Smoked Brisket Chili

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This smoked brisket chili is a must-try if you have leftover brisket and basic chili components.

It’s not a spicy chili, but it has a lot of flavor layers from the smoke, spices, and garnishes. And who would have guessed that something with such a nuanced taste could be so easy to prepare?

I’m telling you, this chili is so fantastic that I’m considering smoking another brisket simply to cook it again!

The secret to this smoked brisket chili

Smoked Brisket Chili

Layers. The actual trick to falling in love with an unbelievably delicious bowl of chili, like with all love relationships, lies in its layers. And the flavors in this chili are complex.

The hard work is done by utilizing leftover smoked brisket, and we get a significant depth of flavor from the meat layer.

Add some crispy bacon, vegetables that have been sautéed till soft, seasonings, tomato sauce, and beans, and you’ve just reproduced that unbelievably wonderful bowl of chili.

I suggest simmering the chili for at least one hour. This enables the flavors to blend, and the result is definitely worth it.

Beans vs. no beans

Before you get all worked up about me putting beans in chili, feel free to leave them out.

I conducted a survey on our Instagram because I was interested, and I was pleased to see that 71% of all participants agreed that beans belong in chili.

I expected it to be closer to 50%, but I was pleasantly pleased!

Different locations have distinct chili styles. Most Texans, for example, would not contemplate including beans in their chili.I grew raised on the east coast in a household where beans only appeared in chili.

Beans are not just like tiny sponges that soak up the meaty taste, but they are also high in fiber, vitamins, and protein.

However, too much beans might cause the chili to dry out. I chose two 15-ounce cans of red kidney beans because they are filling, absorbent, and soften without becoming mushy.

Could I use other BBQ meat?

This chili is simple to make using various leftover meats. Because this is a smoked chili, you should use leftovers from the grill or smoker.

Pulled pig, smoked chicken, ground beef, or even sliced steak might all be used. A mixture would also be excellent.

If you’re going vegetarian, which we don’t encourage, sear the vegetables to add that extra smokey taste.


As previously said, chili is all about layers, and the toppings are the ultimate ones.

Everyone has their own likes, but I chose cheese, sour cream, jalapeos, and cilantro for my chili.

The shredded cheese melts well, and the sour cream lends a lovely acidic and creamy note.

The chili is quite low in terms of heat, thus the jalapeos bring it up to my level.If you require a lesser level of heat, consider pickled ones.

The cilantro garnish brightens the chili and contrasts with the strong smokey undertones.

Other wonderful topping alternatives include spicy sauce, sliced white onions, green onions, and experimenting with various varieties of cheese.

How to make smoked brisket chili

The best part about this recipe is that it just requires one pot, which means less cleaning! Make sure you have a large enough one; I used an 8-quart to ensure I had enough space.

Set your element to medium heat and sprinkle with some olive oil. Add the bacon and fry till it begins to crisp up. Stir it periodically to prevent it from burning.

After that, add the onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and garlic.

The vegetables will soften in 20-30 minutes, but make sure you take your time since you don’t want them crispy.

Seasoning and sliced brisket may be added after the veggies are tender. I used largely brisket from the flat but also some point meat. Both will work well, so use whatever you have left over.

Finally, combine the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and kidney beans in a mixing bowl. Allow the chili to get comfy in the saucepan as it simmers for an hour or longer. Just be sure to stir it sometimes so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.

If you want additional smoky taste, cook the chili on low in your smoker and let it develop even more. I like the stovetop version because the smokiness of the remaining brisket provides enough smoke without overwhelming the meal.

Serving Suggestions 

Serve with rice or noodles, although the chili is filling enough on its own.Cornbread or crispy corn chips might be a lovely addition.

I hope you enjoy it as much as our family does!

Looking for some more leftover inspiration?

  • 11 Leftover Beef Brisket Recipes
  • 16 Leftover Pulled Pork Recipes


What not to do when smoking a brisket?

12 Brisket Errors Cooking at the Wrong Temperature Should Be Avoided by Everyone.
Using the Incorrect Rub.
Not allotting (enough) time to smoke.
Brisket was not rested long enough.
Too many changes between chefs.
Before wrapping, just consider the time and temperature.
The Fat is being sprayed.
Smoking the meat too much or too little.

Does brisket get more tender the longer you smoke it?

Brisket is a tough cut of meat, thus the best way to cook it is low and slow: It becomes soft after a long, gradual cooking time.

Does smoking chili add flavor?

Smoking your chili will give it a tremendous depth of flavor, whether you’re cooking in your garden or on a camping trip! I tweaked my traditional chili recipe to make it the finest chili ever! Smoking food is an excellent technique to enhance the taste and complexity of any meal.

How to make smoked chopped brisket?

Brisket should be trimmed and seasoned. Smoke for 4-5 hours at 275°F using hickory wood. Place the brisket in an aluminum foil pan with the marinade, closely cover, and smoke for 3-4 hours longer, or until an internal temperature of 210F is reached. Remove the brisket from the smoker and shred it with the pan juices.

What is the 3 2 1 rule for brisket?

The numbers simply relate to 3 hours unwrapped in the smoker, 2 hours covered in foil, and 1 hour unwrapped at a little higher temperature.

What happens if you don’t trim brisket before smoking?

4 inch of fat means it keeps taste nicely when cooked.When the brisket is not trimmed, all of the fat remains on it. This indicates that the tougher, yellow fat is frequently present on the meat. Even if you prefer an untrimmed brisket, you should still remove this portion of fat, leaving just about 1 inch behind.

What is the secret to tender smoked brisket?

Before removing the brisket, internal temperatures should have reached at least 205 degrees. Smoking brisket for several hours at a low temperature breaks down the connective tissue in the meat, resulting in a more tender, delicious brisket.

How do you keep a smoked brisket juicy?

Moisture should be added.

You may gently sprinkle the brisket with water, spicy sauce, apple cider vinegar, or apple juice after two or four hours of cooking. Depending on your preferences, you may perform this every 30 minutes or every hour.

What is the secret to a tender brisket?

We roast our brisket at 250 degrees Fahrenheit (F) using Northwest cherry or apple wood. This temperature will cause the connective tissue to break down, rendering part of the intramuscular fat, preserving the softness and juicy taste.

What secret ingredient will deepen the flavor of your chili?

The greatest chili Booze (Beer, Wine, or Liquor) components…
Smoke in liquid form.
Vinegar or brine?
Sauce de Soja.
Sauce with fish.
Worcestershire sauce is a condiment.
Espresso powder or coffee.

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