Easy Slow Cooker Venison Chili

This venison chili doesn’t have a whole lot of ingredients even though the complexity of the flavors would make you think it did.

I like to keep the meat lean, but not so lean that it has a dry texture. For this reason I go with 10% fat. I grind the venison with pure pork fat for chili.

You could use 20% fat but you may find it a little too greasy.

My favorite part about this chili is using whole dried chilis. I understand not everyone can get their hands on these chilis, you guys will have to substitute 2 tablespoons of chili powder instead.

Easy Slow Cooker Venison Chili

However, if you can find whole dried chilis it will make the dish considerably better.

I use three ancho chilis, three pasilla chilis and two guajillo chilis.

The ancho chilis add a hint of sweetness, and nice amount of smokiness and earthy undertones. The pasilla chilis bring more sweetness than the ancho chilis.

The guajillo are similar to the other two chilis, except they bring they heat. They are not extrmely spicy, but just a hint to make it noticeable.

All these chilis are similar so if you can only get one or the other it’s ok to swap them out. The only difference is the guajillo chilis are slightly spicy.

You can also use mulato chili which is similar to the ancho and pasilla.

The next important ingredient is the cumin. This recipe uses quite a lot of cumin which pairs well with the chili paste.

Just like the chilis used, cumin brings a lot of an earthy smokey flavor to this dish.


There are a few things to get out of the way before everything goes into the slow cooker.

First you will need to make the chili paste. To do this, remove the chili seeds, and tear the chilis into chunks before toasting them on a skillet over medium-high heat.

Easy Slow Cooker Venison Chili

You will notice your house begin to fill with a sweet smokey flavor. This will enhance the smokiness of the chilis.

To finish making the paste, pour over 1.5 cups of stock. Let the chilis soak for 5-10 minutes, then blend into a paste.

You can use this paste in so many other dishes, so feel free to make extra. It will freeze well for up to a year.

Easy Slow Cooker Venison Chili

Before adding the ground venison to the slow cooker you should brown it in a skillet. Browning the venison is what will give the dish it’s richness.

Set a skillet or ducth oven over medium-high heat and brown the ground venison in batches, if you add to much to the pan at once it will not brown properly and will begin to stew.

The last thing that needs to be done outside the slow cooker is the coriander and cumin. You will also need to toast these on a skillet before adding to the Crock Pot.

Similar to toasting the chilis, toasting the coriander and cumin will enhance the flavor, especially the smokiness and earthiness

Easy Slow Cooker Venison Chili

If you are adding beans to your chili they can be added dry or soaked when using a slow cooker. Dried beans should go in at the start of the dish.

Soaked or pre-cooked beans can go in an hour before serving to prevent them from becoming too mushy.

It’s worth noting that beans do not freeze well, so if you plan on freezing this dish leave the beans out and add them when reheating.

Easy Slow Cooker Venison Chili

See RelatedWild Boar Chili

Easy Slow Cooker Venison Chili

Venison Chili Slow Cooker

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Course: Big Game
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 8 -10
Author: Rusty


  • 3 pounds of ground venison 10% fat mix
  • 3 ancho chilis see note 1
  • 3 pasilla chilis
  • 2 guajillo chilis
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 28 oz can tomatoes crushed
  • 4.5 cups venison stock divided (beef will also work)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 8 ounces pinto beans optional (see note 2)
  • 8 ounces of black beans optional


  • Deseed the chilis and tear into small chunks
  • Toast the chili on a skillet or dutch oven for 3-4 minutes. Pour over 1.5 cups of stock turn off the heat and let soak for 10 minutes
  • Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend into a paste
  • Heat a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add part of the venison mince and brown. Transfer the browned mince to the slow cooker. Continue this process until all the mince is browned.
  • Lower the heat on the skillet and add the onions and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes until the onions become translucent.
  • Add 1 cup of stock to the skillet and scrape up all the brown bits. Transfer all ingredients in the skillet to the slow cooker.
  • On another skillet over medium heat, or clean and reuse the same one, add the coriander and cumin. Toast for 3-4 minutes.
  • Transfer the seeds to a mortar and pestle and grind to almost a powder. Transfer the powder to the slow cooker
  • Crush the tomatoes with your hands and add to the slow cooker
  • Add the sugar, oregano, chili paste, and remaining stock to the slow cooker
  • If using dry beans add them to the slow cooker now
  • Gently stir the ingredients in the slow cooker, put on the lid and set to low. Cook for 5-6 hours, depending on your desired consistency

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