I don’t know the exact Scoville heat factor for my chili. I know it’s freaking hot. This, ironically, is how the name Diablo Scorpion came about. It burns like hell going in and has a pretty wicked sting coming out as well. Why people like it is beyond me, but they do. I make chili year round, at least once a month, if not more because of the holidays. It’s my wife’s favorite dish that I make. She would eat it all the time if I would make it. These days, I have become smarter. I make roughly 3 gallons of chili at a time. She has a meal of it the first day, we keep out another meals worth in the fridge, and then I freeze the rest in two serving size bowls for her to pull out and heat up at her leisure. I have been making this version of my chili for about 25 years. I make others, inspired in part where I have lived in the past and the flavor influences of that region of the world.

So, what makes it hot? The ingredients, the slow simmering of the flavors, and the fact (my opinion) that I grow most of my ingredients and I have my own chili powder blend that I have mastered over the years. I will pass on the chili powder mix when I am unable to cook someday. The rest I am going to give to you as my way of giving back to so many people that have helped me over the years with great dish and meal ideas. It’s funny, I enter quite a few chili cook offs here locally in the Houston area. I have won a few over the years, but not all. I do get quite a few placements just for heat. The heat will numb your teeth, gums, tongue, inside of your mouth, and your throat within the first two bites, and then you can enjoy the flavor. So, if you don’t mind sweating while you eat, this is the perfect chili for you. I must give one absolute warning that always must be adhered to. Never, under any circumstances, get this chili in, near, or around your eyes because it has about the same effect as U.S. Military Grade Pepper Spray. As a personal warning, I do not recommend breathing, burping, farting, or any other expellation of gases in or around any open flame source.

So, you want to make my chili? First you will need the ingredients. As mentioned, almost everything I use is homegrown and fresh off the bush. Grown in my garden are Jalapeno Peppers, Serrano Peppers, Habanero Peppers, Tomatoes, Green Chiles, and Mushrooms. However, if you cannot provide fresh, I guess store bought or even canned/jarred will work also. Gives me the shudders just thinking that my chili would be made from a can. So, the ingredients list first, and then I will give instruction on preparation and cooking. This recipe is based on about a 3 gallon yield, so you might have to scale the portions if needed. For those of you who cook, there should be no problem.

Diablo Scorpion Chili

4 cup Jose Cuervo Silver Tequila
5 lbs Lean Ground Beef
2 cup Jalapeno Peppers, sliced and chopped
2 cup Serrano Peppers, sliced and chopped
½ cup Ghost Peppers, chopped finely
½ cup Habanero Peppers, chopped finely
2 cup Green Chile Peppers, chopped finely
2 cup Mushrooms, sliced (optional)
2 cup Black Olives, sliced (optional)
2 cup Green Olives, sliced (optional)
3 can Red Kidney Beans (optional)
6 lrg Tomatoes diced to preference
¼ cup Tabasco Sauce (pick your own flavor, I use the Original)
¼ cup Salt
¼ cup Pepper (I use white ground)
3 cup Chili dry mix (my secret, see below for alternate dry ingredients that will be substituted)
5 pkg Chili Mix (found in the store with the gravy)
1 tbs Onion Powder (or Onion Salt)
1 tbs Garlic Powder (or Garlic Salt) 1 tbs Lemon and Herb mix spice
½ cup Chili Powder
½ cup Granulated Sugar (optional) (see note)
8 cup Water (tap or bottled, your choice) (add or decrease based on thickness desired.)
Note: You can add about 1/2 cup of sugar also, if you want, it helps take off some of the edge without messing up the flavor or making it sweet.


Chop/ slice/ dice everything that needs to have it done, be sure to keep all juices, seeds, and skins with it. Drain and rinse beans.

Brown ground beef, add in 2 cups of tequila, jalapeno peppers, Serrano peppers, Habanero peppers, and chiles. When ground beef is browned, do not drain.

Add everything else including the other two cups of tequila Use the amount of water you wish to get your desired thickness. Chili mix will thicken some as it cooks and blends under heat. Bring the entire chili mixture to a boil, stirring lightly. Let boil ten minutes then turn down the heat, cover, and let it simmer to stew and meld all the ingredients (stirring on occassion) for 1 ½ to 2 hours for best flavor results.

And now you have Diablo Scorpion Chili, enjoy.