I have to admit that it’s been a long time since I’ve had Wendy’s chili. When I was a kid, the Wendy’s in our otherwise awful town had a buffet and one of those incredible sunrooms, so I was there constantly, sucking down taco salads, listening to Toni Braxton, and basking. Even if I don’t eat it all the time, I like knowing that Wendy’s serves chili. It could be as bad for you as a Baconator, but it feels like a healthy choice and that’s all that matters. It’s one of those menu items that sets Wendy’s apart from pretty much every other fast food burger chain, so it has its fans. And now those fans can skip the drive-thru and buy Wendy’s chili in a can at the grocery store. We grabbed a can to find out whether fast-food-chain grocery store chili is better than other grocery store chili.
- Wendy’s Chili
If you aren’t sensitive to salt, Wendy’s canned chili is good. as. hell. It’s incredibly savory—the last ingredient listed is liquid smoke, which gives it just a touch of smoky flavor to complement the boatload of beef in here. It’s always been my understanding that Wendy’s serves chili because it’s a way to use up burger patties that are on the verge of being past their prime (since their burgers are fresh rather than frozen); while the beef in this chili isn’t quite burger patty quality, the slightly smoky flavor nods to its source material’s provenance. In addition to beef, the chili is packed with big chunks of tomato and both kidney and pinto beans, which are perfectly cooked and creamy. It’s extremely hearty and it looks homemade.
As I said, I can’t tell ya whether it’s a straight-up dupe for Wendy’s chili from Wendy’s, but it’s an excellent canned chili. The next time we update our canned chili ranking, this will be on the list.
Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart