Updated: Dec 7, 2021
Recipe or Technique?
Over the Top Chili is 100% a technique and is extremely simple. It is simply the technique of smoking meat over the chili sauce that you have created. Once the meat is cooked, simply pull apart, crumble, or cut up the meat to be placed in the chili sauce to finish cooking at a low temperature. This near effortless technique will render an amazing smoke kissed chili that everyone will enjoy.
Below you will find our technique and we stress that you can use any meat that you desire over top of the chili. We have used this technique with ground sausage, pork shoulder, and the flat of a brisket. Just ensure that you are cooking the meat thoroughly and maintaining moisture in the chili sauce.
What You'll Need:
Smoker or Charcoal Grill (using indirect heat method)
Dutch oven or casserole dish that can be used in a smoker/grill
Cooking grate that sits on the Dutch Oven
1 pkg. Smoked Bros Chili Mix
2-2.5 lbs Meat
**(for this example we used 80/20 ground beef)
11 oz Tomato Juice.
1/2 cup Chopped Onions
2 x 14.5oz cans Diced Tomatoes
2 x 15oz cans Chili Beans
*Additional Flavor Options:
Peppers of choice, garlic, different beans, shredded cheese, and sour cream.
**Technical Note: Don't just use charcoal! We like the strong aroma from hickory in chili. If this isn’t to your liking, you can use cherry or apple wood chunks.
1. Pre-heat your smoker to 225°F. Get it stable at this maximum temperature before continuing.
2. In a bowl, mix 2 tbsp of Light Strike into the ground beef until it is fully combined. Pack the ground beef tightly into a ball.
3. Slice the onion into bite sized chunks. Drain the cans of beans only. Combine 1 pkg. Smoked Bros Chili Mix , 11 oz tomato juice, 1/2 cup chopped onions, 2 x 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes, and 2 x 15 oz cans chili beans in to your dutch oven. Place dutch oven in the smoker.
4. Put the ball of ground beef on the grate. Close the smoker's lid and cook until the internal temperature of the meat is at 140°F. This takes approximately 3 hours.
5. Transfer the ground beed to a clean cutting board, break/crumble the ball into small bite sized chunks. Add the meat chunks into the chili, stirring with a clean spatula. At this stage the chili may have dried a little, if it has add a little more water or tomato juice. We normally need to do this to ensure we render approximately one gallon of chili.
6. Cook the combined meat and sauce for another 1-2 hours at 225°F, stirring occasionally. At the end, skim off any fat that has accumulated on the surface of the chili or you can stir it in for flavor. We have done both with great results.
7. Serve with any of cornbread, sour cream, cheese or tortilla chips.
For a more intense flavor experience … Let the chili rest for at least an hour. Put a lid on the Dutch oven, let it cool down, wrap it in kitchen foil and store it in the fridge. The smokey aromas from the cooking vessel infuse into the chili even more over the next couple of hours.
**Technical Note: Use aluminum foil on the outside of the dutch oven or casserole dish to reduce tarnishing from the smoking. For a “traditional” cast iron Dutch oven this isn’t necessary, however for enameled products this is a great step to take.
Smoked Bros is a SOF veteran-owned spices & seasoning company serving craft flavors to people who love the All-America past time of BBQ. We develop our kinetic flavor profiles with the same surgical precision as our military missions, defending the greatest country on the planet. Visit our store to shop for apparel and spices!