This is the iconic chili most Americans know—the one made with ground beef rather than chunks of beef. We're using both chili powder and canned beans to make this a simple supper. But all too often this style of chili is lackluster. The beef is pale and rubbery, the chili flavor is faint, and the beans taste, well, like a can.
To keep this chili simple, but improve the overall outcome, we employed a number of tricks in the test kitchen. We discovered that adding the spices to the pan with the aromatics boosted their potency. We found that cooking the beans with the tomatoes helped them absorb flavor. Ground chuck (85 percent lean) provided great beefy flavor.
To give this chili the right consistency, we found it best to cook the chili with the lid on for half of the cooking time, followed by more cooking with the lid off.
Good choices for condiments include diced fresh tomatoes, diced avocado, sliced scallions, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro leaves, sour cream, and shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese.
Total Cooking Time: 180
Preparation Time: 20
Active Cooking Time: 150
Make Ahead: 3 days in refrigerator
Yield: 8 to 10 servings