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Best Meat for Texas Chili

Hi there,

I was wondering what type of meat everyone likes to put into their chili. Especially what cuts of beef you like to use. Thanks.

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  1. I like my chili meat a little more fatty (about20%), and use a heavier chili meat grind instead of the traditional ground beef.

    I also like to add diced steak (usually ribeye) into the chili as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kingofkings

      Problem with adding ribeye or the like is that if the chili sits on a warmer those cuts get dry; the delicious fat melts away.

      Those cuts are best for a quick sear, not any low n' slow approach.

      The typical cuts (chuck, etc) have more connective tissue, which takes t-i-m-e to make it tender; perfect for a dish that often sits around on a warmer while waiting to be tasted.

    2. I like do an all-chunk chili (no ground beef), cooked low and slow for a good long time. Chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat and cut into bite-sized chunks, is my beef of choice. It has enough connective tissue to give a good mouthfeel without being too fatty.

      You can make good chili from everything from alligator to zebra, but chuck is my favorite.

      2 Replies
      1. re: alanbarnes

        Round or chuck roast. To me, it's traditional and what my father used.

        1. re: alanbarnes

          I don't know about alligator and zebra, but one thing that didn't work out so well was pork belly :)

        2. Round or Chuck cut into 1/8 to 1/4 inch size. Some people grind their meat, but most of the winning chili cooks cut t heir's by hand.

          1. Please, no round. Round is inexpensive and lean, but also tough and has a slight liver taste. Trimmed chuck or sirloin is best.

            1. I usually go with chuck cut in 1/2" cubes, but lately I've been using tri-tip.

              I will also add chorizo on occasion.