Do you have to brown the ground beef before putting it into the slow cooker to cook chili?

I'm making chili, and I mixed all of the ingredients together, and put them in my slow cooker for the day. It will be in there for a total of 9 hours on low. I didn't brown the ground beef first, and now I'm getting worried it will turn out like a lump of meatloaf when I get home. Does anyone know if it will turn out ok?

20 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Sorry to're supposed to brown the meat first. I don't know how it will turn out...I've never made it that way before. I imagine it'll be super greasy...

  • 4 years ago


    Source(s): Perfect Paleo Recipes Cookbook -
  • 3 years ago

    Browning Meat Before Slow Cooking

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago


    Source(s): Paleo Recepies eBook
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  • 1 decade ago

    It is a very good idea to brown the meat first because slow cookers do not get that hot long enough to kill some bacteria that might be on meat, especially ground meat. Also it is necessary to remove the fat before putting it into the mix.

    Since you already did it, why dont you microwave each serving for 30 seconds to be sure. It will not turn out like a meatloaf. You can try to blot off some of the fat using a paper towel.

  • 1 decade ago

    it depends, did you break the ground beef into chunks before putting it into the cooker? if so, not to worry, it'll be fine. if not, you may have to break up the beef before serving the chili, because it might be a big glob.

    however, i like to brown the meat first because then it has a better texture and gives a little better flavor to the sauce.

  • 1 decade ago

    It will probably taste fine but unless you used very very lean ground beef, it will have a lot of fat in it. To get rid of this fat, chill the whole batch overnight. The fat will rise to the top and harden so you can remove it easily.

    Breaking the meat up into small chunks as you brown beef beforehand also helps avoid the "meatloaf effect".

  • GP
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Oh, I can't believe some of these answers -- YES, it will be just fine, greasy yes, but fine. Simply skim off the excess grease and chop up any big pieces of meat. I crumble up my ground beef all the time in my crock pot -- and we are all just fine!! Hopefully you crumbled you meat into the chili? Right? You didn't just plop the whole thing in did you? If so, you will have a 'meatloaf' -- remove it and crumble in a skillet then add back to the chili.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I would worry about 2 things:

    - that the temp wouldn't get high enough to get rid of bacteria. If you are at home, I would put it in a regular pot, and bring it to high heat fast (you'll have to stir often to keep it from sticking), or turn your slow cooker to high and give it several hours at high.

    -if you have used regular ground beef you're going to have a lot of fat.

    How to remedy this? (especially if you're gone for the day), freeze it. Use it a few days from now. The freezing will kill anything that may have come to life, plus the excess fat will freeze as a layer on the top and you can scrape it off before you reheat it. Besides, chili always tastes best the day or two or three after it was made!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Oh, you should have browned first. That way you can drain the grease from it. It just simmers in the crock all that time. It won't burn...

    However... if you did break it all up first instead of putting it in as a lump it might be OK.

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