Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Pale Ale Slow Cooker Chili

By Stacie Morgan, October 1, 2015, Recipes

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Pale Ale Crockpot Chili

Welcome to Cooking with Less Kilowatts! There is nothing better than sitting down in the evening to enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal. But did you know that changing what you do in the kitchen can make an impact on your monthly electricity bill? Each week, I will help you find ways to cook using less energy while still getting a satisfying, flavorful meal. Trust me – I won’t just tell you to do everything in the microwave. I’ll help you cut down on your energy consumption.

Get ready for this week’s low energy use recipe featuring a hearty Pale Ale Crockpot Chili. No matter what side of the age old beans versus no beans in chili battle you are on, this recipe is sure to win you over!

This recipe is a perfect low energy use fall meal that is warm, hearty, and full of flavor. All you have to do is a little prep and transfer all the ingredients to the crock pot and let it do the work.  Traditional chili recipes require hours of cooking and stirring on the stove.  That kind of cooking heats up the kitchen and is pretty labor intensive. The crock pot is a great option to lower energy use in the kitchen.  I make this chili for cool fall weeknights and for Sunday night football. This could also be a great staple recipe for low energy tailgating.

This chili recipe features a local Pale Ale beer brewed with hatch chilies that is actually from a craft brewery in my hometown. Use any Pale Ale you like or try any Pale Ale from your local craft brewery. If all else fails, this recipe tastes perfect with substituting a Mexican lager, light lager or pale ale.

The last thing about this crockpot chili that makes it my favorite low energy use recipe for chili is that it works great with or without beans. Either way, you are going to love this chili!

Pale Ale Crockpot Chili

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Pale Ale Crockpot Chili

mmm…sizzling ingredients.

Chili Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ lb. Ground beef for chili (90/10)
  • 4 Garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 c. Yellow onion, diced
  • ½ c. Green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp. Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Masa harina
  • 1 tbsp. Butter
  • 12 oz. Pale Ale beer
  • 28 oz. Crushed tomatoes from can
  • 6 oz. Tomato paste
  • 1 Can black beans (optional)
  • 1 Can dark red kidney beans (optional)

Seasoning/Spice Mixture Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. Chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. Cumin

    Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Pale Ale Crockpot Chili

    crunchy Frito toppings.

  • 1 tsp. Sea salt
  • 1 tsp. White sugar
  • ½ tsp. Ground oregano
  • ½ tsp. Ground allspice
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. Paprika

Must Have Chili and Frito Pie Toppings:

  • Shredded Monterrey Jack and Cheddar Cheeses
  • Sweet and spicy pickled jalapenos
  • Fresh chopped cilantro
  • Creamy sour cream
  • Crisp diced green onions
  • Fritos corn chips


Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Pale Ale Crockpot Chili

Add a fresh garnish.

1.       Measure out the seasoning/spice mixture ingredients and mix together. Set aside for the crockpot.

2.      Prepare ground beef by lightly seasoning it with sea salt and black pepper and browning it in a large nonstick pan over medium high heat.

Transfer browned ground beef to crock pot set on low heat. Wipe pan clean with a

paper towel.

3.      Add the tablespoon of butter to the hot pan the beef just browned in and let it melt over medium heat. Add the tablespoon of masa harina to the butter and whisk for one minute.  Add in the onions, bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic, and cilantro to the masa harina roux and just stir together to coat the veggies with the roux.

4.      Turn the heat off, pour the 12 ounce pale ale beer over the veggies, whisk together, and pour over the ground beef in the crockpot.

5.      Whisk the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and seasoning/spices mixture in with the browned ground beef and beer/veggies in the crockpot and let it all cook together for 5 to 6 hours on low heat.

6.      If adding the canned beans to the chili, add the drained beans to the crockpot after five hours and let them cook with the chili the last hour.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Pale Ale Crockpot Chili

Ready to serve!

7.      Serve alone with any of the must have toppings or build your own Frito pies by adding Fritos! The options are endless with this delicious low energy use Pale Ale chili!

I hope you try this amazing crock pot chili recipe! Let us know in the comments what you would put it on and I will see you next week for another Cooking with Less Kilowatts recipe to help reduce your energy use!

Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan

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Stacie is a Texas A&M graduate using her animal science education and passion for food to get creative in the kitchen. She previously worked in business before becoming a mom to a special little boy. She's excited to share recipes her family enjoys at home - and they may even help you save energy and be more green in the kitchen.

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Comments (1)


  1. […] holidays is alcohol. One way to use this up is to try some beer or wine infused crock pot meals. This delicious looking chili recipe uses much less energy and calls for beer in the recipe. You could even toss in some ground up turkey instead of the beef […]