How to make 37-ingredient Five Alarm Chili

Colin Joliat


Everyone has a basic chili recipe they love to make. If you really want to get crazy, this Five Alarm Crock-Pot Chili includes a whopping 37 ingredients. Surprisingly, chili powder isn’t one of them.

Never has “the more the merrier” been taken so literally. This recipe involves a preposterous number of ingredients. Fortunately, they all play tremendously well together after about 10 hours of low and slow. The chili isn’t cheap, so I wouldn’t have made it a half a dozen times already if it didn’t turn out amazingly.

Colin Joliat


My most insincere apologies for forgetting to include the fresh cilantro in the picture above. Just picture a bunch of green stuff lying across the front.

The massive collection of spices can be added directly to the pot or mixed with the ground beef and sausage before browning it. I prefer the latter to really meld the flavors. I eat chili for the meat, so I want that part to be as scrumtrulescent as culinarily possible.

Colin Joliat


Some of the veggies go in raw while others get cooked a little first. I diced/chopped them all beforehand so they’d all be good to go at the same time. What you don’t see is the habenero pepper. I chopped that with my hands hidden inside two ziplock bags, and it didn’t see fresh air until it was dumped in the pot. That thing will ruin your day if the oil gets on your fingers.

Colin Joliat


Due to limited pan ownership and not wanting to overcrowd, I cooked the beef/sausage and peppers/onions in two batches. If you actually own a full collection of pans, feel free to do them all at once. Showoff.

Colin Joliat


The ingredients really fill the pot, so you might have to halve the recipe depending on the size of your slow cooker. The ladies tell me I’ve got a big one (6 quarts), so act accordingly. You might also be wondering where all the liquid is. Trust me, it’ll turn up later.

Colin Joliat


See, I told you! Just look all that glorious liquid. It turns out meat and vegetables hold plenty of water captive. You just need to torture it out in the sweat box. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a fairly thick chili, but it’s a far cry from the way it went into the pot.

Colin Joliat


Freshly grated Colby cheese is ideal for this recipe. Don’t bring that weak-ass Colby-Jack nonsense to this party. Go big or go home.

Like the name suggests, this is a spicy meatball. You’re going to want to have sour cream on hand to control the heat level. That or you could grow a pair. Your call.

Colin Joliat


Colin Joliat


There might be a shopping cart full of ingredients, but for the most part this chili involves nothing more than time. That’s the beauty of a slow cooker. All it takes is a little knife work, some meat browning, and an 8 hour nap, and you’ll be eating chili like a champ. Take this over to a friend’s place, and you’ll be a hero. If chili isn’t your thing, I don’t know why you’re still reading this. Perhaps you should check out some other entries in the Guyism Grill instead.

This recipe comes the defunct Tatumweb. He’s gloriously dubbed it, “Rich Tatum’s award-winning, mouth-watering, mamma-slappin’ chili.”


  • 1 lb ground beef, lean
  • 1 lb sage sausage (Jimmy Dean’s preferred)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (to brown meat with)
  • 1 cans 16 oz dark kidney beans
  • 1 cans 16 oz light kidney beans
  • 1 16 oz. jar of chipotle salsa (medium)
  • 1 small can of tomato paste (4-6 oz.)


  • 10 sprigs (3 tbsp) of cilantro, stalks removed, finely chopped
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 carrots, diced
  • 1 sweet onion, medium-sized, diced
  • 1 small can sliced or chopped olives (6-8 oz)
  • 1 package of young portobello mushroom, discard the stems, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 poblano chili pepper, diced
  • 1 habanero chili pepper, very finely diced


  • 2 tbsp cayenne
  • 2 tbsp ground paprika
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp dried, chopped mint leaves
  • 1 tsp dried, chopped basil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 3-4 tbsp dried, chopped oregano
  • 1 tbsp powdered beef bouillon
  • 1 tbsp powdered chicken bouillon
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp hickory smoke flavor
  • 1 tbsp Heinz 57 sauce
  • 1 tbsp Heinz A-1 sauce
  • 2-4 tbsp brown sugar (to taste)


  • 1 tsp vinegar (white, or basil)
  • Additional brown sugar to taste


  • 1 cup Colby cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream


  1. Sear the onion, garlic, and bell peppers before placing in crock pot — don’t cook them fully
  2. Toss the habanero into the crock pot raw.
  3. Prepare the remainder of the vegetables as shown above and place in bottom of 4-6 qt. crock pot.
  4. Add the 2 cans of kidney beans, draining one of the two
  5. Turn crock pot on LOW.
  6. Combine meat, spices, and hickory smoke. Brown in skillet with olive oil until all pink in the meat is gone, and drain fat before adding to crock pot.
  7. Deglaze pan with a little water or wine and add to crock pot.
  8. Finally, add your tomato paste and picante/chipotle sauce last.
  9. Cover crock pot. After an hour or two stir contents once.
  10. Leave covered for 7-10 hours.
  11. In the last hour, add vinegar as flavor enhancer. At this time add more brown sugar to taste.
  12. Remove bay leaf.
  13. Serve with grated cheese and chilled sour cream.