Do You Cook Ground Beef Before Putting it in Chili?

If you’re going to be simmering the whole pot anyway, do you need to cook the ground beef before putting it in chili? You might be tempted to take a shortcut here, but don’t do it: You should always cook the meat before you add it to the pot with the rest of your chili ingredients.

It’s true that the raw meat would probably get cooked if you let the chili simmer long enough, but while the result would be safe to eat, it wouldn’t be satisfying. Cooking the meat first gives a better texture as well as better flavor: Browning the meat deepens its rich, meaty taste. Cooking your ground beef in a skillet also gives you the opportunity to drain off excess fat that would otherwise make your chili greasy.

Here’s how to cook ground beef before putting it in your chili:

  1. Brown the Beef: Start by heating a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add your ground beef and break it into smaller pieces using a spatula or spoon. Continue cooking it until it’s no longer pink, stirring occasionally.
  2. Drain Excess Fat: Ground beef can release a lot of fat while cooking. To avoid greasy chili, drain the excess fat by tilting the skillet and skimming off the grease with a large spoon.
  3. Add Spices: Separately cooking the beef allows you to season it with your preferred spices, such as chili powder, cumin, and garlic, to create a well-seasoned base for your chili. Adding these flavors enhances the overall taste of your dish.
Chuck 'The Chili Guy' Miller

Hey I'm Chuck "The Chili Guy" Miller. Chili is my passion so I have expertly crafted my list of tried and true award worthy chili recipes that will warm your soul. My gift to you from one chili connoisseur to another. - Chuck

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