This was handed down to me by Mom, a Cincinnati native. Skimming the fat makes this a healthier version than most, and gives it the right consistency. I like mine 4-way, with spaghetti, raw chopped onions, grated mild cheddar, and oyster crackers!

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
3 hrs 30 mins
additional:
8 hrs
total:
11 hrs 45 mins
Servings:
10
Yield:
10 servings
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Ingredients

10
Original recipe yields 10 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place the ground beef in a large pan, cover with about 1 quart of cold water, and bring to a boil, stirring and breaking up the beef with a fork to a fine texture. Slowly boil until the meat is thoroughly cooked, about 30 minutes, then remove from heat and refrigerate in the pan overnight.

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  • The next day, skim the solid fat from the top of the pan, and discard the fat. Place the beef mixture over medium heat, and stir in the onions, tomato sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, chocolate, chili powder, salt, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cloves, allspice berries, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 hours. Add water if necessary to prevent the chili from burning.

Nutrition Facts

225 calories; protein 19.1g 38% DV; carbohydrates 10.1g 3% DV; fat 12.6g 19% DV; cholesterol 59.5mg 20% DV; sodium 673.7mg 27% DV. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (195)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
04/07/2010
This is the actual recipe from Skyline. It was printed in the Cincy Inquirer in the early 70s. I use ground turkey instead of beef and the flavor and texture are the same (my wife says my version is better!). May need to make a batch soon! Read More
(181)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
12/30/2010
I have been using Allrecipes.com for 3-4 years now and have never had incidence with a 5-star recipe before. I created an account SPECIFICALLY to review this recipe. I had Skyline chili yesterday and this chili has a hint of the same flavor, but it is not the same recipe. I followed this recipe exactly and neither my husband nor I could finish our bowls. I'd try one of the Skyline seasoning packets or another recipe on this site. Read More
(41)
246 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 191
  • 4 star values: 32
  • 3 star values: 9
  • 2 star values: 5
  • 1 star values: 9
Rating: 5 stars
04/07/2010
This is the actual recipe from Skyline. It was printed in the Cincy Inquirer in the early 70s. I use ground turkey instead of beef and the flavor and texture are the same (my wife says my version is better!). May need to make a batch soon! Read More
(181)
Rating: 5 stars
02/08/2011
I grew up in Cincinnati and our chili of choice was Gold Star. For close to 20 years I have been searching for a decent Cincy chili recipe to no avail...until I found this one! I did augment the recipe to make it more like Gold Stars. (Skyline is more "earthy" than I like) I added hot water every 1/2 hour or so- maybe 1/2 cup every time to mellow it out and keep it from getting too thick. I also added ~ 2 teaspoons of light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cardamom, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves. The result was more like Gold Star's chili recipe which is my preference. Thank you for posting this recipe...it quells my craving at least until I make the trip back home to Cincinnati! Read More
(113)
Rating: 5 stars
12/07/2009
followed all the directions but only let it cool in fridge for 3 hours. great idea to get that fat off! was the best Cincinnati Chili recipe and i've tried a bunch! thanks so much , my family loves this stuff! Read More
(70)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/11/2010
Tastes JUST like Skyline Chili! We don't live in Ohio anymore, so this was a perfect taste of home. Wouldn't change a thing- don't even miss the fat! I had grabbed ground allspice instead of the berries-- so FYI- 1t. of ground=5 berries-- so you need 1t. ground allspice if you don't have berries. Read More
(61)
Rating: 5 stars
01/31/2011
Having lived most all of my life in the Cincinnati area I am very familiar with the Cincy style chili. Skyline Chili was my chili of choice. For a long time I have hoped for a recipe which would replicate this area favorite. Well with this recipe I think my search has finally ended. I followed the recipe as outlined except using allspice powder instead of berries and unsweetened cocoa powder instead of chocolate squares. I didn't overnight the beef in the fridge after cooking. I just carefully skimmed the fat from the top after giving it time to separate from the water. Giving it a taste a couple of hours into the cooking I gave it a shake or two more of chili powder and a couple more pinches of allspice. And that was it. After the three hours of cooking and boiling a pot of spaghetti I sat down to the truest reproduction of the "real thing" as I have ever had. If you try this recipe be patient. You need the whole three hours of cooking to fully merge all of the flavors and to get that true Cincinnati Chili taste. As the recipe noted might be necessary I had to occasionally add a little water during simmering to keep the consistency and to prevent it from sticking. If you do these things you will be rewarded for your efforts. We priced a container of Skyline while in the grocery today and it was a staggering 6.89!! Never again will we have to spend this outrageous price for a great local chili taste. Many many thanks for this recipe. Read More
(41)
Rating: 5 stars
10/07/2010
I live in Milwaukee, WI and I used to work at a chili restaurant in the Third Ward that specialized in Cincinnati Chili. I fell in love with it but unfortunately the owner of that place is bat- crazy... so I'd advise not going there. This recipe tastes exactly like the stuff at the restaurant! Exactly! And the part that's better? Since you skim the fat, your leftovers don't have a thick orange layer on top when they come out of the fridge! There's no point in using lean ground beef since you'll boil the fat out so just buy the cheapest one. Enjoy! Read More
(41)
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Rating: 2 stars
12/30/2010
I have been using Allrecipes.com for 3-4 years now and have never had incidence with a 5-star recipe before. I created an account SPECIFICALLY to review this recipe. I had Skyline chili yesterday and this chili has a hint of the same flavor, but it is not the same recipe. I followed this recipe exactly and neither my husband nor I could finish our bowls. I'd try one of the Skyline seasoning packets or another recipe on this site. Read More
(41)
Rating: 5 stars
07/13/2010
This was awesome and tasted soooo much like the real thing but without the grease! I did not have whole cloves or the allspice berries so I used 1 1/2 tsp of ground. I did take another's advice and used beef broth instead of water and it was saltier than I'd like. I will use water next time! THANK YOU THANK YOU Melissa for this great recipe!! Read More
(39)
Rating: 5 stars
11/23/2009
I'm from Cincinnati and enjoyed Skyline chili my whole life. This recipe is the closest to the original Skyline taste and texture of any I've tested. Great recipe - Great chili. Read More
(35)
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