Very few dishes can warm the heart on a cold winter day as effortlessly as a bowl of sumptuous and rich chili. The warmth of the chilies and spices help thaw the frozen soul. Chunks of soft beans offer their richness to complement the tender texture of beef. And when you get a mouthful, you will be yearning for more. The best chili recipes are homemade. However, the best canned chilican also be as good as what grandma used to cook.
A good canned chili can provide you with a quick and easy meal. It can also be a very interesting dip or salsa or as a topping for your hot dog and other delicacies. Whether you are a vegan or a meat-lover, there is always a canned chili that is right for you. We have 10 of the best canned chili products you might want to try.
I. Our Top Picks for Canned Chili
|Products & Features||Image & Price|
1. Our #1 Pick: Ro-Tel Chili Fixin’s Seasoned Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
2. Runner-Up: WOLF Brand Homestyle Chili with Beans
3. Ortega Diced Green Chiles
4. Campbell’s Chunky Chili with Beans
5. Amy’s Organic Chili with Vegetables
6. Campbell’s Chunky Chili Hot & Spicy Beef With Bean
|7. Skyline Original Chili|
|8. Joan of Arc Spicy Chili Beans|
|9. Armour Hot Dog Chili Sauce|
|10. Hormel Chili Hormel Microwaveable Cup Chili With Beans|
II. What to Look for When Buying a Canned Chili
One must be especially picky when it comes to canned chili as there can be products with mediocre quality. These products can expose the family and anyone who consumes this canned chili to health problems. So, what are the things that you should always look for when buying canned chili?
A good chili in cans should always have high-quality ingredients. The three main ingredients that you must look for are the meat, the tomato, and the chilies. You may ask, where are the beans? You should know that there are beanless canned chiles on the market and those that come with beans. If you prefer chili and beans, then you should add this ingredient to the mix. Always ascertain the source of these ingredients.
Ideally, the canned chili should have a rich and thick sauce. It is for this reason that real tomatoes are the best in canned chili products. The meat should also be tender and can complement the savory taste of the tomato-based sauce. And if you are going with beans, make sure that the beans are not mushy. Soft beans are best. Unfortunately, you will not be able to evaluate these ingredients without first opening a can and trying the chili for yourself.
Type of Meat
Canned chiles often feature one of two types of meat: ground or cubed. Both must have a savory taste to let you enjoy your chili. It should never taste bland or leave a metallic taste on your tongue. Keep in mind that ground meat used in canned chili often involves a combination of different meats. In such cases, it would be wise to check the types of meat that are used in the preparation of the canned chili. Keep in mind that there are also products that do not have meat.
The third principle ingredient of a good canned chili also happens to be the most varied. Some people prefer the kind of ‘heat’ that garlic and onion provide to the dish. There are also those that love the unique flavors and aromas of smoked paprika. If you prefer a dish that can set your palate on fire, then you should pick a canned chili with added hot chili peppers. For those who prefer to adjust the spiciness of the chili, they can pick a product with mild spiciness. They can then add their favorite hot sauce or chili sauce later to add heat according to their preference.
Always check the nutrition profile of the canned chili you are going to buy. Check the number of calories per serving, as well as the fat content. It would be best if it has the necessary vitamins and minerals that can contribute to general wellbeing.
Sodium is one of the most common preservatives used in canned goods. It is ideal to choose a canned chili with low sodium content. This is especially true for people with hypertension, heart disease, and other health problems where too much salt is a contraindication.
III. Top 10 Best Canned Chili
1. Ro-Tel Chili Fixin’s Seasoned Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
Want to enjoy a good chili without having to worry about fat and calories? Then the Ro-Tel Chili Fixin’s is a must-have. This product defies convention by producing a chili in a can that tastes so good you will never know it is missing one key ingredient – meat. It is a healthy choice for vegetarians and those who need to trim down their fat consumption. Most of its carbs are also in dietary fiber form.
The use of green chilies gives the Chili Fixin’s a mild spiciness. Unfortunately, we found the ‘mild’ to be underwhelming. We had to add Tabasco to give the sauce more heat. Nevertheless, we must commend Ro-Tel for producing a product that is versatile enough to be used in many dishes. Plus, its low-calorie and zero-fat formulation are great for health-conscious people.
2. WOLF Brand Homestyle Chili with Beans
WOLF Brand has been around since the late 19th century. So, when you buy their Homestyle Chili with Beans, you know that you are getting more than a simple recipe of chili in a can. This product has a rich and savory thick sauce that complements the richness of the small chunks of pork and beef. There are bits of green peppers, pinto beans, and diced tomatoes to make your chili experience more enjoyable.
Unfortunately, the WOLF Homestyle has way too much fat. A single serving of this chili and you are already done with a quarter of your fat requirements for the day. The WOLF Brand Homestyle Chili with Beans remains a favorite among people who are on a Keto diet. It makes a perfect dip or accompaniment for many of your favorite dishes.
3. Ortega Diced Green Chiles
Making a good chili is easy. However, for those who are not sure about the kind of chili pepper to put in their homemade chiles, Ortega has the answer. The company provides home cooks with Diced Green Chiles that include only three other ingredients as natural preservatives. This makes the Ortega product a great addition to any chili recipe. It does not contain fat and each serving of this baby only delivers 10 calories. What makes this great is that Ortega fire-roasted the green chilies to give you a unique flavor.
Keep in mind, however, that green chilies are not the hottest among the different varieties of peppers. As such, you will have to adjust your dish by adding spicier peppers or even a hot sauce. Nevertheless, this canned chili is an exceptional ingredient to use in your chili con carne or even a chili Verde recipe.
4. Campbell’s Chunky Chili with Beans
If you love large chunks of meat in your chili, then you have got to try Campbell’s Chunky Chili with Beans. This Campbell’s creation is perfect for those who want a chili they can eat with a simple pass in the microwave. We also love the spiciness of the Chunky Chili, as well as the thick sauce. You also get to appreciate the bits of beans that will make you want to forget cooking your own chili with beans.
One thing you should know about Campbell’s product is that it contains soy. For people who are allergic to this ingredient, it may be wise to skip this product altogether. People without any problems with soy should find the Campbell’s Chunky Chili with Beans to be almost like a home-cooked dish.
5. Amy’s Organic Chili with Vegetables
Vegans and health buffs rejoice as Amy’s Organic Chili with Vegetables is here to satisfy your chili cravings without the guilt. This is a Vegan dish that uses only the best and the freshest ingredients in every can that the company makes. Amy’s features organic chilies and vegetables to give you a healthier version of the famous dish. It is packed with nutrients and contains very minimal fats and calories. Allergy sufferers will also find this recipe good for them as it is free from soy, gluten, and nuts.
It really is not fair to expect Amy’s Organic Chili with Vegetables to come close to the taste of an authentic chili con carne recipe. However, you must give Amy’s credit for producing a Vegan chili that tastes good as it is healthy.
6. Campbell’s Chunky Chili Hot & Spicy Beef With Bean
Want to know what makes a good dip for your tortillas? How about Campbell’s Chunky Chili, Hot & Spicy Beef, & Bean Firehouse? One dip into this dish and you will be craving for more. It has a nice balance of flavors, from the savory richness of the pork and beef to the heat of the green and red peppers. What is more amazing is that a full serving of this canned chili is only 250 calories. You will also not worry about elevating your cholesterol levels soon.
We do have to caution you as this Campbell’s canned chili can be very hot and spicy. Most folks would want to have a pitcher of milk ready to extinguish the fire in their mouths. But if you can withstand the heat, this is the best canned chili you can buy.
7. Skyline Original Chili
If you are already tired of having Texas-style chili on your dining table, it is time to serve another version of the dish. Try the Skyline Chili and give your family a very different chili-dining experience. With spices that are a bit different from what you taste in Texas chiles, the Skyline titillates your palate with more interesting flavors. The chunks of beef complement the richness of the sauce made only from the choicest ingredients.
There are two things you should be cautious about the Skyline Chili. It is high in both fat and sodium. If you have heart disease, you may want to limit your consumption of this canned chili to a few times a month. Healthy individuals should have no problems treating themselves to a few servings of this delectable Cincinnati-style chili.
8. Joan of Arc Spicy Chili Beans
Joan of Arc slow cooks their choice pinto beans in brick ovens before turning them into the star ingredient of the Joan of Arc Chili Beans. This is a product that has exciting flavors that can further elevate your casseroles, salads, and other chili recipes. You will love the fact that each serving will not put a dent in your weight-loss efforts. And since there are vitamins and minerals in the recipe, you can bet including this canned chili in your diet is always a good idea.
We do ask anyone who has a soy allergy to stay away from this product. It contains soybean oil that may trigger an allergic reaction in susceptible persons. Other than that, the Joan of Arc Spicy Beans should be a great addition to any savory dish you want to serve to your family.
9. Armour Hot Dog Chili Sauce
If you are looking to make your Netflix movie night marathons more interesting, we suggest using the Armour Hot Dog Chili Sauce. This product may have the “hot dog” on its label. However, we can promise you that it works with almost any other food item you may have in the kitchen. Use it as a dip for your tortilla chips or serve it with steamed rice. Add chopped onions and a generous amount of cheese and you are good to go. Keto dieters will also love the low-carb nature of this chili.
People with wheat or soy allergy should eat other products. Armour has both ingredients in its Hot Dog Chili Sauce. Other than its potential to cause allergy in susceptible people, the Armour Hot Dog Chili Sauce remains an excellent product for those who want an easy to prepare chili.
10. Hormel Chili Hormel Microwaveable Cup Chili With Beans
Hormel is one of the pioneers of canned chiles in the world. You can expect only the best from this brand. Its Chili with Beans comes with large chunks of tender beef. The beans are never mushy and they get to improve the richness of its sauce. Hormel used other top-quality ingredients in the making of its Chili with Beans. All you need is to heat a pack for about a minute and it is ready to satisfy your chili cravings.
We do have to caution you about Hormel’s sodium and soy content. It would be best to steer clear of this product if you have a soy allergy or hypertension. Healthy people can have as much Chili with Beans as they want. It has a high protein content that is perfect for building muscles.
IV. Canned Chili FAQs
What is a canned chili and how to store?
Canned chili is a version of the famous chili recipe stored and pressure-processed in cans. It is a great product for people who are craving a good chili but do not have the time to cook one themselves. Like all canned food, canned chili should always be stored in a cool, dry place. Opened canned chili should always be stored in the refrigerator. It is also possible to store this kind of food in the freezer, where it can retain its quality for up to 6 months. Manufacturers also put a best-before print in their label to guide consumers about the shelf life of the product.
How long does canned chili last?
If you store canned chiles the right way, they can last from 3 to 5 years. Some people say that you can consume canned chili for up to 4 years from its expiration date if it was stored in a dry and cool area. It is also important that the can does not show any signs of leaks, rust, and dents. We wouldn’t push our luck beyond the canned item’s expiry. It would still be best to stick to the canned chili’s best-before-date. An opened canned chili can last 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
What are the different types of canned chili?
The most conventional way of classifying a canned chili is whether it contains beans or not. This has been a very contentious debate that has persisted since people began experimenting with their own kind of chili. Purists say that the original 16th century pepper-seasoned stews of the Aztecs never included beans. The same is true with the chiles made in southern Texas in the mid-19th century. However, there are also those who say that beans, beef, tomatoes, and spices are perfect. Honestly, choosing between a chili with beans and beanless chili is a matter of preference.
Chiles can also be classified according to the type of ingredients that they have. There are Organic varieties that feature organic ingredients. There are also Vegetarian versions of the dish. People also tend to classify canned chiles whether these products are Texas-style or not.
What are the best canned chili brands?
The WOLF BRAND Chili is one of the pioneers in the canned chili business. The brand offered its very first canned chili products in 1921. You can expect WOLF BRAND to retain the same level of perfectionism that its founding fathers have put into the making of every piece of canned chili.
Another brand that has an excellent reputation when it comes to canned chili is Hormel. The brand introduced its canned chili products in the 1930s. Other canned chili brands worth your money include Ro-Tel, Ortega, Campbell’s, Amy’s, Skyline, Joan of Arc, and Armour.
How to make canned chili?
There are three principal ingredients when making canned chili. These are beef, tomatoes, and chilies. You can substitute the beef with pork, lamb, poultry, or vegan equivalents. You can use fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, or tomato paste. As for the chilies, you can always put whatever pepper variety you like. If you like chili with beans, then you can also add beans. You can also add spices, such as cumin, oregano, paprika, and taco seasoning.
Cook the beef or any meat that you are going to use for the canned chili recipe. Stir in the spices, including garlic, onions, salt, and pepper. Allow the meat to absorb the flavor of the seasonings. Add the tomatoes and stir. Let the dish simmer for at least half an hour to blend all the flavors. If you are going to add beans in your recipe, you need to cook them first if you are using fresh chili beans. You can then add the meat mixture into the chili beans and blend well.
Fill sterilized jars with the chili. Make sure to adjust the 1-inch headspace and wipe the rim of the jar. Secure the lid and put the jars in a pressure cooker. Pressure-cook the jars for 75 minutes at 69 kPa if you are using a weighted gauge. If you are using a dial gauge, then the pressure to look for is 76 kPa.
Where to buy canned chili?
Amazon is always a popular choice when it comes to buying canned chili. Other e-commerce platforms also carry the product in their lineup. These can include eBay and Walmart. You can also purchase canned chili from your local grocery store.
The best canned chili does not always have to have meat. It can also be a vegetarian version of the famed dish. In some cases, the best product can also be a beans-only or chili-only recipe. The good news about these products is that you get to whip up your creativity in coming up with your own chili recipe. When picking the right canned chili, always pick the one with high-quality ingredients. Check the level of spiciness, too. Do not forget to check the nutrition information so that you will not end up with a product that does not nourish you.