James Coney Island Chili

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 45 mins

James Coney Island is a famous hotdog restaurant here in Texas. My family loves their hotdogs and chili, so I found this recipe at copykat.com to try and re-create their chili at home. While I don't think it is the exact recipe, I do think it comes pretty close!

Ingredients Nutrition

  • Chili Ingredients

  • 2 12 lbs chuck steaks (tenderized and diced finely)
  • 2 (10 1/2 ounce) cans beef broth
  • 5 14 cans water
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cans whole tomatoes, with the juice (food process,strain seeds and pulp, measure two cups for Chili, save remainder for another recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 5 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 34 teaspoon season salt
  • 14 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 14 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 12 teaspoon msg (optional)
  • Thickening Agent

  • 5 tablespoons saltine crumbs (finely ground)
  • 4 tablespoons mesa flour
  • 1 -1 14 cup water (use enough water with dry ingredients to mix into a medium thick, smooth sauce)


  1. Brown meat in a dutch oven.
  2. Add remaining ingredients for chili.
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Combine ingredients for thickening agent and add to chili.
  5. Cook until thickened.


Most Helpful

We made this on July 4th---it was great! James Coney Island is one of our favorite fast food restaurants in Houston and we were pleased to find this recipe. We put the meat in the food processor and used regular flour as was suggested by reviewers. I think that the grinding of the steak makes a big difference in the taste and is worth the little extra effort. Thanks for posting!

babytoothdoc July 06, 2014

Great recipe. Followed it exactly with the exception of the masa flour. I substituted cornmeal for the masa and it provided the right texture and the taste was spot on. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.

neenie bennett October 21, 2008

This recipe is great! However, there are a couple of problems I had; Mainly, the cooking time. If you're going to use diced steak (Which you should!), it needs to cook WAY longer than 30 minutes. More like two hours, possible three. The thing about JCI's chili is that it's made with cubed meat that's been cooked until it falls apart, but there's still a bigger chunk here or there. 30 minutes simply doesn't cut it for that. The only other problem I had was the masa flour; It makes it taste a little strange, as mentioned in another review. Thankfully I only made a test batch with the masa, so I used regular flour in the real batch. Worked like a charm, no funky taste.

Leonas August 01, 2008

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a