Form beef into patties, season with salt, onion powder, and black pepper.
Heat skillet on medium high, cook the patties until done, then crumble. (see notes)
Add the meat to the slow cooker.
Making the Chili
Add all the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker, stir well.
Cover, set to LOW for 8 hours. Do not open lid during cooking time.
Once done, stir and ladle into bowls
Top with onions, cheese, and saltine crackers.
At Wendy's they use chopped up hamburgers, so the meat is bigger and chunkier, so that's what I did, I shaped my hamburger into 4 patties, sprinkled with salt, onion powder, and lots of black pepper, and cooked them on the stove top. Then chopped them up, and threw into the slow cooker. Or you can brown the meat like normal by breaking up as you cook it.I buy the little white paper bowls from a restaurant supply store (Cash and Carry), not good for the environment, but great for taking to work!