Copycat Wick Fowler Chili - 2 Alarm Recipe (2024)

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Growing up, homemade chili at my house was made from Wick Fowler Chili packages. You can easily make this chili at home without the package. All you need are some simple ingredients that may already be in your pantry.

Copycat Wick Fowler Chili - 2 Alarm Recipe (1)

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What Makes The Wick Fowler 2 Alarm Chili Kit So Good?

If you have never tried one of the Wick Fowler 2 Alarm Chili mixes sold in most spice sections of the grocery stores, you are missing out on some easy-to-make chili. They have an optional red chili packet inside, so you can dial up the heat to the chili if you desire. We always went all in. Living in Texas, I think our heat levels are different than in some parts of the country. If you want a well-balanced chili, these chili seasoning packs are the way to go.

What Makes This The Recipe You Want To Try

This recipe gives you what the individual seasoning packets do, but here you will turn to your pantry to provide the seasonings from your spice cabinets. This recipe is almost as simple to prepare as ripping open a store-bought Wick Fowler’s 2-alarm chili kit and awhole lot less expensive. Make a homemadechili mix kit and bring it to your next tailgate or on that weekend camping trip. You won’t be sorry!

What is Masa Harina?

You know you are in the presence of an absolute chili master whenever you walk into the kitchen and see a bag of masa harina also known as corn masa flouron the counter. Masa harina is a flour made from corn; however, it’s not the same as ordinary cornmeal. Masa harina is more closely related to hominy grits as both are made from corn kernels that have been cooked and then soaked in an alkaline solution.

Masa harina is widely used in Mexican and Southwestern cooking to make doughs for corn tortillas and tamales and thicken stews, much like cornstarch.

If you can’t get your hands on masa harina where you live, use an equal amount of cornstarch instead (dissolve the cornstarch in the water or tomato sauce before adding it to the chili). Other alternatives include a few crushed corn chips, a finely chopped corn tortilla, or even hominy grits.

Let’s Talk About Beans

I am not going to choose a side when it comes to whether beans have a place in chili, but if you fall on the pro-bean side of the divide, you might as well do it right. That means skipping soaking dried beans overnight and then simmering them for hours.

Yep, canned beans are the best for chili and are much more convenient. As for which variety of beans to use, there are a lot of opinions out there.

In the country’s southwest region, pinto beans are preferred, but order a bowl in any diner in the Northeast, and you will get chili with red kidney beans. Of course, you can consider using black or even pink beans, but you probably want to avoid cannellini, chickpeas, and fava beans.

Wick Fowler Chili Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Ground beef
  • Paprika
  • Dehydrated onion
  • Dehydrated garlic
  • Salt
  • Cumin
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Dried oregano
  • Tomato sauce
  • Water
  • Masa, optional
Copycat Wick Fowler Chili - 2 Alarm Recipe (2)

Ingredient Notes

In the box of 2 Alarm chili spices, you will find a packet labeled “red pepper”. We are substituting cayenne for the red pepper. Cayenne is a type of red pepper.

Masa will thicken the chili if desired. You could leave it out as well. It depends on how thick you like your chili.

While it is controversial for some, I always add beans to my chili. I know many fine people who are against adding beans to chili, and that’s okay. Red kidney beans, pinto beans, or canned chili beans all work well.

This recipe is unique because you control the heat with the cayenne pepper. If you don’t like your chili too spicy, don’t add the cayenne pepper at all. If you like it a little spicy, add half of the cayenne pepper, and if you want it spicier, add all of the cayenne pepper.

How to Make 2 Alarm Chili

Here are the simple steps for making this delicious beef chili recipe:

  1. Brown the beef in a large pot or Dutch oven.
  2. Drain the meat and return it to the pot.
  3. Add the spices and stir in thoroughly.
Copycat Wick Fowler Chili - 2 Alarm Recipe (3)
  1. Add tomato sauce and water.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.
  3. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
Copycat Wick Fowler Chili - 2 Alarm Recipe (4)
  1. Combine masa and hot water to thicken the chili and stir until smooth.
  2. Pour the masa mixture into the chili.
  3. Cook until the chili thickens, and serve.
Copycat Wick Fowler Chili - 2 Alarm Recipe (5)

Recipe Variations

Here are a few ideas on how to change this recipe:

  • Instead of adding water, add tomato juice. The tomato juice can intensify the flavor of the chili.
  • Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Chipotle powder. Chipotle powder is made from smoked jalapenos. The chipotle powder adds lots of smoke without adding a lot of heat.
  • Swap the paprika for smoked paprika to add some smoke to the chili.
  • Use a coarse grind of beef. Ground brisket is fantastic.
  • Create a topping bar for your chili containing Fritos, shredded Cheddar cheese, sour cream, and sliced green onion tops.

Tips for Making, Serving, and Storing Wick Fowler2 Alarm Chili

  • Make a few extra chili kits and stash them in the pantry.Measuring out the spices takes the most time, so plan ahead for those nights when you don’t have enough prep time.
  • Serve with lots of topping.Provide shredded cheese, chopped onions, sour cream, sliced avocado, crushed corn chips, and hot sauce on the side. Let your guest customize their chili according to their taste.
  • Chili freezes beautifully.Cool the chili leftovers to room temperature before filling freezer bags halfway. Let chili defrost overnight in the fridge before reheating on the stovetop or in the microwave.

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Copycat Wick Fowler Chili - 2 Alarm Recipe (6)

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Wick Fowler 2 Alarm Chili

You can make Wick Fowler 2 Alarm chili without the package of spices.

4.87 from 23 votes

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Course: Soup

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Chili Recipe, Wick Fowler 2 Alarm Chili

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes minutes

Servings: 8

Calories: 312kcal

Author: Stephanie Manley


  • 2 pounds ground beef

Spice Mix

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons masa
  • 2 teaspoons dehydrated onion (1/2 cup chopped fresh onion)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dehydrated garlic (1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 16 ounces water


  • Brown the beef in a large pot or Dutch oven. Drain beef.

  • Add the spices (with the exception of the masa) and stir in thoroughly. Add tomato sauce and water. If desired add 1 (14 ounce) can of beans. Reduce temperature to simmer.

  • Simmer for about 30 minutes. If you want to thicken the chili, mix the masa in a 1/4 cup of hot water. Stir the masa until smooth. Pour the masa mixture into the chili. Cook until the chili thickens and serve.



Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 664mg | Potassium: 441mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 360IU | Vitamin C: 2.9mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 3mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. John K.

    Copycat Wick Fowler Chili - 2 Alarm Recipe (8)
    The one commercial product for which a copycat recipe is absolutely useless, as all the ingredients of the product are packaged separately. Anyone with a sensitive kitchen scale knows the measurements.
    The best thing is the tweaks offered at the end of the article and in the comments.


    • Stephanie Manley

      Thank you John. I appreciate your comments.


    • Nancy

      I found useful! We couldn’t find wick fowlers in our grocery store and I was hoping someone had written down the measurements . So thank you for doing that!


  2. Susan Seals

    Copycat Wick Fowler Chili - 2 Alarm Recipe (9)
    Awesome recipe! I’ve been buying Wick Fowler for years, will use this recipe . I did, of course, make a few changes. Used Hatch hot pepper instead of cayenne, one can rotel, used a bit more oregano and cumin. It’s so good. Just did a test taste, just need to add a bit more hot pepper.


    • Chris

      Copycat Wick Fowler Chili - 2 Alarm Recipe (10)
      Use Spicy V8 instead of water and tomato sauce (Add to your desired consistency)
      Add Rotel tomatoes and chillies at the end
      Add smoke flavor and use smoked paprika if ypu like it smokey
      Can sub corn starch to thicken if don’t have masa.

      I have also subbed grpund lamb and/or sausage at times for the meat.


  3. green purl

    Copycat Wick Fowler Chili - 2 Alarm Recipe (11)
    I’ve been making Wick Fowler’s chili for 40 years. Here’s my version:

    1/2 lb ground turkey breast
    1 can red beans
    1 can black beans
    1 can Rotel
    1/2 bottle of beer
    no masa
    1/2 the red pepper packet

    I keep this in my freezer to enjoy year-round.


    • David

      Copycat Wick Fowler Chili - 2 Alarm Recipe (12)
      You lost me at beans.


      • gregor

        Historically, folks here in Texas ate a bowl of beans regularly. The meat gravy was made with bean likker to top the beans as one could afford, with varying amounts or cuts used, Similar treatment is found with US-Italian Sunday Gravy, among many other examples, The facts about Texas Chili are plain, long before Texas became a State when the Spanish introduced it to San Antonio in the 17th century. It was a working-class meal.

  4. Anchen

    Copycat Wick Fowler Chili - 2 Alarm Recipe (13)
    Best chili recipe there is!!


  5. Jack

    Copycat Wick Fowler Chili - 2 Alarm Recipe (14)
    I won’t get into the bean debate other than to say: In Terlingua, Texas where the World Chili Cook-off was born, they have a saying and song they sing.
    “If you know beans about chili, you know chili ain’t got no beans.”
    Thanks for the great recipes!


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Copycat Wick Fowler Chili - 2 Alarm Recipe (2024)


What are the ingredients in Wick Fowler's 2 alarm chili kit? ›

This box contains 6 individual seasoning packets: red pepper, corn masa flour, cumin/oregano, ground chili peppers, onion/garlic, paprika.

What is the difference between false alarm and 2 alarm chili kit? ›

I believe false alarm is not hot or spicy at all. Two alarm is hot or spicy. My family likes the two alarm. I don't find it overly hot.

What is an alarm chili? ›

A “chili alarm” refers to the number of sources of (and ergo the level of) heat—you can count five different types of peppers in this recipe.

Is 2 alarm chili kit keto friendly? ›

One of the easiest dishes you can make as a low carb keto lover is chili. Yes, chili is low carb as long as you leave out the masa flour thickener that's typically added at the end of cooking.

What are the best beans to use for homemade chili? ›

The best beans for chili are pinto, kidney, and black beans, like in this easy and tasty recipe. This 3-bean chili freezes great for meals later in the week. If you prefer thinner chili, add an extra can of tomato sauce. The green chiles are not hot and add a wonderful flavor, so don't be afraid to use them.

How much salt in Wick Fowler chili? ›

Wick Fowler Chili Kits
Nutrition Facts
% Daily Value *
How much fat is in Wick Fowler's 2 Alarm Chili Kit? Amount of fat in Wick Fowler's 2 Alarm Chili Kit: Total Fat 1.5g-
How much sodium is in Wick Fowler's 2 Alarm Chili Kit? Amount of sodium in Wick Fowler's 2 Alarm Chili Kit: Sodium 980mg41%
14 more rows

Are false alarms good? ›

Common causes

False alarms are caused by human or equipment errors that go unnoticed or unaddressed. When they occur, the time and effort of emergency responders are wasted, which could lead to fines and other costly penalties.

Is false alarm same as fire drill? ›

A false fire alarm is an alarm signal from a fire detection or fire alarm system which is not caused by a fire. This is not the same as a fire drill or fire test; as a false fire alarm is not planned or scheduled.

What is the best chili mix? ›

Chili Mix
  • Williams Chili Seasoning Mix 18 oz. ...
  • Original Six Gun Chili Mixin's Spice Mix, 4 Ounces, Pack of 2. ...
  • Williams Chili Seasoning Mix 18 oz 2 pack. ...
  • Lawry's Chili Spices & Seasonings Mix, 1.48 oz (Pack of 12) ...
  • Gold Star Cincinnati Style Original Chili Seasoning. (

Where is Wick Fowler from? ›

Journalist and chili enthusiast Wick Fowler (1909-1972) was born Homer Thomas Wilson Fowler in Big Sandy, Texas and grew up in Victoria, Texas.

Is Cincinnati chili actually chili? ›

Cincinnati chili is a Mediterranean-spiced meat sauce for spaghetti or hot dogs, and is very seldom eaten by the bowl as is typical with chili con carne.

How many carbs are in Wick Fowler chili? ›

Wick Fowler's 2 Alarm Chili Kit (3 tbsp) contains 10g total carbs, 10g net carbs, 1.5g fat, 2g protein, and 60 calories.

What pepper is best for keto? ›

Red, orange, and yellow bell peppers are awesome for adding much-needed vitamins to your keto diet, and satisfy a desire for crunch without the carbs of most snack foods,” such as potato chips, crackers, pretzels, and cookies, Fear says.

What color bell pepper is best for keto? ›

Are green bell peppers keto? These are the most keto-friendly peppers with only 2.9g of net carbs per 100g. If you're looking to cut carbs, then opting for green peppers is the way to go. This is useful if you're trying to save money as well since green bell peppers are a lot cheaper!

What are the ingredients in light chili powder? ›

McCormick® Culinary® Light Chili Powder is made of chili pepper, salt, cumin, garlic, and oregano with an earthy flavor and mild heat.

What does a chili brick have in it? ›

A chili brick is a block of chili con carne made of finely ground beef and various peppers and spices. You can usually find it at most grocery stores in the refrigerated or freezer section.

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