Instafire Dutch Oven Chili

Because we know hunting season is coming around the corner, not to mention Halloween which is one of our ABSOLUTE FAVORITE HOLIDAYS, we have opened up the belly warming, time saving, dutch oven cookin’ book to share one of our favorite easy fall recipes with you. And nothing screams hearty, meaty, piping hot goodness more than Dutch Oven Chili (especially when it’s made with the ease of Instafire). The best part about this recipe is how quick and easy it really is. There is virtually no prep time and minimal ingredients which makes it ideal for outdoor cooking on the fly (so much less to pack!). The best part of all is how delicious and full of flavor this fall favorite is. So without further ado here it is!

Instafire’s Dutch Oven Chili  

Serves 8


In the dutch oven

  • About a tablespoon of any cooking oil (Olive Oil is our favorite)
  • 1 lb ground meat (We say “meat” because we know that there are hunters out there looking for a great use of their Venison or Elk meat. But regular old ground beef, turkey, chicken etc. works for those of us still waiting to fill our tags.
  • ½ of a medium diced yellow onion
  • 1 packet of chili seasoning (as spicy as you’d like)
  • 3 cans (45 oz. total) chili beans with sauce
  • 2 cans (32 oz. total) light red kidney beans
  • 1 large can (28 oz. total) diced tomatoes
  • 2 small cans (20 oz. total) Rotel (as spicy as you’d like!)


Add at the end

  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Green Onion
  • Sliced Sourdough Bread


  1. Place your charcoal starter bag on a wrought iron (or generally fire proof) surface ensuring that the fire starter within is evenly distributed throughout the bag.
  1. Touch a flame to 2 sides of the bag and allow the flame to take hold.
  1. Without smothering the flame place a volcano loaded with about 20 pieces of charcoal on top and wait until the charcoal turns white.

  1. Taking care not to graze the sides of your volcano with your hand lift your charcoal up and dump it out onto your cooking surface.
  1. Place your dutch oven over the charcoal briquettes leaving several exposed (so we can grab them later).
Now we’re Cookin’!
  1. Add your oil and completely coat the bottom and lower sides of your dutch oven.
  1. Add your ground meat and allow it to brown stirring somewhat regularly to ensure it doesn’t burn or stick.
  1. Add your chopped onion (We like our onion to have a little crunch but otherwise allow it to cook a while until it’s translucent).
  1. Add your chili seasoning and stir well making sure to completely coat your meat.
Now we are on to the easiest part of all
  1. Add chili beans, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, and Rotel and mix them until they are fully combined.
  1. Now place the dutch oven’s lid on. With tongs position about 10 white hot briquettes around the top edge of the lid.

  1. Set your timer for 30 minutes and let your mouth water!
After the timer chimes remove the lid carefully using a lid lifter and serve hot. Garnish with cheese, sour cream, green onion, and sourdough if you have them on hand otherwise garnish however you’d like.
Now it's time to sit back and enjoy all the work you didn't have to do to make this awesome, hearty, autumn meal!

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How to Light a Fire in the Wind! (Featuring Chief)

Hey again guys! Creating a fire in non ideal situations can be a literal life saver for you and your family. That’s why we’ve invited our friend Chief, a real live, red blooded, mountain man, to teach everyone the best way to ensure that you and your loved ones are prepared to survive in the windiest of conditions. So without further ado, here he is…

How to Start Charcoal Using a Charcoal Chimney Starter

How to Start Charcoal Using a Charcoal Chimney Starter

There are many ways to start charcoal and there are also many apparatuses for starting charcoal.  Today I want to focus on the charcoal chimney.  The charcoal chimney is a round cylindrical unit that looks almost like a coffee can with a handle on it.  In the bottom of a charcoal chimney is a grate or another piece of metal with holes in the bottom of it.  The idea is to place your charcoal into the round cylindrical unit on top of the grate. 


A fire is then lit underneath said grate and it burns in order to ignite the charcoal that is on top of the grate in the charcoal chimney.  Most people including the manufacturers of the charcoal chimneys will tell you to use a sheet of newspaper or paper towels to set on fire and place the charcoal chimney over the top of the fire. 



The problem with setting a newspaper on fire or setting a paper towel on fire is that if there is any sort of breeze when you go to dump the coals the ash will blow all over the backyard or anywhere where you happen to be trying to light charcoals on fire.  What I would recommend for starting charcoals with a charcoal chimney is InstaFire brand charcoal starter.  The InstaFire brand charcoal starter, lights with ease, Burns for over 15 minutes, and Burns hot enough to get any charcoal briquette to light. 


To use the InstaFire brand charcoal starter, there are several configurations that you could use.  One configuration is the Cellulose pouch the Cellulose pouch is comprised from corn sugar and wood pulp.  The pouch is designed to be burned, igniting the InstaFire inside.  The burn time of the Cellulose pouch, is about 15 minutes.  When using the Cellulose pouch, I would recommend setting the pouch on a non-burnable surface such as concrete, or a steel table.  Light both sides of the burnable pouch with a match or lighter, then waiting for about 20 seconds or until the pouch opens like a flower.  The Cellulose pouch, when lit on both sides, burns across the front of the pouch will meet the middle, and then open similar to a flower exposing the fresh product inside burning for 15 minutes.  After the pouch has opened exposing the fresh product and the pouch is fully engulfed in flames, place the charcoal chimney that is filled with your desired amount of charcoal right over the flame.  After 3 to 5 minutes, lift the charcoal chimney into the air slightly, and using the bottom edge of the charcoal chimney, scratch the top of the surface of the InstaFire that is burning.  This will expose fresh new product and continue to burn.  Return the charcoal chimney over the top of the flame and in 3 to 5 minutes repeat the process. 
Another configuration is the bulk bucket.  InstaFire brand charcoal starter comes in a 2 gallon bucket.  When using the bulk product, I would recommend scooping out a half cup of product and place on a non-burnable surface such as concrete or a steel table.  When lighting the bulk product it is important to remember to use a match or lighter and touch the rock part of InstaFire.  Do not try to light the wood pellets as that will take forever.  After the product is lit and on fire you do not have to wait, simply place the charcoal chimney right over the flame.  In 3 to 5 minutes lift the charcoal chimney slightly and with the bottom edge scrape along the top of the pile of InstaFire.  This will expose fresh new product and the fire will continue to burn.  Place the chimney over the fire and repeat the process every 3 to 5 minutes.  
Whether you use the Cellulose pouch or the bulk product in 10 minutes your coals will be red hot, glowing, and ready to use.  Whether you’re cooking with the Dutch oven, grilling on the backyard grill, or trying to smoke a fresh turkey, InstaFire truly is the best way to get your charcoals going with no harmful chemicals.  In my next segment, I will discuss the properties of InstaFire, and what makes it so safe to use when lighting charcoal. 
Until next time, this is Frank Weston reminding you that all good fires start with InstaFire.

Making the Perfect Campfire! (Featuring Chief)

Making the Perfect Campfire!

Hey guys! Whether you are lost in the wilderness or just ready to roast some mallows knowing how to make the perfect campfire is a necessity for everyone. That’s why we here at Instafire have invited our friend Chief, a real live, red blooded, mountain man, to teach everyone the best way to make sure every fire you try to start can be downright perfection. So without further ado, here he is…
(we cannot be held accountable for his wild mountain nature)

2014 Best of Riverdale Award

We are so honored to have been awarded with the 2014 Best of Riverdale Award by the Riverdale Award Program on November 25th in the Camping Store category.

Check out the press release here! -

InstaFire receives 2015 Michigan Excellence Award

We are honored to be recognized for the 2015 Michigan Excellence Award  by the US Commerce & Trade Research Institute (USCTRI).

February 12th 2015 -  InstaFire has been selected for the 2015 Michigan Excellence Award amongst all its peers and competitors by the US Commerce & Trade Research Institute (USCTRI).

Each year the USCTRI conducts business surveys and industry research to identify companies that have achieved demonstrable success in their local business environment and industry category. They are recognized as having enhanced the commitment and contribution of small businesses through service to their customers and community. Small businesses of this caliber enhance the consumer driven stature that Michigan is renowned for.

InstaFire has consistently demonstrated a high regard for upholding business ethics and company values. This recognition by USCTRI marks a significant achievement as an emerging leader within various competitors and is setting benchmarks that the industry should follow.

As part of the industry research and business surveys, various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the selected companies in each category. This research is part of an exhaustive process that encapsulates a year long immersion in the business climate of Michigan.


The USCTRI is a leading authority on researching, evaluating and recognizing companies across a wide spectrum of industries that meet its stringent standards of excellence. It has spearheaded the idea of independent enterprise and entrepreneurial growth allowing businesses of all sizes to be recognized locally and encouraged globally.

Particular emphasis is given to meeting and exceeding industry benchmarks for customer service, product quality and ethical practices. Industry leading standards and practices have been developed and implementation of the same has been pioneered by the dedicated efforts of the business community and commerce leadership.