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Today's Case

Lynn Wilson Brick Chili

Subject: Lynn Wilson's Brick Chili
From: Pat
Date: 12/24/2020, 11:21 AM

On 12/23/2020 5:49 PM, Pat wrote:

I grew up with Lynn Wilson's Chili (Utah). Dee's Hamburger Drive-Ins used it, 
snack bars at a large variety of entertainment venues served it and my mom 
used to buy the frozen gallon containers of it and ship it to me in California 
(packed in dry ice). I know that the company was bought by Resers (soooo sad).  
Do you know if there are any copycat recipes for that chili?  It was relatively 
mild and my sensitive stomach tolerated it well.

Thank you for any help you can offer.

Nampa ID  

Hi Pat,

I haven't seen any brick chili in years. As a teenager, I worked at a fast-food restaurant similar to McDonald's where we used frozen brick chili on the hot dogs (Can't recall the brand, but it was very good.)

As you say, Lynn Wilson Products was sold to Reser's Fine Foods in 2002. At the time, Reser's said they would continue the brand and product line, but I cannot find any verification that the Lynn Wilson line was continued after 2002. That doesn't mean that it wasn't, just that there is nothing about it on the web. Reser's has a website at: Reser's Fine Foods.  They list all of their product lines and brand names on that site, but Lynn Wilson's is not among them, and Reser's apparently does not sell brick chili at all now.

I was not able to find a recipe or a copycat or even a recommendation of a chili or brick chili that "tastes-like" Lynn Wilson's.

Have you tried the brands of brick chili that are available currently? Two that are recommended are "Dolores" and "Schwab's," which you can get at Walmart. Another brand is "XLNT", which you can get at Albertson's Supermarket. There is also one called "Texas Chili", but that one is probably not mild. See these sites:

Dolores Chili Brick


Schwab's Brick Chili

XLNT Brick Chili

Texas Chili

Although I was not able to find a recipe for brick chili that was described as tasting like Lynn Wilson's, I did find some recipes for homemade brick chili. The advantage with these is that you can regulate the spiciness yourself. See these recipes:

Brick Chili 1

Brick Chili 2

Brick Chili 3

I will post this for reader input.


On 3/24/2021 12:46 AM, Douglass wrote:

Lynn Wilson's Brick Chili

 I've been doing a little digging. It appears that Lynn Wilson's chili still survives 
in the Dee's Family Restaurant chain in Salt Lake City. It has been close to 40 years 
since Lynn Wilson Foods discontinued frozen chili bricks. However, that apparently 
didn't spell the end of Lynn Wilson's chili.

 Dee's Hamburger Drive-Ins and Dee's Family Restaurants used Lynn Wilson chili bricks 
to prepare their chili from the 1950s on. They served it in bowls, on chili dogs and 
on chili burgers throughout the time Lynn Wilson Foods made it. It appears they 
continued with a Lynn Wilson chili until Dee's sold its hamburger chain to Hardees in 
1979. I recall having chili since the 1960s at Dee's drive-ins until they closed, and 
in the Family Restaurants until the present. I haven't noticed any change in the taste 
of the chili.

 I dropped in at the Dee's restaurant at 2100 South Redwood Road in Salt Lake and 
ordered their chili burger just to make sure. It tasted the same as always. According 
to the people at that location, they have been putting the same chili on their open 
face chili burger since the restaurant opened in the 1950s. That suggests they somehow 
got the recipe from Wilson Foods after the chili brick was discontinued. They don't 
serve bowls of chili any more nor chili dogs. They still serve it on their open face 
chili burgers.

 The chili at Dee's is mild, thick and bright red. It tastes like typical old time 
Mormon chili without the typical beans in Mormon chili. They won't give out the 
recipe. However, they don't mind telling you what's in it. They just don't give the 
proportions or how it's prepared.

 It contains ground beef, onion, garlic, tomato sauce, paprika, chili powder, cumin, 
salt, black pepper, and a bay leaf.

 Best Wishes,

Subject: My Lynn Wilson's Chili request from 2020
From: Pat
Date: 10/30/2022, 4:12 PM
To: "" 

I don't know if I ever thanked you for your efforts on my behalf. I happened across 
your site again today and saw a response from 2021 (I would like to thank that person 
but I couldn't find a way to do it on your site).

During the pandemic years, I tried several times to find the chili and learned that 
there's a three-restaurant chain in Utah called Dee's Family Restaurants (which were 
part of or related to the Dee's Hamburger Drive-Ins who were Lynn Wilson Chili customers) 
and those three restaurants still use the chili (either they got/kept the recipe or 
made a copy-cat version of it).  

Anyhow, since I'm not much of a from-scratch cook and because I'm a wuss when it comes 
to spicy stuff, I thought I'd play around with familiar items on the grocery store 
shelves and actually created a reasonable facsimile of the Lynn Wilson chili.  Here's 
what I used in case anyone wants to play around with or try it -
1 can of Nalley's Cheese Chili
1 can (individual serving) of Wolf's Beanless Chili
1 can (small) of Great Value (Walmart's brand) beanless hot dog chili sauce
1 t (or thereabouts) of Lea and Perrin's Worcestershire sauce
1/2 C (more or less) of sharp cheddar cheese

Put all of the above ingredients above in a medium saucepan and heat until the cheddar 
cheese is melted.  Spoon a portion into a bowl and top with 1 (or 2) slice(s) of Kraft 
American Cheese.  Heat in the microwave until the American Cheese is melted and stir 
it gently into the chili.
Back in the day, many folks used to eat the chili over a tamale or a meat pie (a Utah 
product very similar to a Scottish pie) but I preferred it just as it was.

Thanks, again, for your help.  Hope you and yours have a very nice holiday season.

Nampa, ID

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