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Readers Respond: Do you like beans in your chili?

Responses: 50


From the article: Soup and Stew Cooking Tips
The experts and chili cook-off participants are adamant on the issue: No beans in chili! Do you like beans in your chili? If yes, what type of beans? What type of meat do you use? Beef and pork are favorites at the cook-offs, but you are only limited by your imagination. Some prefer ground beef, others swear by chunks of meat. Venison and chicken chilis are now quite popular. Spicy or not? Tell us what you think. Share Your Opinion

Now I understand...

This argument, based on the other comments, appears to be based on differences similar to those between many Americans regarding many other hotly debated subjects - that being perception of language or reality. The literal translation of chili con carne is "chili WITH meat", which to any educated person means the meat has been added to a chili which otherwise had none. The dictionary states that American english has shortened, Americans beign lazy, the words chili con carne to simply chili, but in Mexico the two are not synonymous. Chili was created by people in country situations who often had only beans and no access to meat, that is why, when they had meat to add to their bean chili, they added "con carne". However in the early ranching days of Texas, where people often had access to beef, but no beans combined with grammatical laziness, their chili con carne became simply chili. It is obviously an American error, like chow mein is. Chili is beans no meat and chili con carne has mea
—Guest Jbgiraffx

never beans

We never use beans in our chili, and we use three different types of ground meats ( one higher in fat content and the other two leaner ). We also use beer ( dark ).
—Guest beau trippie


I know well traditional chili isn't made with beans, but I like them in my chili. Today's has small red beans, ground turkey and fresh chorizo, as well as corn, onion and red pepper. Chili without beans is great, too, and they are just really different dishes. When I look online at chili cookoff winners, I always see recipes that include a variety of preground chili seasonings added at different times. If you want to talk about traditional, I use a bit of chili powder to get it started, but the bulk of my chili spices are roasted, soaked, ground and strained dried peppers, a variety for depth of flavor. Funny how those 'authentic' no-bean recipes are usually just meat with a bunch of powder and tomatoes.
—Guest Felix

no i hate every bean except the whi bean

II never tried chili in my entire life cause hate beans!!!! Ugh!!! When i was a kid i usd to get beat up cauae i was and still a picky eater. My taste buds dont except anything especially my stomach. Anything dat im forced to eat. It will make me sick in my stomach. But the only 3 fav beans i liike is the long green and white beans dat i adore and the white small look alike kidney beans. Bur wonderin if i will enjoy it? I love meat, sauce and some vegis so one day i will try it but beans makes u gas lol and the.
—Guest celia from hamilton, ontario, canada

Beans are the way to go

I love beans in my chili. I'm from MA and moved to TX a few years ago. People here say no beans. But when you think about it, it's basically sauce. I want different textures to my food. I add pinto and kidney beans. Love it!
—Guest Annie

Texans and uses beans

My whole family has all ways put beans in our chili and we live in Texas. Never understood why wouldn't you want more protien in you meal. I think the reason why no beans was maybe they where not so common on the trail back in the days and wasn't used as much. Realy you can put anything in your chili you like. I now and days add stew meat to my ground beef to make it more chunky. I'm all about the chunky meal that fills you up. I have in the past put sausage in it cause i had some left over from a bar b q and wanted to use it up cause we didn't cook it. My cus up north once made if for us and put of all things carrots in it, but it turned out pretty good. When I got vension I'll do a half and half mix with beef. I normaly use ranch style beans or red kidney beans when I cook it.
—Guest Carter

Chili WITH beans.

Traditionalists shout "no beans!" but I wonder if they've ever tried it with beans. Maybe they're afraid to agree that it tastes delicious. Without beans, it's just meat and sauce. What's the point? Kidney beans are okay, but I think pinto beans are the way to go. That's how we do in Tucson, AZ!
—Guest Lonesome Cowgirl

Chili con carne

It's called cili con carne not chili con frijole, no beans allowed. I live in central Texas and the 7 chili contests I have entered have 2 categories chili and chili with beans, see the distinction.
—Guest ghot pepper

chili no beans

Always made chili w/beans, however, now SOMEONE is on a low carb diet - so if i skip beans how good will it be?
—Guest janey

No beans

I've known people who use kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans, great northern beans and even black eyed peas in chili but I prefer it with meat and no beans. I've never heard of anyone putting chunks of meat in the chili, though, only ground meat. When it's ground, you can insure more even distribution of the meat so everyone gets some. Chunks of meat distribute too haphazardly to make sure of even distribution.
—Guest Joe

Ranch Style

I may be a Louisiana Yankee, but chili with no beans is like crawfish with no cayenne pepper, just... wrong. I like to use ranch style beans when I make chili, and absolutely agree with the idea of the fork dissolving in it. Then again, I eat jalapeno slices instead of pickles, so...
—Guest CornBread

Ya' buncha' bean-eating heathens!

Saying "chili isn't chili without beans" is like saying "fine single malt scotch isn't fine single malt scotch unless you dilute it with water". If you can't afford enough meat to make a proper bowl of red try making spaghetti instead. ;-)
—Guest WuzYoungOnceToo

Definitely beans!

Small red beans, sometimes referred to as just red beans, not pinto, are the best for chili. They're easy to find in any grocery store.
—Guest Moses

Isn't that just texas?

I thought that in most of Latin America, beans has always been the way. Being in Europe, the chilli I make is 'styled' by the Argentinian Chilli con Carne, but Texas is kind of the home of chilli, so... do what the hell you like. Black eyed for me, or if I'm making loads Kidney too, adds variety.
—Guest conkers

I Like Both, But...

... chili with beans is the way to go for me. I personally love garbanzo beans in the mix. Personally, I find the attitude "chili isn't chili if it has beans" to be in the same vein as "my god is right and yours is wrong." Good chili is chili that tastes good to the people eating it, nothing more and nothing less.
—Guest OckhamsFolly

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