The Best Steak Chili (for Slow Cooker or Instant Pot) – Perry’s Plate

Sirloin steak chili recipe slow cooker

This chili steak is, without a doubt, the best chili I’ve ever eaten. Or done. It’s a reader’s favorite and many of you have won recipe contests all over the country with it! It’s also a chili without beans, and you can make it in your slow cooker or Instant Pot.

And apparently many of you feel the same way because you have won a lot of chili cook offs! (More on this later.)

This was also the first chili I ate that uses steak (or stew meat) instead of lean ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken. It’s like the Lexus of chili.

Or chili Cadillac? (I see an old chili lover driving a Cadillac on a Lexus. Or am I thinking about this too much?)

It is also unique that you only use jalapeño peppers and not canned green peppers or green peppers. However, it is a delicious chili, so trust me in this!

What is the best type of steak for chili?

Using steak in chile may seem like an indulgence, right?

It doesn’t have to be this way!

If you want to use steak, I recommend a cheaper cut of steak, such as round steak or sirloin. Save those cuts of steak for grilling.

You can also use stew meat or a roast cut into small pieces. In fact, I use it more often. Because you are cooking it very slowly for a long time, it will soften and be as tender as a big steak.

If you get grass-fed beef stocks like us, then high-quality beef is pretty affordable! I always reserve a packet of steak or stew meat to make this chili at least once every winter.

It has to compete with a couple of other beef recipes that we love and that remind us of living in Europe: Borscht and Goulash. We like hearty meals and sticking to the ribs in the winter.

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Does chili need to have beans?

If you’re looking for a classic bean chili recipe, this isn’t the solution. Most chili recipes have red beans or black beans, but this clay pot chili, without beans. (In some parts of Texas, putting beans in chili is frowned upon, imagine! A chili recipe without beans would work well there.)

It’s a good homemade chili recipe to have if you’re eating paleo or avoiding legumes. And it’s gluten-free as is.

Do you have to seal the meat before cooking it slowly?

Short answer: No.

Short answer alternative: Yes, if you have time.

Also, this is not a “made in 30 minutes” type of chili. It requires a bit of prep work, like cutting and burning pieces of meat over medium-high heat, but it makes a pretty big chili, and I love having leftovers.

The ingredients are also not hard to find. It has a familiar base of chili powder in spices, but you may need to get some cumin seeds. (If you want, you can substitute a smaller amount of ground cumin, probably a tablespoon will do.) And instead of tomato sauce, it requires a mixture of tomato paste and crushed tomatoes, which I like. I’m not a fan of the big pieces of tomato in my chili. Meat broth can be changed with chicken broth, but meat gives it a richer flavor.

And ALLLLL of the spice action in this chili just blows my mind. Not spices as in spicy-spicy, but a complex mixture of seasonings that give it so much richness and depth. More than any other chili I’ve ever made. It’s worth opening a few extra jars, I promise. You can make it spicy if you want, just shake a little more cayenne pepper.

Can chili be frozen?

This slow-cooking steak is one of those recipes you prepare on a lazy Saturday morning that will feed you several times next week. Not one for busy weeknights.

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It’s a great meal preparation recipe in that regard. Or if you’re looking at the big pot of chili you just made wondering if you’ve overdone it.


It’s also good to take someone who is sick or just had a baby or needs a little love. Or he’s super overwhelmed with life. Cozy comfort meals are great for that. And sometimes meals say exactly what we mean when we don’t quite know what words to use.

You can also heat it and serve it on baked potatoes or on dogs with chili.

Is this a hot chili?

It’s medium heat, but if you’re worried about that, skip the cayenne and be sure to remove all the seeds and membranes from the jalapeños. Or skip the jalapeños altogether.

Typical chili seasonings have chili powder which can vary in itching depending on the brand.

If you’re looking for a hotter chili, increase the jalapeños and cayenne or serve with some hot sauce smoothies next time.

Can you make chile steak in an instant pot?

Most of the things you make in a slow cooker can be adapted for Instant Pot.

And the good thing is that if the slow cooker requires the meat to brown on the stove, you can use the Sauté setting on your Instant Pot!

However, converting cooking times can be a bit more complicated. It totally depends on the type and thickness of meat you have. For this recipe, using steak or stew meat would only require about 20 minutes of pressure cooking time.

If you feel that this is too long, you can play with time.

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Can you make chile steak on the stove?

If you have a large Dutch oven and some patience, for sure! Simply let it boil over medium-low heat for an hour or so until the meat is tender.

Award-winning Steak Chili!

I’ve loved hearing about all the chili cook-offs this recipe has won over the years! Even one in Texas, guys. And Texas chili is no joke.

Yay for an amazing chili! And yes, for making chili in a slow cooker! Let me know if you enter a contest and win. It seriously makes my day.

If you need advice, do it the day before entering a contest. Most chili is best when reheated the next day after the flavors have fused well in an airtight container overnight.

Favorite Ingredients for Steak Chili

I love this chili topped with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, hot sauce, and sliced green onions, but if you avoid dairy, try the cubed avocado! It creates a great creamy element without dairy.

If you like

this, you might like the other

chili recipes on my blog

More chili recipes on Perry’s plate

Abundant winter chili – an excellent and fast chile with barbecue flavor! And it comes together very quickly.

Paleo Vegetarian Chili — a great vegetarian chili recipe for those meatless Mondays!

If you make one of my recipes, be sure to post it on social media and tag me on @perrysplate or #perrysplate so I can send you some love.

It is an adaptation of a fantastic recipe from Emeril Lagasse’s book, Sizzling Skillets and One Pot Wonders. (Indian slow cooker beef was also from this book and are our favorites!)

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Purchases made through the use of these links don’t cost you any extra and help keep my content free.

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