Cheap Eats at Bloglander


[ Currently Eating: Yet More Pork ]

I apologize in advance to Texans and others who are of the firm belief that chili in a can is a heinous offense. Yep, I know there are a lot of people out there. Let’s not even get into the “beans in chili” vs. “meat-only” debate.

I’m a big fan of chili (actually “chili con carne“, according to Wikipedia). Whether it’s served at a restaurant with cornbread, homemade with carrots (my mom’s specialty), baked into Frito Pie, eaten straight outta the can or pumped out of a dispenser onto a hot dog at a gas station… it’s all good. I mean, it tastes all good. It’s not necessarily good for your digestion!

For the people who don’t mind it out of a can, you’ve got a ton of different companies to choose from: Dennison’s, Wolf Brand, Bush’s, Campbell’s, Stagg, etc. But for me, canned chili always makes me think or Hormel, for better or worse. Actually, corned beef and hash makes me think the most about Hormel, but chili is a close second.

Anyhow, I picked up this can of Hormel Homestyle Chili with Beans the other day because it was a buck. And I was hungry. I think that is Rule #3 or so in the Cheap Eats Manifesto: Never Go To The Supermarket On An Empty Stomach.

Interestingly, Stagg is apparently owned by Hormel as well… for some reason I had missed that.

I like to have a couple of cans of chili chilling out in the pantry for emergencies (read as – I’m too lazy to cook something as usual). It’s great just thrown in the pot and eaten with bread or whatever’s available. That whatever is sometimes noodles – I don’t know if you’ve had Chili Spaghetti before but that’s definitely fodder for an upcoming Cheap Eats post. I think I actually saw on Food Network that it’s a common dish at diners – was it in Cincinnati?

The Hormel chili I got is interesting because not only does it have beans in it, but they’re kidney beans instead of pinto. I personally like the pinto beans instead because they load me up with better methane for farts. Haha, I’m kidding. Actually, I do like the pinto better, but I’m used to kidney beans as well because mom always made chili with those. And carrots, as I’ve mentioned.

So, the flavor of the chili is actually quite nice: tangy with a meaty taste. I’ve had chili con carne that resembles the sweeter nature of baked beans more than chili, and that’s always a disappointment. I always favor the savory over the sweet.

The meat chunks you can see in the picture are actually quite, well, meaty. It’s not steak, but it doesn’t taste as dehydrated or spongy as some of the other brands. Or the “pump chili” you get on hot dogs and chili burgers which tastes like meat puree.

There’s also supposed to be red and green peppers in here but there wasn’t much to be found in the bowl I had. I threw some chopped green scallions on there for extra flavor, and of course you can throw some cheddar cheese on the top. Sometimes, a big glob of sour cream helps it out too.

This wasn’t the spiciest of chilis. In fact, it was pretty mild. Then again, I didn’t get the “hot” variety because I wasn’t looking for heat. You can always dress it up with Tabasco or other hot sauce.

At a buck and with some bread slices on the side, this makes a tasty, cheap but unhealthy lunch . Well, I also ate a salad so that I felt a little better about it. Even Cheap Eaters get Chili Guilt-Trip. Supposedly, you can sometimes get cans of off-brand chili at 2 or 3 for a buck once in a blue moon in the dollar store. I need to work up the courage over the next couple months to try those, though.

Price: $1.00
Found At: Albertsons
Cheap Eats Score: 7/10

15 Responses to “Hormel Chili With Beans”

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  1. nicole Says:

    Yep, Cincinnati is known for its spaghetti chili, and I must say, it’s some of the worst chili I’ve ever had. But that’s just me. :)

  2. Marvo Says:

    I think I’ve eaten canned chili three times, but usually don’t because chili is SOOOOO quick and easy to make. Recently, I’ve been putting Morningstar Farms veggie crumble in my chili to replace the ground beef. It tastes different, but still good.

  3. Andie Says:

    Canned chili scares me. Not because I’m a die-hard chili fan but just canned processed meat scares me. LOL

    There’s a restaurant called Skyline Chili which does the whole chili on spaghetti deal. Never had it though.

  4. Amy Says:

    Is there any other canned chili other than Hormel? :)

    Chili on spaghetti.
    Frito pie.

    I know what I’m making this weekend!

  5. ultradave Says:

    I’m not entirely sure about the whole Texas/Chili thing….having lived here for almost a decade now, it’s fairly hard to locate anywhere that does make chili, and the one place where I live that specializes in it….well it’s not that good, actually. Perplexing.

    I was sort of hoping to encounter all the things I’d grown up hearing about texas — unfortunately it just looks like any other place in the US now.

  6. Cheap Eats Editor Says:

    nicole – it’s that bad? I was kinda looking forward to trying it one of these days…

    marvo – i haven’t tried morningstar veggie crumbles yet, maybe that’s on tap for reviewing. I’ve used ground turkey in chili before and it’s quite good.

    andie – I wonder what is more scary to people canned chili vs. hot dogs… I sort of like them both, and together!

    amy – I am all Frito-ed out! But maybe I’ll be making a frito pie for the holidays to scare the relatives.

    ultradave – You know, I think you’re right in some respect. It’s all the media’s fault – whenever I watch food network they show people making chili in texas and all these grand chili contests. But the truth probably is that it’s not the norm. I believe it’s the same thing w/ people who come to southern california and wonder where all the movie stars are…

  7. Abi Says:

    Here in DC we call chili over spaghetti ‘Chili Mac’. Yeah, it isn’t made with macaroni, but that’s what we call it. Something that ook getting used to: chili without beans. I love going to Hard Time Cafe for some dee-licious chili. Hard Times Cafe/

  8. Albert Says:

    Love the blog, but you ain’t got no chili cred.

    Baked into a frito pie? Have you ever HAD a frito pie? It’s a bag of fritos, cut open lengthwise, with chili, onions, cheese, and perhaps jalapenos poured in. It’s not baked, and it doesn’t resemble an acutal pie.

    Hormel? It’s nearly inedibile. Beans? No. And yes, I’m a Texan. There’s one passable canned chili – Wolf Brand.

  9. Cheap Eats Editor Says:

    abi – oh yeah chili mac, i’ve heard it called that…

    albert – did I ever say I had chili cred? please read the full post, rather even the first sentence. I’m sure that you have favorite ethnic foods that I’m going to laugh my ass at because you think they’re “authentic” as well.

  10. Nan Says:

    I “discovered” a great use for Hormel Chili With Beans one night when some friends dropped by and I needed to make a quick snack for them. I dumped some plain tortilla chips onto a large plate, poured a can of chili over them, sprinkled some sliced jalapenos over the top, and piled up some shredded mozzarella cheese over it all and microwaved it until the cheese melted, then added dabs of cold salsa all around the plate and on top. (I’m sure you could also add sour cream, but I don’t like it, so I don’t…) It was just meant as an emergency munchy, but it turned out to be VERY popular and is now requested when people come over. And I have been known to make a small batch for dinner for myself – very cheap and quick!

  11. Pucca Says:

    I eat the vegetarian 99% fat free version of this Hormel Chili. While it doesn’t really resemble chili, it’s a healthy, protein rich meal. And cheap when on sale for a buck at my local Safeway!

  12. Aimee Says:

    Cincinnati Chili is actually a whole post unto itself. It consists of a meaty sauce served over spaghetti noodles. Then what you put on top of it determines the name. With shredded cheddar & onion is 3 Way, I think, and cheddar, onion, sour cream & beans is a 5 Way. I’m bad at math so don’t quote me.

    My mom has a great recipe for it, I can email it to you. It’s got a LOT of spices, but it makes a TON.

  13. brad erhard Says:

    This is my first visit here, and I’m impressed. I am a cook/assistant manager in a tavern in St Louis. I’m also a single male into bargain shopping, yummy junk food, and cheap eats. I’ll be back.

  14. Mike Edmonds Says:

    Good posts! I am eating a bowl right now. It is a very high sodium meal, and I am not supposed to have a lot of salt, so I parred it down with some crushed tomatoes (no salt). I added some sugar, and spices, and it is much improved; I think!

  15. scotti Says:

    I make a great chili, but when it comes to chili dogs i get the cans. Hormel use to be about the only choice. Dog food (I am guessing) can’t be much worse than this. I just now I had a can of Bush’s homestyle chili, no beans, blows Hormel away!




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