Pressure Cooker Chili

Total Time:
50 min
15 min
35 min

4 servings

  • 3 pounds stew meat (beef, pork, and/or lamb)
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle of beer, preferably a medium ale
  • 1 (16-ounce) container salsa
  • 30 tortilla chips
  • 2 chipotle peppers canned in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from the chipotle peppers in adobo)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

Place the meat in a large mixing bowl and toss with the peanut oil and salt. Set aside.

Heat a 6-quart heavy-bottomed pressure cooker over high heat until hot. Add the meat in 3 or 4 batches and brown on all sides, approximately 2 minutes per batch. Once each batch is browned, place the meat in a clean large bowl.

Once all of the meat is browned, add the beer to the cooker to deglaze the pot.

Scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the meat back to the pressure cooker along with the salsa, tortilla chips, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, tomato paste, chili powder, and ground cumin and stir to combine. Lock the lid in place according to the manufacturer's instructions. When the steam begins to hiss out of the cooker, reduce the heat to low, just enough to maintain a very weak whistle. Cook for 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully release the steam. Serve immediately.

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Dark Beer

Toasty, bracing beer

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    204 Reviews
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    I prefer to take out the Salsa and replace with Mexican Style Ro-Tel
    I prepared this via slow cooker for eight hours, and used only 15-20 tortilla chips. I also made my own chili powder from scratch, as Alton recommended in the same GoodEats episode. I used ShockTop beer to deglaze, and added kidney beans just before serving; b/c I like kidney beans in my chili. The chili came together beautifully! I honestly don't think I will ever go back to my old chili methods, not that my wife will let me.
    Do not follow the "alternate" dutch oven cooking method mentioned in the actual show broadcast (put in dutch oven, place in oven for 6-24 hours at 350 degree heat.) I attempted this and now have a 4 pound brick of coal sitting in a dutch oven in my kitchen. Not nearly enough moisture to handle an 8 hour cooking time and 350 is way to high heat.
    Wonderful, tasty recipe. Easy and a huge hit. I followed exactly and added 2 cans of undrained dark red kidney beans. Delicious. If people are having trouble with burning, you must not be turning it to low once the pressure cooker starts whistling. Mine took about 5 mins after I closed it. Turned it to low for 25 mins and voila - perfect, tasty chili.
    This recipe doesn't have anywhere near enough liquid in it to make 25 minutes in a pressure cooker without scorching. Guess how I know that?? I added an extra cup of water, but it scorched badly with only 20 minutes of cooking. I suspect the recipe is three cups of water short. :( I'm amazed that anyone else was successful using a pressure cooker.
    I had the same problem. However the real issue was the junky electric pressure cooker I was using. It turned all my chili into steam. I returned mine to the store and bought an analog one (like Alton Brown uses in his show), and the results were perfect.
    A solid chili! Would make again. Perhaps add some sort of beans at the end.
    This chili meat was great for the burritos I made. I added guacamole, cheese, roasted red peppers and cilantro in the burritos with this chili meat.
    It's pretty darn good. I'd say if you aren't using the Chili powder that you make yourself from the same episode then you haven't really made this recipe. 
    Trailer food? Yep, and in a good way. It's chili for those who know or have known a profound sense of broketitude, not chili snobs.  
    If I use the good home made AB chili powder, a good medium beer or ale, decent tortilla chips (yup, some end up less "grainy" than others) and follow the recipe, I get a hearty, spicy but not insanely hot chili that has garnered many complements.  
    I do like a sear crust on the meat, and will go all beef or all pork as often as not. Always turns out fine. 
    Stay away from the dark beers and store bought chili powder and it's a winner. Add more beer or use less chips if you don't want a thick sauce. 
    This is a blue collar recipe that won't win any fancy contests but it's just plain old good.
    If you live in a trailer and eat green beans with Funyuns and Cream of Mushroom soup on a semi-regular basis I think you'll love this recipe. Tortilla chips in the chili - really Alton? I was hoping for more complex flavor and the chips left a grainy texture that left much to be desired. Needless to say, I will not be making this again.
    I bought a pressure cooker specifically for this recipe, and if it's the only thing I make using it I'll be satisfied. I've only used beef, (although 50% lamb will be used next time and although I love the smokiness the adobo peppers provide I typically omit them because my wife thinks it's too hot. I also use a stronger ale, typically a ~7% alcohol IPA because I like the hop flavors that come through after it's cooked. The beer you choose really can impart a great deal of flavor considering the other ingredients, so choose not choose a cheap macro thinking it's a fun twist on the provided liquid, for it will hurt the finished product. As far as salsa I use a medium black bean, and thicker tortilla chips so they don't wilt right away when cooking. By far the standout of this chili is the tenderness of the meat, it absolutely melts in your mouth.
    I just started using a pressure cooker and there are fantastic "new" recipes online. I have made beef stew twice and it was great.
    Great recipe especially if you go the effort to make AB's chilie powder AND make it as directed. Fresh chilis will never give you the depth of flavor that dried ones will. To the person that made it with Guiness - I don't know if it is mentioned in the episode but in his cookbook AB says to use a medium ale NOT a dark stout as cooking will make it very bitter. This great chili powder will be wonderful in other dishes too.
    Love the taste..BUT WHY DOES IT KEEP BURNING ?! I follow the instructions explicitly. Is it the chips??????
    Given that you said you followed the instructions, then you lowered the heat so it doesnt steam all the liquid away. OR what may have happened is, if you used a cheap pressure cooker it boils the water away because it doesnt retain the water as it should. with a better pressure cooker you will not lose water as much.
    It gets better and better ever-time I make it. I will never eat ground meat chili anymore! It is totally not bland. Do not get that response? I followed the directions exactly. Came out tender and flavorful! Topped it with Shredded Cheese, Sour Cream and Sweet chopped onions! YUM! DIGGITY!
    Meh. Tastes like the ingredients in it. Me thinks fresh tomato and chilies are better...
    agreed. This is trailer food - should be accompanied with green beans with Funyuns and some Campbell's cream of mushroom soup. Tortilla chips - really?!
    First time AB let me down. To be fair, I guess I didn't follow the recipe "exactly" but I thought it was pretty close. I used hot frontier habanero salsa, double the chipotle & adobo sauce, McCormick chili powder, and Guinness beer. It was spicy but it didn't taste like chili. Roommate suggested tomato sauce instead of salsa so it doesn't overwhelm the flavor. Also, I don't think this recipe will work without AB's chili powder recipe which I didn't know about until after I made it. Oh well, the only redeeming part of this recipe is I got to use the pressure cooker I got as a gift, but other than that, I probably won't ever use it again.
    Agreed! If you live in a trailer and eat green beans with Funyuns and Cream of Mushroom soup on a semi-regular basis I think you'll love this recipe. Tortilla chips in the chili - really Alton? I was hoping for more complex flavor and the chips left a grainy texture that left much to be desired. Needless to say, I will not be making this again.
    Let it go
    If the recipe is followed to the letter, this is HOT (not that I will complain...loved it. This is far more than simply browning hamburger and tossing in chili beans and tomatoes. This is a braised beef dish that takes you back to what chilli really was in the old days. Highly recommended.
    Easy and great recipe. My entire family liked it and they aren't big chili eaters. The beef came out very tender. Definitely will make it again!
    This is the best chili we have ever had. I don't like beans and the chips make it so creamy. It's my husband who makes it and it never fails !!
    We're no chili aficionados, but have made this a couple of times and think it's just DARN GOOD. Alton Brown knows it takes time to develop flavors, but thanks to him for a quick and super delicious chili that we can enjoy in about an hour start to finish! For a twist, try and substitute nacho cheese flavored chips for the regular tortilla chips. We thought that version was DARN GOOD too!
    Very good and the first time I made chili in a pressure cooker. I saw the reviews saying it was bland so I added extra chili powder and selected two huge chipotle peppers and probably added more adobo sauce. I shouldn't have!! I have a feeling the reviews that found it bland left out critical ingredients like the chipotle or adobo. Why did I doubt Alton?
     I would highly recommend this recipe if you follow it as written.
    Love this recipe! pressure cooker works ok, but I like browning the meat in a cast iron pan and deglazing it with the beer and putting it all in a crock-pot (I add a bit more beer than called for, about 4oz extra, just my taste. I usually do this the day before I cook it to give it all a chance to marry. Then just set it up in the morning before work and dinners ready when you get home. No fussing with getting a pressure cooker right (mine is a bit old so that is a slight problem for me. Btw, this makes a great filling for chili-chimichangas, if you want to go the extra step.
    I really enjoyed this chili, and not because it's an easy one-pot recipe, but because I was able to make several substitutions and it still came out great! After browning the meat, I threrw in some chopped onions and sauteed them before adding beer; Instead of salsa and tomato paste, I added a 12 oz can of Rotel and a 12 oz can of enchilada sauce; I was out of tortilla chips, so I added crushed Fritos and (of all things Cheetos. They both originate from corn meal, like the tortilla chips, so it seemed reasonable - it still turned out great! If yours came out 'one-note', add/subtract whatever spice you like. The recipe was more about old west authenticity than 'Kitchen Stadium' fare.
    Fabulous. Made it twice for a lot of friends. Even the kiddos liked it. (Worth 5 stars just for that reason. Happy to recommend it. ** Only drawback: Everybody wants the recipe and you have to find time in your busy day to share it!!!!! LOL -- :-
    Santa brought me a pressure cooker for Christmas. This was my first attempt at chili and it was a big hit. Delicious!
    This chili recipe is about as 1 note as it gets. And that one note isn't great. 
    It improves some by adding toppings and improves slightly more by letting the chili age in the fridge. 
    Still... am always disappointed in a recipe when I KNOW I can make a better version w/little to no prior experience.
    Hmm-what's wrong with this recipe? #1 Meat--I cut mine the same as Alton's video showed, but they were toooo big to enjoy. #2 Pressure Cooker--Not a fan of this cooking style at all. #3 Flavor--while the chips did a great job of thickening the chili, can't say the addition of their flavor was anything to write home about.
    New Year's Day and Alton's pressure cooker chili. A great way to start off 2012! 
    What I like about this recipe, is that it is robust: you can mix and match meats, depending on what is readily availible at the grocer. Today, I put in a lb of beef, pork, chicken, and lamb and did an eyeball adjustment to spices and chips. I also get my meats ground, as I found that you get a nicer braise in the pressure cooker. I also add in about 25% more beer, as I find the chili gets a bit too thick with one 16 ounce can. The adobo gives it a nice perfume of campfire smoke. 
    LIke I said, a robust recipe for chili, invented by vacqueros, using whatever they had at hand. If you follow Alton's recipe to the letter, you get a great pot of chili. Enjoy.
    I have made this chili with lamb, beef and or pork probably 20 times! The only warnings I have are 
    1. do not use lean cuts (like top round cubes not overly brown the meat because the finished meat will have a sear crust, which I don't prefer. 
    It is the perfect way to get rid of chips that are fine to eat but a little stale for dipping!
    Fair taste. I like the peanut oil taste but it could use a bit more chili powder to give it taste and color. It also thickens the chili without adding a lot of heat.
    I used to be scared of a pressure cooker - thanks to this recipe I use it several times a week. So tender and yummy! Besides, this is my favorite Good Eats episode, it cracks me up every time.
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