WTF is a Garbage Plate?

WTF is a Garbage Plate?

Nestled in the heart of America's industrious Rust Belt lies a culinary tradition as robust and hearty as the folks who call it home. We're talking about Rust Belt-style chili, a no-nonsense, flavor-packed powerhouse that has been warming souls and winning hearts long before fancy chili trends hit the scene.

The Birth of a Classic

It all started with Cincinnati's Skyline-style chili, a unique concoction courtesy of Greek immigrants who knew a thing or two about melding spices. This culinary marvel became a staple, blending sweet and spicy seasoning with classic American heartiness. Meanwhile, in Western New York, Nick Tahou put a local spin on things, creating the legendary Rochester meat hot sauce, a key component of the infamous "garbage plate." This wasn't just food; it was a declaration of resilience and ingenuity.


Why Rust Belt Chili Reigns Supreme

Rust Belt-style chili sauce is the unsung hero of the chili world. It’s straightforward, honest, and unpretentious, yet brimming with bold, hearty confidence. It’s the kind of chili that doesn't need to brag; it just knows it's good. Like the steelworkers and auto workers who define the region, this chili is all about hard work and great results.


What sets Rust Belt-style chili apart is its versatility. Sure, it's the soulmate of hot dogs and burgers, but its true genius lies in its ability to elevate just about any dish. Enter the "garbage plate" – a Western NY phenomenon that's exactly what it sounds like: a glorious mishmash of meat, potatoes, beans, and whatever else your heart desires, all united by that signature chili sauce. It's messy, it's indulgent, and it's absolutely delicious. So, let's make a plate


  • Meat Hot Sauce:
  • Potatoes:
    • 4 large potatoes, cubed for home fries
    • Oil for frying
  • Protein:
    • 4 hamburger patties or 8 hot dogs (yes, we're serious)
  • Additional Fixings:
    • 1 cup yellow mustard
    • 1 cup diced onions
    • 2 cups baked beans
    • 4 cups macaroni salad


  1. Meat Hot Sauce:

    • Over medium-high heat brown one pound of ground meat (beef, venison, etc.) & chop it up as much as possible with a wooden spoon. Mix in an entire pouch of POUNDER Rust Belt chili seasoning mix.
    • Pour in a full 16oz American Lager style beer and turn the burner down to low and simmer until it reaches your desired consistency, approximately 10-20 minutes.
  2. Potatoes:

    • Fry your potato choice until golden brown and crispy. Season with salt or some "Assault & Pepper" for an additional kick in the ass.
  3. Protein:

    • Grill or pan sear your hamburger patties or hot dogs until perfectly cooked. Add cheese if you're down to clown.
  4. Assembly:

    • Start with a base layer of your crispy potatoes.
    • Add a scoop of macaroni salad and baked beans side by side.
    • Place your protein choice on top.
    • Generously ladle the meat hot sauce over the entire plate.
    • Finish with a sprinkle of raw onions and a zigzag of yellow mustard across the top.
    • Crack a Genny Red Eye...


Bringing It Home

Inspired to try this culinary icon in your own kitchen? Grab a bag of POUNDER seasoning, our tribute to Rust Belt-style chili and meat sauce. It's your ticket to authentic, robust flavor that's perfect for your next backyard bash. Whether you're a born-and-bred Rust Belter or just a fan of damn good food, Pounder will make you a believer in the power of great chili.

So here's to Rust Belt-style chili and meat sauce — a humble hero born from the heart of America's industrial landscape. It's good, honest food for good, honest people. And just like the Rust Belt itself, it's tough to beat.