Use smoked instead of browned chuck in chili?

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
Jul 8, 2020
North Texas
Hi all,

I have a recipe for Texas chili that I really like. I've attached it here in case anyone is interested. This isn't "my" recipe. I stole it off he internet a few years back. So, I can't take credit for it.

Among other things, the recipe calls for cubing and browning chuck roast in bacon grease in a Dutch oven, then adding onions, garlic, and remaining ingredients to the pot, thus ensuring that all the flavors of the browned meat bits in the pan are incorporated into the chili.

I'm thinking of making a batch, but instead of browning the meat, using pulled smoked chuck roast instead. I'd still use bacon grease to saute the onions and garlic. I'm interested in incorporating smoked flavor into the chili and avoiding some of the mess I make in my wife's kitchen cubing and browning the chuck roast.

I'm curious what folks here think of this before I make a mess or ruin a batch of chili. Browning the meat adds lots of flavor and I would lose that, but smoked meat might add some really good flavor of its own.

Thanks for any feedback.


  • Seven Chili Chile.docx
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Ive seen guys make like a meatloaf and smoke it over the pot of beans and etc to make a chili. I say go for it and post pics!
OH YEAH that will be great with smoked chuck for sure. I have swapped smoked anything in recipes and its always better.
I’ve never done smoked beef in chili but my last 2 chilis I put leftover smoked pork butt in it!! Let me tell you, it was all the rage. Best chili I ever made by a very long shot. Friends/family that don’t really even care for chili were getting seconds and thirds. Smoked pork in chili is amazing. I can only imagine that smoked beef would be even better, or at worst just as good. Go for it!!!
Go for it. But, I can't believe nobody mentioned putting a pan under the chuck to catch the drippings, then use that along with the bacon grease for the sauté part...
Good lookin' chili, WaterRat. I may try some shank and ox tails for mine if I can find them!
Thank you!

More like if you can afford them - ox tails were $12/lb :emoji_astonished: here a month ago when I made chili last, skipped 'em for that batch. I do recommend a shank or two, the marrow and gelatin help thicken the chili for me so no corn starch or any of that crap needed.
I say go for it!!.
I like to use the over the top method. Saute your onions and garlic like you planned. Then add everything to a foil pan. Throw a rack over it to put your cubed up and seasoned Chuck roast. Make them a little bigger than bite size they shrink up a bit. After a couple hours they will get a bark on them. Add them to the pan and let it go until they get tinder. Personally I like the little chunks over pulled in my chilli...
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I’m gonna smoke a brisket tonight or tomorrow. Will probably make a chili this week with what’s left
Excellent! Be sure to use some point but be sure to skim fat during the simmer. Made chili out of tri-tip one time, almost makes me cry how costly that would be now in my area... 😩😩😩
Our current chili recipe uses smoked brisket which really improves its flavor. By all means, using smoked chuck is going to make a definite difference in a very good way. DO IT!
I use a lot of smoked meat for soup but have not tried chili yet. That said, I am really happy with mine and if you want a 3rd option, make burgers out of the ground beef, season with SP, sear well in a pan, and chop. I also deglaze the pan with a little water and add. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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