Chilly Weather = Chili Time



There’s nothing like a warm pot of chili once the weather starts to get colder in early fall. You can take it to the next level with the smoky flavor that I love by cooking it on a smoker.

Smoked ground beef mixed into the perfect blend of classic chili ingredients is a great way to embrace the spirit of fall. Enjoy this on a chilly day while your favorite football team is on TV, or when you are entertaining a large crowd and wanting to exert minimal effort, so that you can spend some more quality time with your company.

I saw a lot of different people online from Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook raving about this over-the-top chili, and after trying it myself I now understand the hype. Although it was popular on social media, I struggled to find an actual step-by-step recipe, so I ended up freestyling it and could not be happier with the results. I had fun playing around with some of my favorite seasonings for this recipe, and I hope if you try this at home that you will also enjoy this smokey take on a fall and winter classic.


  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 jalapeño diced
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 (or 2) can of stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cans of Rotel (fire roasted and hot are my favorite)
  • 1 can of navy beans (drained)
  • 1 can of red kidney beans
  • 1/2 can of black beans (drained)
  • 2 lbs. of 80/20 ground beef
  • Cackalacky®️ Pepper Powder seasoning
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Preheat smoker to 275-300° (lower if you prefer more smoke flavor and have more time) I use a vertical pellet smoker. Any smoker will suffice, you can even do this in the oven, but you’ll miss out on that smoky flavor.
  2. Sauté onion and peppers in Dutch oven with some olive oil until softened.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients into the Dutch oven.
  4. Season with some pepper powder, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt & pepper (and any other seasonings you may like).
  5. Stir up and simmer on low on the stove while you get your meatball formed and seasoned.
  6. Form ground beef into a round, dome like shape (flat on the bottom) to sit on the grill grate above the Dutch oven.
  7. Season beef with pepper powder, chili powder, salt, and pepper.
  8. Put the Dutch oven into the smoker, then place the ground beef directly above the Dutch oven on the rack above if your smoker allows or place a wire rack or extra grill grate on top of the Dutch oven directly for the meat to sit on.
  9. Stir chili every 30 minutes or so to make sure it doesn’t reduce too much or burn.
  10. Let the ground beef cook (on top) until the internal temperature is around 145-150°.
  11. Take the meat and crumble it up into small pieces, place it into the Dutch oven.
  12. Stir to blend into the chili.
  13. Continue smoking for at least another 30 minutes – an hour if you have time. Stirring a          couple of more times.
  14. Pull it out and enjoy some delicious homemade chili! We like to serve it with some shredded cheese, fresh avocado slices, and use Frito scoops instead of a spoon!

For more recipes and demos follow me on Instagram @919backyardbbq


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