to the mid-west from the east coast I heard about this thing called ‘Cincinnati chili’. My reaction to the idea of spaghetti and chili was one of shock. Cinnamon? What? Is that an accident? That was all before I tried it. I’ve learned to be less judgmental about new foods since then, and Cincinnati chili is one reason why. I love it. It’s perfect, and not just on cold mid-west winter days either.
Making Cincinnati chili in a slow cooker is easy and tasty and I’d make it again and again. Now, if I happen to be in Cincinnati, I’m heading to The Chili Hut, my hands-down favorite food truck.
I’ve been lucky enough to have the chili from the Chili Hut several times, from the parking lot at Jungle Jim’s in Fairfield Ohio to the huge food truck rally in West Chester Ohio. You can have your chili as many ways as you want from the Chili Hut. The chili is perfectly seasoned and has the best texture. It’s beyond yummy!
Slow Cooker Cincinnati Chili
For the chili
- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
- 2 medium onions chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons mild chili powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 14 1/2 ounce cans diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted)
- 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- Classic: Serve chili hot.
- 2- way: Serve chili over hot cooked spaghetti.
- 3- way: Serve chili 2-ways topped with shredded cheddar cheese
- 4- way: Serve chili 3-ways topped with chopped white onion.
- 5- way: Serve chili 4-ways topped with warmed kidney beans.
For the chili
- Crumble the beef into a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion and celery and cook until the meat is done.
- Drain off any excess fat and pour the meat mixture into your slow cooker.
- In a large bowl, combine the remaining chili ingredients then pour over the meat.
- Stir, cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
- Serve as desired.