Come on baby light my fire

I am making chili tonight.  Not just any chili, my champion chili.  This recipe has won two armature chili cook-offs and I am still working and reworking the recipe today.  This is how it stands currently:

Canned Goods:
1              can mushrooms (pieces and stems, drained)
1              can mushrooms (whole, drained)
1              can kidney beans (do not strain)
1              can black beans (do not strain)
2              cans dices tomatoes
1              can tomato paste

1lb          lean ground beef
1/2lb      bacon (finely diced)

6tbsp     chili powder
6tsp       onion salt
2tsp       basil
2tsp       garlic powder
2tsp       pepper
4-6tbsp maple syrup
1              chipotle pepper

Throw everything into a crock pot and cook on high for at least 5 hours.  Serve with garlic bread or cheese buns.

So yeah.  That is all there is to it.  The chipotle pepper was my most recent addition and it has such a good flavor.  Also I used to cook everything on the stove and it took about an hour.  The slow cooker is like a magic pot that makes the meat so good.  I don’t think I would ever go back to cooking it on the stove.  It really made a big difference.  Please try it out and let me know what you think.  Please offer ways I can improve it.  The whole concept of this chili is smokey-spicy.  I wouldn’t call it zesty or tangy.  Those aren’t the flavors I am going for.  Comment away!