Canned Chili Challenge #3: Trader Joe’s Beef Chili

img_0372Brand: Trader Joe’s
Flavor: Beef

Trader Joe’s opened up here a couple years ago I believe.  I never really went much.  I’ve been maybe three or four times.  Nothing against it but I’m not going there for my regular grocery shopping, too limited and too expensive for some primary needs.

But I’ve always enjoyed their product.  Someone recommended I check out their canned chili so I made a trip this afternoon.  They had a chicken, a turkey, a vegetarian and a beef canned chili.  I got all except the vegetarian one.  Sorry, but if there ain’t meat it ain’t really chili.

The Chili

img_0371Appearance is fair.  Not as “chunky” as I like to see, but not bad.  You can actually see some diced bits of onion and pepper in here.  Otherwise it’s meat and bean as usual.  Its got a nice Kidney bean presentation.

The flavor is pretty standard.  It’s a little bland overall but there’s a touch of paprika that hits strong when first laying on the tongue.

One thing I do like about this canned chili is the meat has quality texture.  The beef is tender, tastes like beef and doesn’t fall apart without a good chew.  The beans really pop nice as well.  They aren’t too mushy, the skin has a biti of strength and they provide their own flavor.

I just can’t get over the thinness.  Very soupy.

The Trimmings

I put a very fair amount of shredded sharp cheddar in after tasting a bit.  This helped with the soupiness but it was still pretty thin.

I seriously considered adding a hot sauce to it.  Maybe some sriracha as there wasn’t much of a garlic backbone as I’d like to see.  But I refrained.  If their turkey and chicken follow the same pattern of bland I’ll definitely be spicing it up.


It’s a fine chili.  It’s just a bit boring.  For a canned chili it’s got a good freshness and vitality in it’s ingredients.  I’d still take Hormel over it for a queso or something as those seem to have a bit more of a personality.

Overall Score: 6.5/10

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