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Is This the Internet's Best (Damn) Chili?

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According to the internet, this is the best chili recipe—excuse me, the best damn chili. The recipe, by Danny Jaye on All Recipes, is the top result when you search “best chili recipe” on Google. And a lot of you searched that last year: It was one of 2015's top ten most-searched recipes.

It seems in order to have the greatest chili ever, you need to procure 28 ingredients, three of which are used for the sour cream topping. Compare that to best ever turkey chili for 16 ingredients, just good chili for 19 ingredients, and this pumpkin chili that, say some of our commenters, has too many—24—ingredients.

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Kenji López-Alt's best chili ever surpasses with 27 ingredients (not including the optional garnishes), but he admits that his rendition is not traditional, but rather the tinkered, perfected, Best World Order version. It sounds exceptional (you blend toasted chiles with Marmite, anchovy, and chocolate; you rip browned meat off short ribs), but it isn't necessarily what people might be looking for when they type, hungrily, "best chili recipe."

Best Ever Turkey Chili

Best Ever Turkey Chili by kmartinelli

Just Good Chili

Just Good Chili by Jestei

The internet's top chili is more straightforward in technique, but the ingredients list is hardly consolidated: You will need both light beer (such as Coors, says the recipe) and white wine. You will need three types of peppers in addition to chipotle pepper sauce and smoked paprika. And you will need tomato in three mediums: crushed, fire-roasted and diced, and paste.

The question we wondered, going into testing the recipe was, then: Do you need so many ingredients to make the best chili ever?

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Most of the negative comments on the recipe was about the chili being too tomatoey (what with three cans of tomato products). One person on our team of recipe testers, Emily, agreed with that sentiment, but still loved it.

The second recipe tester who made it had a similar reaction:

“I really enjoyed this recipe. It was straightforward and pretty much the textbook definition of what a tasty chili should be. Beef, beans, and a nice blend of spices led to a delicious meal.”

The directions weren't surprising or deceiving, nothing out of the ordinary for a chili—though it does require one pot for simmering and one pan for browning meat instead of the usual one-pot scenario. Our testers would make it again, adjusting the spices and tomato as they wished. So Internet, you almost, sort-of win this one: dishing out a recipe that might have too many ingredients, but is feasible and adjustable enough to each cook’s likes and pantries.

Photo by Tim McSweeney

Check back tomorrow to see how the internet's best fried chicken recipe (!) fared.


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