Do you know what's better than a bowl of chili? Smoked Chili! This easy Smoked Chili Recipe is hearty and chock full of flavor with just enough smoky twist to make it unforgettable! It'll warm you up on those cold winter days and satisfy your hunger any time of year - especially game days. Top off your bowl full of deliciousness by adding anything from avocado slices to shredded cheese.
Whether you're cooking in your backyard or on a camping trip, smoking your chili will give it an incredible depth of flavor! I took my classic chili recipe and put a spin on it to make this the best chili ever!
Smoking food is a great way to add flavor and complexity to any dish. Almost everything tastes better on the smoker, like Smoked Macaroni and Cheese. The smoky flavor will tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more.
This smoked chili is even better than classic chili because the smoke adds great flavor that you can't get with regular chili. The smokiness pairs well with the spicy, earthy flavors in the chili, and it's sure to please even your pickiest eaters.
I feel this is the best chili I have ever made. It is easy to make and can be tailored to your liking. You can use different types of meat, vegetables, or beans. You can also add other spices to give the chili a more complex flavor. Feel free to experiment with different ingredients to find the perfect smoked chili recipe for you.
This smoked chili recipe is the perfect meal for cold days. It's sure to warm you up and fill you up, too! So, if you're looking for a delicious and easy chili recipe, be sure to try this smoked version!
👩🏻🍳 More smoker recipes
- 👩🏻🍳 More smoker recipes
- ❓ Why smoke chili?
- ❤️ Why you will love this recipe
- 🧾 Ingredients
- 💨 How to make smoked chili
- 🧾 Substitutions
- 🍲 How to serve smoked chili
- 🥗 What side dishes to serve with chili
- 📖 Variations
- 🌡️ Storage
- 💭 Top tips for making this smoked chili recipe
- ❓ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- 🧾 More recipes to try
- 📋 Recipe
- 📑 Food safety
❓ Why smoke chili?
Now that I have smoked chili on the smoker, I think it is the perfect method to make it.
If you are looking for an extra kick in your dish, then smoking is the way to go! The delicious smoky flavor elevates the flavor profile.
The chili gets slow-cooked on the pellet grill, giving it lots of time for the flavors of the spices to meld together, making it even more delicious.
❤️ Why you will love this recipe
- This chili is FULL of flavor. Seriously, the flavor is OFF the charts. It is SO good!
- Smoking chili is a great way to use up any leftover meat you might have. You can use smoked chuck roast, leftover brisket, or smoked steak. Just dice it up into smaller pieces.
- The smoker does all the work. It is an almost set it and forget it recipe. Once the chili is on the electric smoker, all you need to do is give it a stir every once in a while to make sure it doesn't burn.
- Perfect any time of the year. This dish isn't just comfort food, it tastes just as good in the middle of summer as it does on a cold winter day.
- Leftovers taste even better the next day when the flavors have even more time to meld together.
Make this chili with these simple ingredients, easy to find at any grocery store.
- Lean ground beef.
- Olive oil.
- Large onion, diced.
- Garlic cloves, diced.
- Tomatoes. I used 1 jar of our own canned tomatoes. This equals about 2 cans of diced tomatoes.
- Chili powder. You can add more if you like it hot!
- Salt. I used sea salt.
- Paprika. I used regular paprika.
- Black pepper.
- Garlic powder.
- Onion powder.
- Canned beans. I used one can each of red kidney beans, romano beans, black beans, and chickpeas.
- Canned corn. I added canned kernel corn.
- Tomato sauce, optional. You can add a can of tomato sauce if you want your chili base to be thinner.
- Tomato paste, optional. If you add tomato sauce, you may want to add tomato paste to thicken up the chili.
See the recipe card for quantities.
💨 How to make smoked chili
This smoked chili recipe is simple to follow and easy to make. Let's get started!
First, in a large pot, skillet, or dutch oven on the stovetop, add olive oil and ground beef. Cook the meat over medium heat until browned. Add the onion and garlic to the beef and cook until no pink remains in the meat. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat into smaller pieces. Drain off any excess fat.
Add the canned tomatoes to the cooked meat mixture.
Sprinkle all of the spices on top of the chili mixture.
Add drained and rinsed beans to the meat mixture.
Add canned corn to the chili bean mixture.
Mix well. Cook for 5-10 minutes longer, until heated through.
Preheat the pellet grill to 225 degrees F.
Spread the chili evenly in a cast iron pot or disposable aluminum pan that will fit the smoker grill grate.
Smoke for at least 1 hour, and up to an additional hour for a total of 2 hours, depending on how strong you like the smoke flavor.
Serve immediately with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
- Ground beef. You could also use ground venison, ground turkey, ground chicken, ground pork, or chuck roast cut into small cubes. You could also use leftover smoked brisket or pulled pork.
- Olive oil. You can also use canola oil or avocado oil.
- Fresh onion. You can also use 4-½ tablespoons of dried onion flakes.
- Fresh garlic. You can also use 2 teaspoons minced garlic or 2 teaspoons garlic flakes.
- Tomatoes. You could also use 3 cups of chopped, peeled fresh tomatoes.
- Chili powder. You can also use fresh chilis if you like. If you have it, Ancho chili powder adds great flavor to this chili recipe.
- Garlic powder. You could also use 1 teaspoon granulated garlic or 2 teaspoons of garlic salt.
- Onion powder. You could also use 1 tablespoon of dried onion flakes.
- Salt. You could also use seasoning salt or regular table salt.
- Paprika. For even better flavor use smoked paprika.
- Black pepper. You could also use white pepper.
- Canned beans. Feel free to use other beans such as pinto beans. Use your favorite chili beans, or whatever you have on hand in your cupboard.
🍲 How to serve smoked chili
There are endless possibilities when it comes to serving chili.
- You can add shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream on top for a delicious and hearty meal.
- Chopped fresh cilantro or green onion is also a great addition.
- You can also top chili with chopped avocado and fresh tomatoes for a healthy and tasty option.
- One of my favorites is to serve with fresh grilled jalapeños, diced green onions, and shredded cheddar cheese.
- Serve the chili in a bread bowl for a fun and unique way!
HINT: After the chili is smoked, I like to keep it warm in the slow cooker on a cold day so that a big bowl of hearty chili is ready as soon as we come in out of the cold.
🥗 What side dishes to serve with chili
Some great side dishes that go with smoked chili are:
- Air buns
- Tortilla chips
- Garlic bread.
- Baked potatoes.
- Green salad
- Sweet potato fries
There are endless variations you can try with this smoked chili recipe. Some tasty options to try are:
- Spicy: To turn up the spice level on this chili, add more chili seasoning, or add some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. You could also add diced jalapeno peppers, red chili peppers, or a diced poblano pepper. You can also serve this chili with a dash of bottled hot sauce or tabasco sauce for more heat.
- Vegetables: Add some of your favorite vegetables to make this recipe even more hearty. I like to use bell peppers (either a green bell pepper or a red bell pepper), diced mushrooms, diced carrots, and diced celery.
- Spices to try: Chipotle powder, oregano, smoked paprika, ground cumin.
- Sweet: If you like your chili on the sweeter side, try adding a ½ cup of maple syrup, brown sugar, or honey.
- Richer flavor: To add even more flavor, try adding some cooked bacon or smoked sausage to the chili.
- Large pot, skillet, or dutch oven.
- Disposable aluminum pan or large cast iron skillet to place on the smoker.
- Smoker: Our smoker is a Pit Boss electric smoker.
If you have leftover smoked chili, you can:
Fridge: You can store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container, where it will keep for 3-4 days.
Freezer: You can freeze it in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
💭 Top tips for making this smoked chili recipe
- Use a disposable aluminum pan to make cleanup a breeze.
- Place the aluminum pan on a baking sheet and use that to carry the prepared chili outside to the pellet smoker.
- Make sure that the pellet grill is up to temperature before adding the chili, you don't want it to cool down.
- Be sure to stir chili frequently while smoking so that the flavor is distributed evenly through the whole dish.
- Use smoked paprika for even more flavor.
- This recipe will produce enough chili for 6 people, but can be easily doubled or tripled if you are feeding a crowd.
❓ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
This will depend on your personal preference, but hickory, mesquite, and Competition blend are all good choices.
The temperature for smoking chili in this recipe is 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can smoke chili on a pellet grill for as long as you like, but it will eventually reach a point where the flavor is too strong, and it will be inedible. On the other hand, if you want your chili smoky, you could smoke it for up to 3 hours. I would taste it occasionally, though, to make sure the flavor isn't getting too intense.
Of course! Simply leave out the ground meat and add extra beans if desired.
🧾 More recipes to try
If you're looking for a delicious and easy smoked chili recipe, then look no further! This recipe is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. Plus, it's really easy to make. All you need is a smoker and some basic ingredients. So, spice up your next BBQ with this smoked chili recipe!
I hope you enjoyed this recipe for Smoked Chili. If you try it out and like it, I would appreciate it if you could take a moment to leave a star rating below. Also, please leave a comment below saying how much you enjoyed it and what other types of recipes/ingredients would be interesting for me to write about in the future.
Easy Smoked Chili Recipe
- Electric Pellet Grill
- Large pot or skillet
- Disposable aluminum pan or large cast iron skillet
- 1½ pounds lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic diced
- 2 cans diced tomatoes, with liquid 796 mL, 28 oz
- 2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 can red kidney beans 540 mL, rinsed and drained
- 1 can romano beans 540 mL, rinsed and drained
- 1 can black beans 398 mL, rinsed and drained
- 1 can chickpeas (garbonzo beans) 393 mL, rinsed and drained
- 1 can corn 341 mL (12 oz)
- 1 can tomato sauce optional, 398 mL
- 1 can tomato paste optional, 156 mL
- Cook ground beef in olive oil in a large pot over medium heat with onion and garlic until the meat is browned. Drain off any excess fat.
- Add the spices, tomates, beans, and corn to the meat mixture. Mix well. Cook for 5-10 minutes longer, until heated through.
- Preheat the pellet grill to 225 degrees F.
- Spread the chili evenly in a cast iron pot or disposable aluminum pan that will fit the smoker grill grate. Smoke for at least 1 hour, and up to an additional hour for a total of 2 hours, depending on how strong you like the smoke flavor.
- Serve immediately with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
- Use a disposable aluminum pan to make cleanup a breeze.
- Place the aluminum pan on a baking sheet and use that to carry the chili outside to the pellet smoker.
- When smoking food, make sure that the smoker is up to temperature before adding the food.
- Be sure to stir chili frequently while smoking, so that the flavor is distributed evenly throughout the whole dish.
- Use smoked paprika for even better flavor.
- This recipe will produce enough chili for 6 people but can be easily doubled or tripled if you are feeding more.
📑 Food safety
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove