This Instant Pot beef and beer chili recipe is one of our favorites. It’s a crowd pleaser for a reason and it just got even better. With the addition of a good dark beer, it’s magical. If you prefer to leave out the beer, don’t worry, it’ll still be delicious! It’s chili that tastes like it lazily simmered away half of the afternoon in 30 minutes.
My original intention with this chili was bison instead of ground beef, however I didn’t embrace the idea of a $12 serving of chili. I’m used to paying a little more for food, but the price of bison has gone up quite a bit since the last time I purchased it. Once I regained my composure and wiped away my tears, I set off toward the ground beef.
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Chili recipe with beer
Like most people, we are on a budget. The price of bison is substantially more than beef, so I opted to make this recipe with ground sirloin instead of bison.
That being said, I have since bit the bullet and made it with bison and it’s amazing. If bison is in your budget, make it at least once.
I’ve made several variations of this beer chili over the years – with ground beef, ground bison, dark beer, Guinness beer, and most recently, a Marzen beer. I have yet to be disappointed.
What is the best beer to put in chili? The answer is: one that you like. Go with a dark beer, or the darkest beer that you enjoy. I would not go with something like Budweiser, it’s too light.
If dark beers are not something you enjoy, buy a single bottle to use just for the recipe. A Marzen would be a good choice for someone who doesn’t enjoy drinking a really dark beer.
This recipe has held up with every change I’ve made, so I feel confident telling you that no matter which beer you choose (as long as it’s not a light beer) and whether you go with beef or bison, this chili will be delicious.
Instant Pot Beer Chili
I usually go for small batch craft beers, but the first time I made this chili, I used a black lager from Shiner. Let me clear about something here – the Shiner folks don’t even know I exist. They didn’t sponsor this post, nor have I received anything from anyone (although I wouldn’t turn it down!).
When I went shopping for this recipe, I spotted a bottle of Bohemian Black Lager all by itself and I thought “Hmmm, I’ll bet you are super tasty”. I waited and waited for the perfect occasion to crack open this bottle and it was well worth the anticipation. It made magic in this chili. The only thing I would do differently next time is make a double batch.
Instant pot chili with beer
Why make chili in the Instant Pot? First, let’s talk about what the Instant Pot does. It’s a pressure cooker, so that means it builds up steam and pressure inside, helping food to cook at a faster rate. It also raises the boiling point by building pressure, taking the boiling point of water from 212° to 250°.
What does this mean for the busy home cook? This means we get food that tastes like it simmered for hours in a fraction of the time. This is good news, because when I want chili, I don’t want to wait hours and hours for it.
You know that chili is always better the next day? This instant pot chili with beer comes out of the pot tasting like it’s already the next day and and it still continues to get better the day after.
Used to make Beer Chili:
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What else can I serve with this chili?
- Corn Casserole – I’d serve this like cornbread with the chili
- Clementine Cake – You’ll want a light dessert, nothing too heavy after chili
- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (85 - 93% lean)
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 29 oz. can red beans (I used Goya small red beans)
- 1 1/2 cups bell pepper, diced (red, orange or yellow)
- 1 cup poblano pepper, diced
- 1 1/2 cups celery, diced
- 1 1/2 cups yellow onion, diced
- 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 cups diced tomatoes, canned
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 4 Tbsp chili powder
- 4 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 bottle dark beer (I used Shiner Bohemian Black Lager)
- Choose the "Sauté" setting on the Instant Pot and let it heat up. Cook the ground beef until it is no longer pink. Shut the Instant Pot off, remove the pot from inside and drain the fat from the beef.
- Put the pot back inside and again choose "sauté". Add canola oil, peppers, onions, garlic, celery, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper to the beef. Sauté the vegetables for a few minutes, just until they begin to brown. Press "cancel" to shut off sauté function.
- Add the tomatoes, beans and beer. Put lid on, make sure that the lever is set to "sealing" and press "manual". Set timer to 30 minutes.
- The pressure will automatically reduce on its own after the cooking time has finished. To speed up the process, move the lever to "venting". Use a kitchen towel to protect your hand from the steam, if you are concerned you might get burned.
This serves 6 VERY generously, 7 "normal" servings or 8 servings with copious amounts of cheese, avocado, sour cream and crackers 😉
Bell peppers - I prefer red, orange or yellow. If you like green peppers, feel free to use them, but it will slightly alter the taste of the chili.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 391Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 1680mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 13gSugar: 7gProtein: 41g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
Originally published: 3/7/17
Most recent update: 3/14/20