The Best Beef Cuts for Chili

To make a great chili, you don't have to break the bank buying beef.

Julie's Texas-Style Chili with Beer

Save the steak for the grill (or your cast-iron skillet). For chili, use less expensive cuts of beef that are best cooked through. Here are our top choices.

Ground beef

This is the quickest and least expensive type of beef to use for chili. Yes, the dish still simmers for a while, but you don't have to worry about tenderizing the meat.

Beef chuck

Diced beef chuck, which comes from the shoulder, is tough, but it becomes nicely tender when stewed for at least 90 minutes. It also has a beefier flavor than the ground stuff.


This huge cut is usually barbecued or braised, but if you chop it into pieces, it works well in chili. After stewing for at least two hours, the chunks will pull into delicious shreds that can be piled onto tacos.

Short ribs

Short ribs are usually served whole, but they don't have to be. Pull the meat off the bones and dice it up for a more luxe and luscious take on chili.

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