Tommy's chili recipe

I’ve been jonzin’ for a Tommy’s Chili Cheeseburger, or at least something similar. I haven’t come across anything like Tommy’s in NW Washington though. The good news is that you can order their chili by the gallon. Or two gallons. Or three gallons. But $66 for a gallon of chili (includes $25 fee for dry ice) is a bit steep. So I might have to make a clone of it.

All Recipes.
18 reviews, 3/5 stars. One 1-star reviewer said ‘a floury paste.’ Sounds like s/he doesn’t know how to make a roux. A 4-star reviewer qualified his review by saying the recipe needed ‘serious modification’ Primarily, no beans! Beans are not in the recipe. A couple of people said it tasted just like Tommy’s.

Food dotcom
9 reviews, 4½/5 stars. Two bad reviews, one uninformative.

Has anyone here tried to duplicate Tommy’s chili? Can you recommend the best recipe?

I’ve tried this recipe. It’s close to the original, but a bit bland. Could use a little extra spice.

Someone on one of the links suggested cumin. What ‘extra spice’ would you suggest?

It’s been awhile since I’ve made it, but I’m thinking a bit of jalapeno powder might help.

For many years I have been using Carroll Shelby’s Chili mix to rave reviews. Although you can also just use 3 oz of a generic chili powder, cayenne for heat & masa flour to thicken.

I usually skip the ground beef and use whatever steak or roast is on sale, cubed up and browned. At times I have even used half pork. A diced onion and diced pepper (anything from Bell to Jalapeño - depending on audience) is good too.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve eaten at Tommy’s, but I don’t recall jalapeño. I guess I could try the recipe and taste it to see what it needs. I’ll see about buying a carrot sometime this week.

Tommy’s! Oh, man!

Start with a can of Nalley chili (no beans) and mix in the horrid greasy stuff from a can o cheap tamales. Pretty close to Tommy’s.

Now I want a Tommy’s cheeseburger too.

Please report back on your chili findings.

Scarily, this might be the closest to authentic. Great stuff, but not for the faint of heart.

Got set to make it today. I mixed up the dry spices, got the beef and the beef broth out, and then realised we’re out of white vinegar. Maybe mañana.

Damn, now I want Tommy’s chili cheese fries.

Beef? Well, I’ll tell ya, Bro, you are off on the wrong foot. This is “Tommy’s” we’re talkin’ about, right?

Nearest thing to a cow in Tommy’s chili is a hoof.

I had never heard of Tommy’s chili. After Googling it, it sounds a little like Skyline (or other Cincinnati-style chilis). Skyline chili is pretty much my very favorite thing to eat. I have long sought out a good recipe to duplicate the Skyline taste.

After looking at many Skyline copycat recipes on the net I’ve become discouraged. The recipes very widely yet each recipe has comments saying “tastes just like Skyline!” Some of the recipes don’t even get the most fundamental things correct. For example, some start out having you brown the beef when it is well known that Skyline is made by boiling ground beef in water and leaving the fat in.

I feel your pain in trying to find the Tommy’s recipe. As with Skyline, I suspect the biggest issues is trying to recreate the “secret spices”.

By Jove, I think he’s got it!

I always thought the chili at Tommy’s was quite similar to what they used at Pink’s. See if there’s any plan to open a Pink’s in the PNW.

Well, I made it.

To be honest, it’s been so long since I’ve had a Tommy’s burger that I don’t remember exactly how it tastes. This batch of chili sauce does have that fast-food chili flavour, so that’s a good thing… But it’s a bit bland. Mrs. L.A. tasted it and she thought it was bland. ‘I never thought I’d say this, but maybe you should add some chorizo.’ So I’m cooking up some chorizo.

I think it would be fine on burgers and hot dogs as-is, but it’s a lot of work for fast-food chili. It would be easier to just use no-bean Nally’s next time I have a hankerin’.

Hebrew National jumbo frankfurter. American cheese. Microwaved hot dog bun. This chili.

I have to say that it tasted pretty close to a Wienerschnitzel Chili Cheese dog. But the frank was bigger and all-beef, instead of the regular-sized chicken franks they use.

I used the chili sauce to make cheeseburgers: Toasted bun, quarter-pound beef patty with cheese, a slice of tomato, chili sauce, top bun.

It was good. Actually, I had two of them.

Told ya!

To its advantage, though, all that extra flour means it doesn’t get too sloppy and spill out all over the place, like a canned chili would.


I thought of that. I still had to eat my lunch standing up, over the plate.