This Smoked Chili gets a hit of smoky flavor from grill-roasted meat and veggies and the fried jalapeno rings hit you with enough spice to make you sweat.
Smoked Beef Chili
The base of this chili recipe is a family favorite, but I have made a few tweaks to it to make it the best of the best. It’s a good, classic beef chili made with 80/20 ground beef, as well as smoked onions, peppers, and garlic.
Smoking the seasoned beef and vegetables prior to making the chili really infuses it with an additional layer of flavor. Everything becomes a little bit more rich and intense after spending that time on the grill in that swirling blue smoke. If you have a chili competition coming up, I highly recommend giving this one a go. The smoky flavor adds an element that all the other chilis made on the stovetop just can’t beat.
The final game-changer element in this chili is the crispy jalapeno rings. They don’t add too much heat to the chili since they are seeded prior to breading, but they add so much in terms of texture and flavor!
Honest truth: I could just make the jalapenos as a snack and eat them like candy. They are so unbelievably delicious. Toss them on this chili, and you will be happy food dancing all over your dang kitchen.
Spices for Smoked Chili
My unique and awesome blend of spices makes this chili savory with a good kick of heat. Here’s what you’ll need to have on hand before you dive in to making this chili:
- Sea Salt
- Smoked Paprika (Make sure you get the smoked variety. It makes all the difference!)
- Chili Powder
- Black Pepper
- Mexican Oregano
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Cayenne Pepper
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Now, this chili tends to come with a bit of a kick; it’s not a simply, mild chili. I like to call it my “smokin’ hot chili” because it really does have a hit of spice from the mix of seasonings. If you like things a bit more mild, cut the cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes in half. If you want even more heat, replace the diced green bell pepper with 2 diced jalapenos (seeds and all).
How to Make Smoked Chili
To make this chili, you need to have access to a grill that can get you to about 225 degrees with some great smoke. I used a simple charcoal grill with soaked apple wood chips to get a nice even heat and slow, steady smoke.
The key to this chili is smoking the meat and veggies first. The seasoned peppers, onions, garlic, and ground beef smoke for 1 hour to infuse them all with nice, smoky flavor.
Once the meat and vegetables are smoked, the chili is prepared like to would any other chili. Combine the beef broth, tomatoes, beans, meat, and veggies in a large pat and cook over medium heat. Simmer the chili for approximately 1 hour.
The final [key] element to making this chili a home run is the jalapeno rings. Slice jalapenos and toss them in flour, eggs, and panko breadcrumbs. Fry the coated jalapenos in hot cooking oil until they are crispy and golden brown. Top your chili with cheese, sour cream, and these fried jalapeno rings, and prepare yourself for an out-of-this-world chili experience!
What to Serve With Smoked Chili?
Congratulations! You’ve made a delicious pot of smoked chili! But what do you serve as side dishes (or desserts)? Whenever I think of chili, I think autumn. These other recipes combined with the smoked chili will make for a perfect fall dinner.
And for dessert, this should take the cake (er…I mean, pie?)
Smoked Chili Recipe
Follow the recipe below and let’s make something delicious! I’m all about helping you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a BBQ hero. If you want to see more of my recipes, tips, and behind the scenes action, follow along on my social channels. You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube!
- 1 ⅓ pounds ground beef (80/20)
- 1 large sweet onion (diced)
- 1 red bell pepper (seeded and diced)
- 1 green bell pepper
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 can pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
- sour cream (as garnish)
- shredded cheddar cheese (as garnish)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Fried Jalapeno Rings
- 4 cups vegetable oil
- 3 jalapenos (cored, seeded, and sliced into rings)
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- salt (to taste)
- Preheat your grill or smoker to 225 degrees with thin blue smoke from soaked wood chips or chunks.
- While your grill preheats, prepare your meat and vegetables for smoking. Lay a large piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Evenly spread the onions, peppers, and garlic across the foil and drizzle with the olive oil. Set an elevated cooling rack over the vegetables. Gently spread your ground beef into a large patty, about 1/2 inch thick, and set on the cooling rack.
- In a small bowl. combine all of the spices. Sprinkle liberally over both the vegetables and ground beef. Set the baking pan on the grate of your smoker, close the lid and smoke at 225 for about an hour.
- Heat a large pot over medium heat. Slowly transfer the vegetables and meat into the pot and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula, breaking up the meat into smaller pieces. Pour in the can of tomatoes, beef broth, and beans.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for an additional hour. Watch the liquid level and stir often to prevent anything from burning to the bottom. If you like your chili to be thicker, you can add 2 Tablespoons of tomato paste. If you like it thinner, you can add more beef broth.
- While the chili is simmering, you can prepare the fried jalapeno rings! Preheat your cooking oil to 375 degrees and set up your breading station.
- Place the flour, eggs, and panko breadcrumbs each in their own bowl. Begin by gently tossing the jalapeno rings in the flour, coating lightly. Then move from the flour to the eggs and stir to coat. Finally, transfer the rings from the eggs to the breadcrumbs and ensure all are coated entirely. From there, fry the jalapeno rings in the hot oil for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel to drain and season with salt.
- Once the chili has simmered and the jalapeno rings are fried, it is time to eat! Serve the chili with sour cream and cheddar cheese as a garnish and top with the fried jalapeno rings.