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Smoked Brisket Chili

Smoked Brisket Chili Recipe – Get ready to indulge in the robust flavors of a hearty smoked brisket chili, where tender, smoky brisket shines alongside the earthy depth of beans and the gentle heat of chili peppers. If you ever have leftover brisket, this is one of the best ways to use it up!

Deliciously hot Smoked Brisket Chili topped with grated cheese and green onions

This recipe is my absolute favorite version of chili, and I think it’s because the smoky, tender brisket meat really elevates the dish. I call it my “urban cowgirl chili,” and my family always scoops up every last bite. 😋

Besides being insanely delicious, it comes together pretty darn quickly, thanks to the pre-smoked brisket. You’ll still want to take a low-and-slow approach, but it’s a hands-off recipe, which is perfect when you need something low-stress for dinner. 

Taking a spoonful of ridiculously delicious Smoked Brisket Chili

Can You Customize Smoked Brisket Chili?

Absolutely! True Texans will argue that real Texas chili doesn’t have beans. So, if you’re from the Lone Star State or you’re a chili purist, feel free to leave those out. Then you can adjust the spices and seasonings however you like, for milder or spicier.

Garnishes are optional and totally up to you. And if you are a fan of beans in your chili, well, then you can use pretty much any kind of beans you like. All in all, this recipe is super easy to make your own.

Recipe Ingredients

Recipe Ingredients
  • Smoked Brisket – I use about a pound and a half of leftover smoked brisket for this recipe. You’ll want to dice it into bite-sized pieces.
  • Bacon – To add some extra rich layers of flavor, you’ll want to saute up a few slices of bacon. (I mean, come on, is there any dish that can’t be improved with a few slices of bacon? 😜)
  • Seasonings – Aromatic veggies like fresh onion and garlic add loads of flavor, while green pepper and jalapeno add spice and texture. You’ll also need some dried spices, including cumin, oregano, coriander, cayenne, thyme, and chili powder. 
  • Canned Stuff – One can of tomato sauce, another can of diced tomatoes, and two cans of beans (I use kidney beans) are all you need for the base of this chili.
  • Beef Broth adds another layer of richness; water is an acceptable substitute, but consider using a bouillon cube or powder for extra flavor.
  • Toppings – This part is up to you, but shredded cheddar and chopped green onions are my go-to toppings.

How to Make Smoked Brisket Chili

Saute bacon and veggies, then add the beef

Saute Ingredients 

  1. Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed, non-reactive Dutch oven over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until shimmering but not smoking. 
  2. Bacon – Next, add the bacon and brown for about 5-6 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Remove it from the pan and set aside on a plate. (Photos 1-2)
  3. Saute Veggies – Then, in the same pot, add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions become soft and translucent. (Photo 3)
  4. Brisket – Add the diced smoked brisket along with cumin, oregano, coriander, cayenne pepper, and dried thyme. Cook for 4-5 minutes. (Photo 4)
  5. Tomatoes – Next, pour in the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. (Photo 5)
  6. Beans – Add the drained beans, bell pepper, jalapenos, black pepper, chili powder, beef stock, water (about ½ cup or more), and just a pinch of salt. (Photo 6)
Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until delicious

Cook the Chili Low and Slow

  1. Simmer – Bring the chili to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook for about an hour or so, stirring occasionally, until the brisket is tender. The chili will be dark, rich, and slightly thickened. (Photo 7)
  2. Adjust – Do a taste test and adjust the seasonings with additional salt and pepper and the consistency with liquid as desired. (Photo 8)
  3. Serve hot with shredded cheddar and chopped green onions as a garnish or any other desired toppings, and enjoy!
Smoked Brisket Chili fresh and hot off the stove ready to serve

Recipe Variations

  • Seasonings. Feel free to use any seasonings you have on hand. For example, I used ancho chili powder for a mild but smoky flavor. But you can use what you have – and that goes for just about all spices and seasonings in this recipe.
  • Beans. Use whatever beans you like. Feel free to mix and match with different beans, like pinto or black beans, for varied texture and flavor. Or, leave them out altogether to indulge in a Texas chili recipe.
  • Beef swap. Use a different kind of smoked beef. If you have any leftover smoked steak, hamburgers, or roast, you can dice it and make this chili! The flavor will vary, of course, but you’ll still get that nice smoky flavor throughout the chili.
  • White chicken chili. Use chicken instead of beef or pork, and add white beans, corn, and green chilies for a milder, creamier chili.
  • Turkey chili. Use smoked turkey instead of brisket for a leaner chili.

Tips and Tricks

  • The longer you simmer, the more developed the flavors will be. Consider a low-and-slow approach if you have the time, but do not overcook your chili.
  • If you like your chili thicker, add some crushed tortilla chips to thicken it up. It also adds an interesting Mexican flair.
  • To control heat, you can deseed the jalapenos or use half as much. For more heat, include the seeds or add more cayenne.
  • If at any point the chili sticks to the bottom of the pot, add ½ cup water, stir, and continue to simmer.

Make-Ahead Instructions

This chili is even better if you make it the day before. Make it, then let it cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Store it in the fridge for 2-3 days or the freezer for 2-3 months. Now, you’ll have an express chili whenever the craving hits.

Serving and Storage Instructions

Serve smoked brisket chili hot with all your favorite toppings.

Store leftover brisket chili in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat it on the stovetop over medium or pop individual portions in the microwave.

FAQs

How long does it take to smoke a brisket for the chili? 

Smoking a brisket typically takes anywhere from 1-1½ hours per pound at a temperature of around 225-250°F (107-121°C). However, the cooking time may vary depending on the roast’s thickness and the smoker’s temperature. That’s why leftover brisket is a super convenient option for this chili, but if you want to smoke a brisket just for chili, by all means, go for it. Check out my pellet grilled brisket recipe for more details.

Can I make smoked brisket chili in a slow cooker? 

Yes, you can make smoked brisket chili in a slow cooker. After smoking or procuring the brisket, chop it into chunks, add it along with the chili ingredients to the slow cooker, and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. This method lets the flavors meld, resulting in a rich and intensely flavorful chili.

What cut of brisket is best for smoked brisket chili? 

The best brisket cut for making smoked brisket chili is typically the point (or the fatty end) of a whole-packer brisket. It’s well-marbled, flavorful, and becomes tender and smoky after being smoked. However, you can also use leftover smoked flat (lean end) if that’s what you have available.

What Goes With Smoked Brisket Chili

A hearty helping of homemade cornbread or even several slices of grilled bread is always a good idea with smoked brisket chili. You could also pour a nice scoop of chili over smoked baked potatoes, which tastes amazing, or try it atop smoked sausages for a chili dog that’s out of this world! 💫

More Hearty and Indulgent Recipes to Try

Conclusion

Smoked brisket chili is an unforgettable experience that will really stick to your ribs. Ready for more smoking good recipes like this one? Sign up for my newsletter to get all my latest recipes.

Deliciously hot Smoked Brisket Chili topped with grated cheese and green onions

Smoked Brisket Chili

Get ready to indulge in the robust flavors of a hearty smoked brisket chili, where tender, smoky brisket shines alongside the earthy depth of beans and the gentle heat of chili peppers. If you ever have leftover brisket, this is one of the best ways to use it up!
4.50 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Southern, Tex Mex
Keyword: Brisket, chili, smoked, Smoked Brisket
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 257kcal
Author: Imma

Ingredients

  • 3-4 slices bacon
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • pounds smoked brisket, diced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomato (I used roasted for more flavor)
  • 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • cups beef broth or water as needed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • shredded cheddar cheese for serving
  • chopped green onions for serving

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed, non-reactive Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking, 3-4 minutes.
  • Add bacon and brown for 5-6 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Remove and set aside on a plate.
  • In the same pot, add onions and garlic and saute until onions soften.
  • Add the diced smoked brisket along with cumin, oregano, coriander, cayenne pepper, and dried thyme. Cook for 4-5 minutes.
  • Pour in diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, add drained beans, bell pepper, jalapenos, chili powder, beef stock, and water (about ½ cup or more), and lightly salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for an hour or so, stirring occasionally (if chili begins to stick to the bottom of pot, stir in ½ cup of water and continue simmering), until brisket is tender and chili is dark, rich, and slightly thickened.
  • Adjust seasoning with additional salt, pepper, and liquid as needed.
  • Serve hot with shredded cheddar and chopped green onions as garnish or any desired toppings. Enjoy!

Notes

  • The longer you simmer, the more developed the flavors will be. Consider a low-and-slow approach if you have the time, but do not overcook your chili.
  • If you like your chili thicker, add some crushed tortilla chips to thicken it up. It also adds an interesting Mexican flair.
  • To control heat, you can deseed the jalapenos or use half as much. For more heat, include the seeds or add more cayenne.
  • If at any point the chili sticks to the bottom of the pot, add ½ cup water, stir, and continue to simmer.
  • Please remember that the nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used in the recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 240g | Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 650mg | Potassium: 608mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1351IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 4mg

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