Cincinnati Chili Batch 10 Finally Done

I finally got around to cooking up batch 10 of my Cincinnati Chili recipe. I threw in a couple new ingredients and it turned out pretty good. It’s still not quite there though. Read on to see the recipe, my notes, and provide your feedback.

Cincinnati Chili Recipe – Batch 10


2 lbs ground beef (85-90% lean)
6 cups cold water

4-6 oz bacon

2 cans tomato paste – (12 oz total)

1 oz bitter chocolate
2 whole cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ginger
1 tbsp vanilla

1.5 tsp ground cumin
2.5 tbsp chili powder (dark)
4 tsp salt
2.5 tbsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tbsp granulated garlic
4 bay leaves
1 tsp onion powder
3 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander
3 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tsp lemon juice

Cooking Instructions

Dice bacon and cook on medium heat until lightly browned. Turn off burner.

Remove the bacon and let dry on paper towel. Leave the bacon grease behind and let cool partially.

Add ground beef and then turn heat back up to medium high. Stir and chop up ground beef until there are no large chunks left.

When ground beef just starts to get a little color, add the water and stir.

Put on high heat and mix in well — will turn to a thick ugly red liquid.

Do this before adding other ingredients. May need to add water if it’s too thick.

Add other ingredients — mix in and bring to a boil.

Boil for 15 minutes stirring regularly.

Crunch up the cooked bacon into very tiny pieces then add back to chili.

Simmer lightly for 1 hour with lid on or barely ajar. When simmering the fat will float to the top.

Once it has partially cooled, skim the fat from the top.

Remove cloves and bay leaves. Let cool and refrigerate.

When it’s in the refrigerator for a few hours you will likely be able to skim off more of the fat from the top.

Version 10 notes

It’s getting closer. The bacon was an ingredient I noticed in the aftertaste. It might actually be sausage though. Or it may not even be in there. It doesn’t stand out in this batch that much.

Good heat level — maybe a little more (more black pepper?).

While this batch is good — I still think there’s something missing. Time to read up on Greek cooking to get more ingredient ideas.

My notes for next time:

More lemon juice
Trim a little from the sweet spices
More vinegar

I’m going to try to do a side by side comparison to the canned stuff I brought back a month ago. To get some ideas of what to change.

Let me know if you have any thoughts.


2003/4/18 — had some left-over of this that I had in the freezer last night. It’s just not right. If you’re going to try a recipe, I’d suggest starting with number 9 .


Add Yours

I haven’t made this one yet, but I’m suspicious about the preparation- seems a little high maintenance. On the other hand, Cincinnati IS known as porkopolis, and I can easily see bacon fat working its way in there. In an actual Skyline (and I do bow to the southeast at least once every day), the chili pot pretty much just simmers all day. If there’s skimming going on, I never noticed it. One thing I noticed about the mustard (excellent idea, by the way): preparing it fresh from powder gives you a truly intense flavor. Colman’s is the brand I found, and I’d recommend it.

Someone probably already told you this but you can buy Cincinnati chili mix in an envelope for about a buck and make a big batch.
Its sold as Gold Star or Cincinnati Recipe.
Tastes just like the real thing. Or at least close enough if your having a craving.
Next time you are here load up your suitcase with the stuff.
I don’t think there is bacon in Cincy Chili.

I’ve tried the Cincinnati Recipe chili mix. It’s pretty good, but it’s no Skyline Chili. One thing that bothered me was that it’s way too salty. I’ll probably post a message about it specifically in a few days.

RE: Bacon — yeah, I know there’s no bacon — now I do anyway. Someone once commented that there was a pork taste — and I had bacon around — so I tried it.


Just got back from Dayton, OH, which was close enough (thank the Gods) for a visit to the Mother Ship. I came away with two thoughts. First, I’m definitely thinking curry powder. Don’t know what it’s doing in there, but I sure taste it. Second, I’m no longer certain about the role of tomato in this chili. The color just doesn’t seem right. It’s lighter than anything I’ve been able to make at home, particularly the juices. Almost an orange. I haven’t been brave enough to try a new recipe yet (still loyal to #9), but this is what I’m thinking.

Congratulations on the trip. I’ll be making a trip to Michigan this July. And I see there’s a Skyline opening in Lansing — which I will be driving through. I hope it’s open by then.

I’m sure there is tomato of some sort — paste or sauce I’m not sure. Just not much of it. I’ve always thought of Skyline as being sort of brownish-red. So yeah, kinda orange.

Curry, huh? Strange idea. If you’re brave enough to try it, let me know how it turns out. It will be a few weeks before I can try batch 11. But I’m taking suggestions.

Good idea — stay away from number 10. It’s not bad, but it’s just not right. I tried too many new things.


Hi !

I am fortunate enough to come across the “Skyline”
chili recipe in 1958 from an employe and before there was a franchise frenzy as there is today. Your recipe is not even close — some ingredients missing and some that should not be included.

Keep trying it should be a lot of fun.


Beergeek: if you’re still checking this, the Skyline in Lansing opened for “practice” on July 22 (my wife and I were among the lucky ones with tickets for free food, of course 🙂 ), and its grand opening was July 24. I’ve now been there three times already this week!

Be forewarned if you are coming to Lansing, though – at present, our Skyline is not open on weekends, and it is open evenings only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 10-6 on MWF.

Have fun! It’s SO great to have Skyline here!

Looks like a great recipe and I hadn’t even thought of bacon! I was born and raised in Cincy and ALWAYS have to make a Skyline stop whenever there’s one around. (Thank goodness the Cincinnatians who’ve retired to FL, opened some Skyline franchises in the Tampa area!) Congrats to the Michigan folks for getting a Skyline!! Happy Eating. 🙂

As mentioned by someone on here, I use the spice packet that you can buy in Kroger that’s labeled Skyline Chili. You can also buy a can of the actual stuff (Kroger only) and heat it up, which I rarely do because I wince when reading the nutrition label.

I’m anxious to try your recipe. Looks really good.

Thanks for the nice reminder of home. I’m in TN now and of course they’ve no clue about REAL chili. 😉

I based this recipe off of Beergeek’s Batch 9. In a blind taste test, 4 out of 5 family members were unable to distinguish this recipe from the real thing (fresh from the restaurant). Enjoy!

Authentic Cincinnati Skyline Chili

2.5 lbs lean ground beef (extra fine grind if possible)
6 cups hot water
2 cups cold water
1 1/2 cans tomato paste (6 oz cans)
1 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 whole cloves
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground allspice
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp chili powder (dark)
1 pinch cayenne pepper
4 tsp salt
2 1/2 tbsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp garlic powder
4 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
3 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander seed
3 tbsp French’s Yellow Mustard
3 caps lemon juice
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp active-dry yeast (bread maker type)
4 tbsp corn starch

Cooking Instructions:
• Chop up lean ground beef thoroughly. Lean ground beef should be of a pasty consistency when done.
• Combine hot water with lean ground beef in an 8 quart pot and bring to a mild boil.
• In separate cup or bowl, combine cold water with corn starch. Stir to dissolve into corn starch mixture.
• Mix all other ingredients and corn starch mixture into pot.
• Boil for 15 minutes with lid off, stirring occasionally.
• Simmer for 2 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
• Serve over spaghetti and add finely shredded mild cheddar cheese, diced white onions and kidney beans if desired. To serve ala carte, add kidney beans.

Serves six.

I’m still working on one that is getting quite close to Gold Star’s taste, which is IMHO much better than Skyline (as with the majority of Cincinnatians). As soon as it’s perfected, I may try and post it.

The recepie John Sullivan (based on #9) was pretty good, though a bit too sweet for my likes…but nothing too bad. Better than Skyline from the resturant.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.