Smoked Beef and Pork Chili - Ground

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Original poster
Jan 18, 2014
Greensboro, NC
Had an idea and was wondering if anyone had thoughts.

I want to do a beef and pork chili but in a different way: I have a coarse meat grinder attachment on my blender and a vertical smoker. I was thinking about cubing some pork loin and sirloin to fit in the grinder and putting it in the smoker as far away from the heat as possible and using just enough heat to create smoke. Kind of cold smoking (with a lot of smoke) for maybe an hour or so. Then grinding the cubed smoked meat for the chili.

Doing it this way will allow me to use leaner cuts of meat and I only want to buy 1 pound each of beef and pork.


My main concern is I'll cook the meat through and dry it out but if I do it on low heat (far away from heat) I should be ok. But then will the smoke penetrate as much?

What say ye' all?
Hello.  Welcome.  I see this is your first post.  Please take some time and swing over to Roll Call and introduce yourself so that we may give you a proper "Hello".  All info you can provide us with such as smoker type, location and so on will help us answer any questions you may have.  As for your question:  The smoke should be there slightly.  It sounds a good plan.  Just make sure you get that meat cooked in time.  The rule is 140 degrees within 4 hours.  Don't leave it in fridge overnite if you have not gone to the proper temp.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

I've cooked my meats, beans, and peppers for chili in the smoker many times. I put the meat in a foil container and actually let it cook though, turning occasionally to let it all get some smoke flavor. I usually add a little juice of tomato to keep it moist. I've had folks that loved it, and some said it tasted like BBQ chili (how could that be a bad thing?).
Thanks. I after I smoke it, I intend to grind it  and then immediately brown it in the pot like any ground beef/pork you'd buy in the store. Whole process in maybe 2.5 hours at most. I should have made that clearer.

I don't want to use the smoker to "cook it" because I want to buy lean meat. Low and slow with lean meat tends to dry it out and make it tough. Just want to impart the smoke flavor. Plus I'll be in a time crunch tomorrow.

I'll add my smoker type to my signature. I have a cheapy Masterbuilt Pro gas vertical and love to do some pork butts here in NC.
You can smoke for 1 hour at a low temp without worries but Cubes would be better than Ground unless you fully cook the meat. Ground meat has more hidden surface area for Bacteria to hide.

Your worries about cooking the meat in the smoker is unfounded. Whether you smoke /cook or brown the meat in the pot, has Zero affect on how moist the meat will. The only thing that affects moisture of lean meat is the Final IT you cook to. How lean or if you go low and slow makes no difference. In this case if you smoke the meat to 165*F or Saute/Brown the meat until no longer Pink (165*F)...It will be the same degree of doneness and juiciness. If you want lots of smoke, cook all the way to an IT of 140+ then cool and grind. Shove it in the pot add all the rest of the ingredients and simmer until done. If light smoke is desired, 1 hour smoke at what ever temp your smoker needs to make smoke, then cool and grind, and proceed...The typical Chili recipes call for Low and Slow simmer for hours until the meat is tender. This is a moist cooking method called Stewing. The moisture and the long low cook breaks down the connective tissue in the meat until it nearly falls apart. In this case Connective Tissue, Collagen, is what makes Stewed meat seem Juicy. Simmer some Chicken for Soup. The White meat seems drier than the Dark. The Dark Meat has more Collagen. Same with Beef and Pork. Chuck and Butts will seem more Juicy stewed a long time than Round and Loin of pork cooked the same way. If you trim all larger chunks of fat the rest will cook out and float to the top to be skimmed. If the perception of Juiciness is what you want, trimmed Chuck or Butt is the better choice and after the Fat renders will be as lean as any other cut...JJ is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.