Recipe: Big Batch Chili

Updated: Apr 17

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Who doesn't love a good bowl of chili? People love chili so much it is sometimes a food of contention... 🙈

My Texas parents constantly tell me chili (which is the state food by the way) does NOT have beans in it.

I have friends around here that put noodles in it. That's not my favorite way, but hey! Each there own, am I right?

This chili recipe is the Smith Family Favorite. We make it in LARGE batches and freeze them into smaller batches. It'll last us a couple of months before I need to make it again.

Ready to get started?


  • (2) 64 oz jars/cans of tomato/vegetable juice (I actually use V8)

  • (4) 15oz cans beans

  • 8 oz of chili powder

  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes

  • 28 oz of broth (chicken or beef)

  • 1 Tablespoon garlic

  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder

  • 5 lbs cooked and drained 80/20 ground beef

  • Salt & pepper to taste

Toppings (All optional)

  • Shredded cheese

  • Corn chips/oyster crackers

  • Diced onions

  • Sour cream

Cooking Items You will need

  • A Large Roaster (I have a Nesco 18 Qt Roaster, but any 18QT roaster will do)

  • A large pan (12" or larger)

  • Cooking Spoon/spatula (to break up meat, and stir in ingredients) I personally prefer a bamboo flat spatula, but seriously any spoon you usually use to break up is fine (Just make sure it won't scratch up your roaster).

  • Ladle (For serving)


Set your Roaster to Roast setting (about 350) let this heat up while you go on to cooking the meat.

Set your burner to medium-high heat and let it warm. I do not add any oil because, as I cook the beef, the natural fat comes out and release the meat. However, if you choose to use venison (Which is a much leaner meat, you should add a little "fat". I like to use about a tablespoon of bacon fat with my venison, but olive oil is fin as well).

While your meat is cooking, dump everything else into the now hot roaster. Start with the vegetable juice. Then add the beans. Next add the chili, garlic and onion powder. STOP! Grab your spoon, stir until combined. Oh! Check your meat! Stir it around and make sure it's browning (not burning) evenly. OK, now add your tomatoes and broth. Stir again.

Is that meat done yet? Yes? sweet! Add it. Stir until completely mixed together. Now, taste, salt and pepper, taste again and add more of anything you think you need.

Now let it sit until hot and bubbly. Then turn down to 200 and serve. Top with any or all of the toppings suggested (or whatever other favs you like).

Check out how I top mine.

You could also make Chili Cheese dogs or Chili cheese fires with the chili!

Make sure you tag me @thesmithcountry in your chili posts! I can't wait to see how you enjoy your chili!

Ready to store your chili for future meals?

When you're done eating (or done cooking it if you're batch dinner planning), turn off the roaster and let the chili get to room temp. Grab some freezer bags (I find a quart size freezer bag filled is good for about 4-6 servings, and a gallon size is good for about 10-12 - of course, all of this is dependent on your bowl size).

The Recipe

All images © 2020 Jenn Smith of Smith Country, LLC

All rights reserved. You may not sell, trade, share (outside of sharing the link) or redistribute this recipe in any way or claim as your own. You may NOT use any of my photographs for your site. You may link this post to a list of recipes, giving credit for the recipe to myself and my site. ©2020 Jenn Smith of Smith Country, LLC

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