When it’s time to bid bye-bye to fatty meats and unhealthy forms of carbohydrates, then it’s time to add a mouth-watering venison chili recipe to your repertoire. Because easy chili recipe gives you balanced nutrition and bold flavor, you’ll be less likely to notice the remix to healthy ingredients.
Because you build this recipe from scratch, you can also control your sodium intake.
I recently visited my doctor. In no uncertain terms, I was told to add zero salts to my cooking. The doctor advised me that today’s food contains staggering levels of salt. He then challenged me to read my labels more carefully.
That appointment was a wakeup call and a game-changer. I faced two choices. Make a concerted effort to ditch the sodium and fats or remain on medication for high blood pressure the rest of my life.
I headed home and carefully cleaned out my pantry of pre-packaged junk. I kept an eye to the sodium and fat levels on each label and vowed to return to cooking the way I love. From scratch.
However, I see this as a challenge and not a problem. Because I love cooking, it should be fun to rework my favorite foods into healthy alternatives.
If you’re a vegetarian, don’t worry. I have you covered with a tasty vegetarian remix of chili con carne (chili with meat) into chili sin carne (chili without meat).
It Starts with Great Chili Seasoning
In the five years since I was diagnosed with hypertension, I have revamped how I season foods. Until I recently relapsed into poor habits, I had been meticulous about seasoning. I eliminated salt and added black pepper and garlic to everything to conquer bland flavor.
One other trick I employ is keeping homemade chili seasoning on hand at all times. It takes just minutes to make a batch, and I store it with my spices to use as a dry rub or in soups and stews.
It’s divine with this deer chili recipe!
Here’s how to make it:
- 8 tablespoons of chili powder
- 2 1/2 tablespoons of powdered cumin
- 1 tablespoon of ground cayenne pepper
- 6 teaspoons of onion powder
- 6 teaspoons of garlic powder
- 4 tablespoons of black pepper
- Mix all ingredients in a dry mixing bowl.
- Store in a mason jar, tightly capped, for up to 3 months.
Too mild for you? Kick up the chili seasoning by adding an extra 1/2 tablespoon of cayenne pepper. It's a forgiving recipe, and you can adjust it to treat your own taste buds.
Handling Hot Peppers
As you will see soon, this recipe requires jalapeno peppers. While they are mild, jalapenos do have seeds that are “hot.” Use caution when handling a jalapeno, chili pepper, or any other hot pepper. The seeds and membranes inside can cause burns on your skin. Beyond that, you can make matters even more severe if you transfer attempt to squelch the tingling sensations by rubbing your eyes, nose, or mouth by transferring the heat.
Below are tips on how to handle chili peppers.
- Always put on disposable gloves before cutting open hot peppers.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or face when you’re handling them.
- Work quickly and try not to come into contact with anything you don’t need to touch to get the job done!
- If you make a mistake and do feel burning in your eyes or nose, resist the temptation to rub. Instead, remove your gloves and rinse with the tiny bottle of saline rinse that came with your first aid kit. (I bet you’ve been wondering what that little guy was meant to do!)
- After cutting chili pepper, clean your cutting board with hot water and dish soap.
- Discard the disposable gloves where your children or pets can’t access them.
Why This is the Best Venison Chili Recipe Ever
Not all ground venison chili recipes are created equally. Some cooks make this on the stove top. The secret to that makes this so delicious is that this is a crockpot venison chili recipe. That’s an important distinction.
Here is the science that makes your crockpot the ideal way to cook venison.
Venison is a very lean protein. Deer travel miles every day with their herds and develop powerful muscular structures.
When you place venison in the slow cooker, you create the opportunity to simmer it very slowly and for a long time to break down those tough muscle fibers.
Combine that with an acidic tomato base that helps to further soften the meat, and you have a winner.
Crockpots work by generating heat from an electrical element inside the bottom of the unit. That heat rises up the sides of the unit and heats the food consistently for as long as 12 hours.
Because you always use a liquid base and keep a lid on the slow cooker, you build up steam inside the pot by trapping in the heat. This creates a moist environment that turns out delectable, tender, flavor-filled foods.
A crockpot venison chili recipe will beat a stovetop venison hands-down, every time.
Kitchen Tools You Need to Make Venison Chili
I prefer to gather all the tools I need before I begin cooking. It keeps me on-task and makes the cooking process more enjoyable.
- Slow cooker. I use the all-in-one Power Pressure Cooker XL. I chose this model because it was the only all-in-one cooker that had a pressure canning function. It’s a rice cooker, crockpot, pressure cooker, and pressure canner. I have had it for over two years and use it frequently.
- Sharp knives
- 10″ skillet for cooking the venison
- Disposable gloves (for chili pepper cutting)
- Chopping mat or board
- Non-metallic spoon for stirring the chili. The distinction “non-metallic” is important. Acidic ingredients like tomatoes, citrus, or vinegar, can interact with metals and leave an undesirable “metallic” flavor in your food. Definitely not what you’re striving for! Select a wooden or plastic spoon instead.
Over the years, beans were added as an economical protein. Feel free to add a can of two of your faves in if you like!
On the other hand, vegetarian chili is also called Chili Sin Carne which translates to chili without meat.
Don’t like or have access to deer meat? Vegetarian? Just prefer chicken?
I have successfully transformed this easy deer chili recipe into other variations on a number of occasions.
- Chicken chili – swap out venison for ground or cubed chicken.
- Ground turkey chili – substitute ground turkey.
- Vegetarian chili – add two cans of chili beans and skip the meat altogether.
The Bottom Line
Only those who follow the strictest of diets can truly be “salt-free” or “carb-free.”
Challenge yourself to transform your old standard recipes to those which are bold enough to taste great without salt to decrease your consumption.
Also, remember that all carbs are not the same. While this is not a carb-free recipe, the carbs in this chili come from vegetables, and those are the healthy carbs your body needs.
If you try this recipe out, please comment to let us know how much you loved it!