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Tri Tip Chili Cheeseburgers

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
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Comfort Food
Keyword: Tri Tip Chili Cheeseburger
Servings: 4 people
Author: Susie Bulloch


  • 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