Tri-Tip Chili Cheeseburger

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A Chili Cheeseburger is the ultimate in over the top meaty eats. To take these burgers to an even higher level of awesome, I topped them with my glorious smoky tri-tip chili. We’re talking layers of tasty indulgence, perfect for a weekend cookout or tailgating with your crew. Full mouths, messy hands, can’t lose.

Tri Tip Chili Cheeseburger on a wooden cutting board.
To be completely honest with you, I could just eat the chili by the bowlful and be a happy little camper. I think a good chili cheeseburger needs a chili that can stand on its’ own. That way the burger just adds that extra layer of mmmmmmm (and cheese) to bring everything together. This chili is loaded with layers of flavor. From the homemade South of the Border Spice Rub, to the smoky meats and veggies, this chili packs a punch on every level. Spooned on top of a juicy chuck roast patty with some sour cream to tie it all together and we are good to go. Just have lots of napkins on hand.

top view of burger and a pot of chili.
This epic Tri-Tip Chili Cheeseburger comes to you today as a celebration of National Cheeseburger Day!! You know I couldn’t let a holiday like that pass me by! I hooked up with a bunch of my favorite burger lovin’ blog buddies to bring you all cheeseburgers all day. Check out their tasty cheeseburger day contributions, grill up something amazing tonight, and tag me in your meaty conquests on Instagram!!

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Tri Tip Chili Cheeseburgers

By: Susie Bulloch
0 from 0 votes
Chili Cheeseburgers are the ultimate in over the top meaty eats. To take these burgers to an even higher level of awesome, I topped them with my glorious smoky tri-tip chili.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time6 hours
Total Time6 hours 20 minutes
Servings4 people



  • 1 2-3 pound tri tip roast
  • 1 large sweet onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 14 oz can pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 14 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste

South of the Border Spice Rub

  • 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

For the Burger Patties

  • 2 pounds 80/20 ground chuck
  • 4 or 8 hamburger buns 4 if you're building double stacked burgers, 8 for singles
  • 8 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • sour cream as garnish


  • 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.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the South of the Border Rub. Sprinkle the rub on all sides of the tri tip. Reserve about a tablespoon of the rub to season the burgers later and sprinkle any remaining rub over the vegetables on the sheet pan.
  • Set the baking pan on the grate of your smoker, close the lid and smoke at 225 for about two hours.
  • When your tri tip and vegetables are almost done smoking, prepare the base of your chili. Pour the tomatoes, beef broth, and beans into a large pot. Remove the vegetables and meat from the grill. Carefully pour the vegetables into the pot. Slice the tri tip into small pieces and stir that into the chili pot as well. Finally, stir in the tomato paste. Cover and simmer over very low heat for 2 more hours. This time simmering is crucial to a chili that is well balanced and tri tip that will melt in your mouth. Stir the pot regularly while simmering to prevent burning. You can also do this step in a crock pot on low heat.
  • When you're about ready to eat, it's time to make the cheeseburgers! Preheat your grill to high heat (400-450 degrees F). Form your ground chuck into 8 1/4 pound patties. Season the patties with the reserved South of the Border Rub and place on the grill.
  • Grill the patties until they are 160 degrees F, add the sharp cheddar, and cook until nice and melty. Stack the patties on toasted hamburger buns, pour on a ladle full of the tri tip chili, and a spoonful of cool sour cream. Serve with lots of napkins and enjoy!!


Calories: 1806kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 139g | Fat: 100g | Saturated Fat: 40g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 41g | Trans Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 438mg | Sodium: 3041mg | Potassium: 2367mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 2712IU | Vitamin C: 71mg | Calcium: 766mg | Iron: 16mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Susie is the BBQ Brain behind the Hey Grill Hey website. Her passion for smoked meats and developing fun, new recipes have landed her on the Food Network, cooking turkeys with Shaq, and on a couple of Guinness World Records. When she’s not grilling, she is hanging out with Todd and their three kids, preferably outdoors!

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2 Reviews

  1. John Johnson says:

    Susie, you rock.

  2. says:

    Now that’s a cheeseburger! Holy cow! (pun intended)