BBQ right chili recipe

How To BBQ Right Chili – Bonafide Chili Recipe

There’s chili, and then there’s BBQ right chili – a flavor-packed, smoky delight that takes your taste buds on a ride. We’re diving into a recipe that brings out the best in chili by incorporating smoked ingredients, making every bite a symphony of rich, deep flavors. If you’re ready to elevate your chili game, this guide on how to bbq right chili is your ticket.

What sets this chili apart? It’s all about the smoky elements. By using smoked meats, vegetables, and spices, you get a chili that’s layered with complexity. The process is straightforward but transformative, turning a regular pot of chili into something extraordinary. Whether you’re a seasoned pitmaster or just love good food, this bonafide chili recipe is bound to become a favorite in your culinary repertoire.

In the next section, we’ll break down the essential ingredients you’ll need to create this smoky masterpiece. Ready to get started? Let’s go!

how to bbq right chili
Credits to

Why This Recipe Works

Here’s why this smoked chili recipe is a game-changer:

  1. Smoked Meats: Using smoked beef or pork adds a depth of flavor that regular ground meat just can’t match. The smokiness permeates the chili, giving it a unique, robust taste.
  2. Smoked Vegetables: Incorporating smoked onions, peppers, and tomatoes infuses the dish with an additional layer of smokiness. These veggies bring a subtle sweetness that balances the spice.
  3. Smoked Spices: Smoked paprika and chipotle peppers enhance the overall flavor profile. These spices add a smoky heat that elevates the chili without overpowering it.
  4. Low and Slow Cooking: Simmering the chili slowly allows the flavors to meld together beautifully. This technique ensures that every spoonful is bursting with savory goodness.
  5. Rich, Complex Broth: The combination of beef broth, tomato sauce, and a hint of beer or coffee creates a rich, complex base that complements the smoked ingredients perfectly.
  6. Balanced Heat: A blend of chili powders and fresh chilies provides a balanced heat that’s just right. It’s spicy enough to satisfy chili lovers but not so hot that it’s overwhelming.
  7. Versatile Serving Options: This chili is incredibly versatile. Serve it over rice, with cornbread, or just on its own with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese.


To create this mouthwatering BBQ right chili, you’ll need the following ingredients:


2 lbs smoked beef brisket or smoked pork shoulder: Chopped into bite-sized pieces for that smoky, tender texture.


  • 1 large smoked onion: Diced.
  • 2 smoked bell peppers: Diced (red and green for color variety).
  • 2 smoked jalapeños: Minced (remove seeds for less heat).
  • 4 cloves garlic: Minced.
  • 1 can (28 oz) smoked tomatoes: Crushed.

Chili Seasoning Ingredients

For the perfect chili seasoning blend, you’ll need:

  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika: For that essential smoky flavor.
  • 1 tbsp chili powder: To add a classic chili kick.
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin: Adds warmth and depth.
  • 1 tsp ground coriander: For a hint of citrusy brightness.
  • 1 tsp dried oregano: To enhance the savory notes.
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder: For a smoky heat.
  • Salt and black pepper: To taste.
smoked Vegetables for Delicious BBQ chili recipe
Credits to Green Mountain Grills
Spices for Delicious BBQ chili recipe
Credits to The Kitchn


  • 2 cups beef broth: For a rich, savory base.
  • 1 can (12 oz) dark beer or strong coffee: Adds complexity and depth.
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans: Drained and rinsed.
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans: Drained and rinsed.
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste: For thickening and richness.
broth for Delicious BBQ chili recipe
Credits to Nourishing Meals

Optional Toppings

  • Sour cream: To cool down the heat and add creaminess.
  • Shredded cheese: Cheddar or Monterey Jack works great.
  • Chopped green onions: For a fresh, sharp bite.
  • Fresh cilantro: Chopped, for a burst of freshness.
  • Sliced jalapeños: For extra heat if desired.
Sour cream and cheddar cheese for Delicious BBQ chili recipe
Credits to How Sweet Eats

Additional Flavor Enhancers

To boost the depth of flavor in your chili, consider these optional ingredients:

  • 1 oz dark chocolate: Adds a subtle richness and enhances the overall complexity.
  • 1 shot of espresso: Intensifies the smokiness and adds a slight bitterness that balances the sweetness.
Additional Flavor Enhancers for Smoky BBQ chili recipe
Credits to Cococlectic

These additions can take your chili from great to extraordinary, making it a truly memorable dish.

Equipment Needed

To make this BBQ right chili, you’ll need the following equipment:

Smoking Equipment

  • Smoker: Essential for smoking the meats and vegetables. Any type of smoker will work, whether it’s a pellet smoker, charcoal smoker, or electric smoker.
  • Wood Chips: Hickory or mesquite wood chips for that perfect smoky flavor.

Cooking Equipment

  • Large Pot or Dutch Oven: For cooking the chili on the stovetop or in the oven.
  • Cutting Board and Knife: For chopping meats and vegetables.
  • Measuring Spoons and Cups: To ensure precise measurements of spices and liquids.
  • Wooden Spoon or Spatula: For stirring the chili.
  • Ladle: For serving.
Steps to Grill Brisket on a Gas BBQ: Setting Up Your Grill
cooking equipment for Smoky BBQ chili recipe
Credits to Bon Appetit

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preparing the Ingredients

  1. Prepare the Meats and Vegetables:
    • Smoked Meats: Chop the smoked beef brisket or pork shoulder into bite-sized pieces.
    • Vegetables: Dice the smoked onion and bell peppers, and mince the smoked jalapeños and garlic.
    • Canned Ingredients: Drain and rinse the kidney and black beans. Crush the canned smoked tomatoes if not already crushed.
Recipes for authentic BBQ chili recipe
Credits to Micoope

Smoking Process

  1. Smoking the Ingredients:
    • Preheat the Smoker: Set your smoker to 225°F and add hickory or mesquite wood chips for a rich, smoky flavor.
    • Smoke the Vegetables: Place the diced onions, bell peppers, and minced jalapeños in the smoker. Smoke them for about 1 hour until they are soft and infused with smoke.
    • Smoke the Meats (if not pre-smoked): If your meats aren’t pre-smoked, smoke the brisket or pork shoulder for about 3-4 hours until tender and smoky.
Smoking Process for veggie for Best BBQ chili recipe
Credits to Bradley Smoker

Simmering the Chili

  1. Cooking the Chili:
    • Heat the Pot: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat a bit of oil over medium heat. Add the smoked onion, bell peppers, jalapeños, and garlic, sautéing until fragrant.
    • Add the Meats: Stir in the smoked brisket or pork shoulder, cooking for a few minutes to combine flavors.
    • Add Spices: Mix in the chili seasoning blend (smoked paprika, chili powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, dried oregano, chipotle powder, salt, and black pepper). Cook for 1-2 minutes to toast the spices.
    • Add Liquids and Beans: Pour in the beef broth, dark beer (or strong coffee), crushed smoked tomatoes, and tomato paste. Stir well to combine. Add the kidney beans and black beans.
    • Simmer: Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for at least 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the flavors meld and the chili reaches the desired consistency.
    • Optional Enhancers: In the last 30 minutes of simmering, add dark chocolate or a shot of espresso for extra depth of flavor.
  2. Serving the Chili:
    • Serve: Ladle the chili into bowls. Top with sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped green onions, fresh cilantro, or sliced jalapeños if desired.
    • Enjoy: Serve hot and enjoy the smoky, flavorful goodness of your BBQ right chili.

Cooking Tips

To ensure your BBQ right chili turns out perfectly every time, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Temperature Control: Maintain a consistent temperature when smoking your ingredients. Aim for 225°F in your smoker to ensure even cooking and optimal smoke absorption.
  2. Use Quality Wood Chips: Choose hickory or mesquite wood chips for a robust smoky flavor. Avoid using too many chips at once, as this can make the smoke bitter.
  3. Patience is Key: Allow the chili to simmer for at least 1-2 hours. The longer it simmers, the more the flavors will meld together, creating a richer and more complex dish.
  4. Stir Occasionally: Stir the chili occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking. This helps the flavors distribute evenly throughout the pot.
  5. Taste and Adjust: Periodically taste the chili as it cooks. Adjust the seasoning as needed, adding more salt, pepper, or spices to suit your preference.
  6. Thickening the Chili: If your chili is too thin, let it simmer uncovered for the last 30 minutes to reduce the liquid. Alternatively, you can add a bit more tomato paste to thicken it.
  7. Balancing Heat: If the chili is too spicy, add a touch of sugar or a splash of cream to balance the heat. If it’s not spicy enough, add more chipotle powder or fresh jalapeños.
  8. Rest Before Serving: Let the chili rest for 10-15 minutes after cooking. This allows the flavors to settle and makes the chili even more delicious.

Looking for an alternative way to enjoy beans? Try our BBQ Baked Beans Recipe, with a complete step-by-step guide that that ensures perfect flavor every time. Follow along and impress your guests at your next cookout!

Serving Suggestions

BBQ right chili recipe
Credits to Serious Eats

Serve your BBQ right chili in bowls, topped with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, and a sprinkle of chopped green onions or fresh cilantro. For extra heat, add sliced jalapeños.

Pair the chili with cornbread, a side of rice, or tortilla chips for added texture. A simple green salad or coleslaw makes a refreshing side to balance the rich flavors.

Don’t forget to have some lime wedges on the side for a zesty finish. Enjoy with your favorite beverage, like a cold beer or iced tea, to complement the smoky flavors.

Storage and Reheating Tips

To keep your BBQ right chili tasting its best, follow these storage and reheating tips:


  • Cool Completely: Let the chili cool to room temperature before storing.
  • Airtight Containers: Transfer the chili to airtight containers to prevent moisture loss and contamination.
  • Refrigeration: Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, freeze the chili in freezer-safe containers or zip-top bags for up to 3 months. Label with the date for easy tracking.


  • Stovetop: Reheat the chili over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until warmed through. Add a splash of broth or water if it’s too thick.
  • Microwave: Place a portion of chili in a microwave-safe bowl, cover loosely, and heat on high in 1-minute intervals, stirring in between, until hot.
  • Slow Cooker: For larger quantities, reheat in a slow cooker on low until thoroughly heated, about 2-3 hours.


Absolutely! Besides smoked beef brisket or pork shoulder, you can use smoked chicken, turkey, or even a mix of meats for a unique flavor.

If you don’t have a smoker, you can use a grill with a smoker box or liquid smoke for a similar effect. Just add a few drops of liquid smoke to your chili to get that desired smoky flavor.

To reduce the spiciness, remove the seeds from the jalapeños and use less chipotle powder. You can also add a bit of sugar or a splash of cream to balance the heat.

If your chili is too thick, add a bit more beef broth or water while simmering until you reach the desired consistency.

Credits to HowToBBQRight

Disclosure: Our blog contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

Similar Posts

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *