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Wolf Brand Chili - straight up?

I've read a few reviews here on canned chili and Wolf Brand Chili seems to be the most recommended if you're not going to make it yourself. I finally spotted it in the store tonight and am ready to give it a shot. Most of the recommendations here were related to chili used as a topping (fries, hot dogs), is it also good just in a bowl with sour cream, cheese and a lovely piece of cornbread or would another brand be better?

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  1. I learned about Wolf here, as a lazy topping for chili dogs, but I confess I have Wolfed down a soupy can or two in the microwave, with cheese and onions. I have a few cans of the 'other' brands in my pantry, but I have never sampled them. It is best with chili dogs rather than on its own.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Veggo

      Hmm, perhaps I'll go on the google search for another brand. Perhaps Hormel?

      1. re: fldhkybnva

        Hormel is one in my pantry I haven't tried. There must be limited expectations from the contents of a 2 dollar can of anything.

    2. I suppose if you are going with a canned chili you might as well go with Wolf Brand. Meatier than most. Heat it up. Top with sour cream and avocado. It's really not as bad as it sounds. Although to be perfectly honest with you. Never have understood the fascination with this stuff around this place.

      Oops... Forgot the cheese!

      1 Reply
      1. re: miss_belle

        Do you think it just pales in comparison to homemade? If so, I might just skip it ad pick a weekend to actually make some legit chili. Save the calories and tastebuds for an extra Thanksgiving leftover sandwich :)

      2. I think it's the best canned chili we've had. When we first started getting it, the no-bean variety was a lot thicker and meatier than it is now, IMO. It seems to have become what their "chili sauce" used to be. We now prefer the one with beans -- it's meatier, thicker, and it's not like there's a lot of beans in there anyway. In fact, my wife and I have concocted what she calls "recombinant chili": 1 can of Wolf's with beans, plus two cans of kidney beans mostly drained, mixed together.

        I have to say though, it's not the most appetizing sight before we add the beans, even as canned chili goes.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Steve Green

          They make something called "Homestyle' that I sometime find on-sale at Super Wal-Mart (just to continue the "canned theme"). So far as a canned product goes I think it is as good as you get. I'll add sour cream, maybe a touch of beef stock and onion. Again, to stay consistent, the stock is boxed or canned and the onions should be dried (Zatarains, in my case). Hot sauce &c as desired. Perfectly fine for a cold morning breakfast.

          1. re: hazelhurst

            I actually tried a can this morning straight up in a bowl and it was very very soupy.

            1. re: fldhkybnva

              Maybe I put the stock in one of teh other ones..it has been awhile since I did it. But I so stick with dried onions..as long as we are going for canned stuff, stay consistent. you know, 1963 Bomb Shelter food.

        2. I had some tonight as a hot dog topping (due to the fact that I forgot the 24 hr lead time for the pickled onions on the beef tongue tacos I had planned). It's really perfect on a chili dog, but I'd have to do some real spicing up to make it a good bowl of chili.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JonParker

            Perhaps I'll just pull out a hot dog or some Fritos.

            1. re: fldhkybnva

              WB chili certainly has its place in the pantry. I always keep a can on hand in case we want chili cheeseburgers for instance. And since there has been mention of fritos and hot dogs. Slice up some hot dogs and fry in a bit of butter. Layer with fritos, chili, cheese and nuke. Top with sliced jalapeños or whatever you like. Not exactly gourmet fare but it'll do in a pinch.

          2. Based on recommendations here I tried my first can of Wolf chili not long ago. It is better than hormel, which isn't saying much, and I thought it would be ok for a chili dog.

            Here is a chili recipe that is a hundred times better than wolf canned:
            One pound ground beef
            One can of tomatoes
            One pkt. McCormick chili seasoning
            One can of beans, optional

            Follow directions on envelope

            It can be ready to eat in 15 minutes, start to finish.

            1. I love it with rice. I actually prefer it to homemade with rice or in a Frito pie. I've never eaten it straight up, but I'm sure it would be good that way,

              1. Wolf Brand Hot No Beans is perfectly fine. Accompanied by a sleeve of saltines and a cold Coke, you've got yourself a pretty good lunch. Now obviously it's a far cry from homemade, serious chili, but it serves its humble purpose well.

                As others have mentioned, it is fantastic for chili dogs and Frito pie.

                1. Only one way to eat Wolf Brand chili and that is in a Frito pie. Yum.

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: swamp

                    Khan and swamp, loved Wolf Brand as a child, but thumbed my nose at it until yesterday. I work for a big retailer and for Black Friday we were fed Chic-Fil-a, yesterday they grilled hot dogs dogs with Wolf Brand, and I found it very satisfying, a small bowl on the side and some on a dog. We had all sorts of sides and chips. After I finished eating someone mentioned a Frito pie since we had everything, fritos, onions, cheese and chili. A missed opportunity!!!!! Here's an edit, I don't see myself buying it as the weather is cooling and Texas chili time is coming. However, the next hurricane I hope I remewmber it.

                    1. re: James Cristinian

                      Perhaps Hurricane Wolfgang will serve as a mnemonic device.

                      1. re: James Cristinian

                        I'm going to blow your mind... Crunch Fritos up and sprinkle them over your next chili dog. OK, so maybe I didn't blow your mind. But, it's seriously like the best of both worlds.

                        Add me to the "it's great for chili dogs/frito pie" crowd, but I don't consider it a meal by itself.

                        I wish our TX weather would cool down - while this week is undoubtedly gorgeous, I need a good cold snap for the first batch of winter chili, and I "wasted" the last one on turkey & andouille gumbo.

                        1. re: shanagain

                          That does sound good. I don't think I would bust them up but just eat it with a fork.

                          In my part of the world a "scrambled dog" is popular which is a cut up chili dog with oyster crackers on top.

                          1. re: shanagain

                            Great idea, shanagain! Wolf is good as a topping. Next time I have a chili dog, Frito topping it is. Agree about the weather. It's ridiculous. Bring on the cold!

                            1. re: KrumTx

                              Looks like we could have another year without winter. And without rain, to boot!

                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                Perigau Khan, no winter either in my old stomping grounds? When I was there we'd get some serious cold and way serious wind. I thought the lack of it was a DFW thing

                                1. re: KrumTx

                                  Naw. The last serious winter we had was in 2010. In Lubbock we had 72 straight hours of single-digit temps in early February, 2010. A pipe over our utility room burst. Since then it's been straight up heat.

                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                    Wow! I saw on another of your posts that Gardski's was still there. That was where we took parents so they wouldn't see our dorm rooms. Great date place, too. Glad to see it's still kicking. My heart is always with Wimpy's, though, back in the days when you could eat everything fried and not gain an ounce.

                                    1. re: KrumTx

                                      Oh yeah, Gardski's. The Smokin' Mad Jack is one of the world's great sandwiches. So good that I make 'em at home.

                            2. re: shanagain

                              What about gildng the lily and using the chili cheese Fritos? (Or, come to think of it, the BBQ Fritos...those were teh Junque Food I missed most when I was boycotting Pepsi products.)

                              1. re: hazelhurst

                                Are BBQ Fritos even made anymore? I never see 'em these days.

                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                  I paid $0.60 in a vending machine for them recently. saw them at a Circle K in Louisiana a week ago.

                                  1. re: hazelhurst

                                    I must repair to a Circle K in Looziana.

                        2. I eat my chili neat, straight up. I love canned chili and Wolf seems to be about the best, although I do like Dennison's Chunky. Wolf does seem to be kind of salty but has good flavor.

                          1. Love it on either tamales or spaghetti. Add some chopped onion, shredded cheddar cheese and a little Tabasco sauce -- Heaven!!

                            1. Cheese laden frito pie. Otherwise I can't stand the under-taste of canned chili whether Hormel or Wolf. The under-taste reminds me of the smell of dog food.

                              1. The best of the canned chilis that I've ever found but by far but that's not saying much. I usually keep it on hand for emergency rations but almost never use it. I try to keep bricks of chili from a local butcher shop in the freezer for emergencies (when I run out of my own stash in the freezer). If had a microwave I'd keep the Wolf microwavable cups so I could satisfy a desperate craving for chili without having to consume a whole can.

                                Good for chili pie as others have noted.

                                Also okay as topping for hot dogs, chili burgers and chili fries - but then you have to figure out what to do with the rest of the can.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: brucesw

                                  Hey brucesw, those bricks of chili wouldn't be from Gus Meat Market on OST in Houston, by chance?

                                    1. re: brucesw

                                      Yes Guy's. Favorites: burgers, bbq spareribs, the pork and beans, and of course the chili.

                                      1. re: James Cristinian

                                        Oh yes, the smoked burgers and the chili. I had some of their bbq a few times but don't remember anything special; may have liked the bbq chicken best.

                                        I also like the 100% pork with garlic sausage they make, one of the best locally produced sausages, IMO. It's not what they serve on the bbq plates,though.

                                2. Two Alarm Chili Kit! I love it "No Alarm", without the chili packet. I don't keep the spices around and I love the masa thickener.

                                  1. I take Wolf and a can of beans when I go on weekend back backing trips and weight is not an issue. I stick them in the camp fire and when the cans burst, they are done and easier to open!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. that has got to be Powers Boothe (Cy Tolliver) as the voice over