Smoked Chuck Roast Chili

With the SuperB– er, Big Game on the horizon, it’s time to start thinking about finger foods and something to feed a crowd because even the Big Game brings out the non sports fans for the commercials alone. To feed that crowd, I give you another one of my chili recipes. This one is inspired by this chuck roast stew recipe Dad did a few years ago. We’ve adapted that recipe for a big ole’ pot (or in this case, pan) of chili. Let’s get to the ingredients and then we can talk about the method here and the reasoning as to why we are doing it this way. Stay tuned for Smoked Chuck Roast Chili!

Smoked Chuck Roast Chili Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped and sauteed
  • 2 packet chili seasoning
  • 4 oz W Sauce
  • 120 oz tomato sauce
  • 5 lb chuck roast (2 roasts, 2.5 lb each)
  • Your favorite BBQ Rub for beef we used Deadbird 180
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 30 oz dark red kidney beans drained
  • 30 oz cannellini white kidney beans (drained)
  • 30 oz black beans drained
  • 32 oz beef stock or broth if needed
  • tomato paste if needed

Before we get into the method, there are two other vital items you will need. A roasting pan and a roasting rack which are in the pic above on the right. These are vital because the goal here is to pour all the chili ingredients except for the beans and meat into the pan. The rack goes into the pan as well with the chuck roasts on top so they can absorb a bunch of smoke before we sear them off and chunk them up and put the meat into the pan. While the roasts smoke, they will drip fat into the chili so we won’t lose any of that flavor. And we will be reverse searing these roasts to maximize the smoke flavor and also get that wonderful browning. Basically, we are taking a bunch of cool food science techniques and combining them into this giant pot of chili. OK, it’s really a pan of chili, but that just doesn’t sound nearly as cool as a pot of chili. And as for the beans, we will get into that debate later. If you are on the side of the debate with beans, always use multiple different types of beans to bring extra flavors and colors to the dish:

First off, rough chop an onion and and put the oil into a pan and saute them:

Then add the sauce, onions and chili powder to the pan:

Don’t forget one of my two secret ingredients for this recipe – the W Sauce:

Then give it all a stir to work all the chili ingredients through:

But where are the beans? Well, according to the show Yellowstone on Paramount, evidently beans in chili is a hotly debated topic. According to the show, in Texas they don’t put beans in chili and thus it’s not chili if it has beans in it. Well, that’s not why I didn’t put the beans in at this point. I didn’t them in at this point because if they simmer all day in a pot of chili, they tend to turn to mush. As for the debate, the dish is called chili which is named after the peppers used in the recipe, so beans have no part of the debate as to what makes it chili or not. The seasoning is what makes it chili, not the beans. Also, chili was not invented in Texas. It was invented in Northern Mexico. So if the bean debate is settled based on where it was invented and whether or not beans were used, then beans belong in chili. Feel free to prove me wrong in the comments below. I’d like to learn more on the subject.

Let’s get to the star of the show, those well marbled chuck roasts:

There are all sorts of other roasts that can be used for this dish, but the chuck roast is my go to. Why? This pic is why:

This is not prime grade or Wagyu marbling. That’s just standard marbling on a roast you can get out of the meat case at your local grocer. 

Now, some of you are doing the math here and notice that 5 pounds of beef is a lot more than the back of that packet of chili seasoning says. You know the recipe:

  • 1 package chili seasoning
  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 8 ounces of tomato sauce
  • 15 oz of beans

That’s not what we are doing here. We are going with some meaty chili here. And we are also starting off with more liquid than we need because a pan that big means lots of surface area for losing moisture as it simmers (which means concentrating the flavors). So get the big roasts. Trust me:

Season the roasts with the salt, pepper and BBQ Seasoning:

I used Deadbird 180 to season these roasts;

Flip over the chuck roasts and repeat seasoning on the other side.

Then set the roasting rack into the roasting pan full of the mixed chili ingredients:

We want the chuck roasts elevated above the chili:

It’s not the end of the world if a little bit of the beef is touching the chili ingredients. That won’t hurt a thing. 

Time to prep the smoker. For this I’m using my other secret ingredient, great smoke. For that I went with some Bear Mountain Premium Pellets. I opted for the Sweet BBQ flavor (which I found at my local Lowe’s) to offset the savory of the meat, chili seasoning and onion:

 

I wanted a subtle, sweet smoke for my chili so that it doesn’t overpower the dish, which is hard to do with something as robust as chili, but going straight hickory or mesquite could have that effect for some people (my wife for example). The Sweet BBQ variety of Bear Mountain Pellets fit the bill to a tee. So much so, the front of the package should say, “Great with poultry, seafood, pork, veggies, and a big ole’ pan of chili!”  For the record, my wife loved the chili, smoke and all. She was the one who coined the phrase, “It’s like eating steak and chili.” And that’s the perfect description.

Let’s get back to the process. I prepared my cooker, in this case my Green Mountain Grills pellet grill, for 300F and set my roasting pan, chili/chuck roast/and all, in the chamber:

In about an hour, we start to see some of the glorious chuck roast fat dripping into the chili:

And the chuck roasts are taking on some color:

After a couple hours, I’m getting even more of that fat:

And my chuck roasts have hit about 140 internal. Somewhere between 140-160 meat stops taking on smoke:

This is a perfect time to crank up my Green Mountain to 500F and get some grill marks because browned meat tastes better than meat that isn’t browned:

Here we are with grill marks on both sides:

While I let the chuck roasts rest for a bit (about 10 minutes) to allow for the juices to redistribute, it’s time to add in those beans:

Dad wanted me to stir up the chili before I added the beans so nobody would see the crust on top because he though it looked nasty. Maybe it does, but it is what happens to the chili ingredients when the roasts are suspended above the pan. It’s hard to stir the pan with the roasting rack there. So I wanted everyone to see what that looked like. Once we stir it, the crust reconstitutes in the liquid and no more crust. What I’m saying is, don’t sweat that crust on top. That’s actually a ticket to Flavortown as all the moisture is gone leaving behind concentrated flavor. 

Now is the time to chunk up the chuck roasts into bite size bits:

Whoa, I almost forgot to show that smoke ring. Look close:

And here’s a shot of the other chuck roast to show the smoke ring:

That smoke ring is INTENSE! Thank you Bear Mountain

Time to dump those glorious chunks of chuck roast into the stew:

Also, if at this time the smoked chuck roast chili is too thick, add some beef stock:

I had to add about 24 ounces of the 32 ounces of beef stock to get the consistency I wanted which was a little runny to allow for evaporation while simmering. 

I turned down my smoker to 400 and returned the chili pan and a cast iron pan to the cooker:

Normally, I would head back to the 300F or even lower to finish up in the smoker, but I want to cook some corn bread to go with my chili. 

Once the cast iron pan hit about 350, I rubbed down the pan with some butter (because I was hungry so I started a little early):

Then I added some jalapeño corn bread batter into the pan:

Now back into the Green Mountain Grill because those Bear Mountain pellets can do amazing things for that porous corn bread which soaks up the smoke:

And while the chuck roasts won’t take on any more smoke, the chuck roast chili will. The actual liquid will take on the smoke. So while the corn bread cooks, the chili is simmering and taking on more smoke:

When a toothpick goes in and out of the corn bread like butter it’s done (about 30 minutes for this cook) it is time to serve.

When I say I like my chili thick, I mean it as you can see with this ladleful:

I don’t need to tell you what accoutrements you need for chili. We all have our preferences. I like some cheese, sour cream and green onion. Lay out whatever toppings you like, or you think the your guests like:

This is like eating chili chock full of steak. I prepared this chuck roast almost identically to the way I prepare my steaks except that I cook the chuck roasts to higher temps because that renders out the fat into the chili for flavor and the beef being simmered in the sauce means it will be tender and delicious despite the higher temps. The chili sauce itself has a lovely subtle, sweet smoke flavor as well. It’s absolutely wonderful, thanks to the Bear Mountain Premium Pellets

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. I would love to know what your must have chili topper listed below. If you want to reach out to me directly, feel free to send me an email

I also want to thank Bear Mountain for partnering with us on this recipe. I absolutely love their pellets and have been using them for months now. I plan to continue to do so for quite some time because they are that good. You can find Bear Mountain Premium Pellets at your local Lowe’s hardware store. 

Below you will find the recipe card as well as a few more hero shots of the process:

Also, you can follow us on our GrillinFools Facebook page and Instagram.

Smoked Chuck Roast Chili

Chuck roasts, slow smoked over Bear Mountain Pellets and then seared before going into a huge pan of chili and smoked some more for Smoked Chuck Roast Chili
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 20 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Southwest

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped and sauteed
  • 2 packet chili seasoning
  • 4 oz W Sauce
  • 120 oz tomato sauce
  • 5 lb chuck roast (2 roasts, 2.5 lb each)
  • Your favorite BBQ Rub for beef we used Deadbird 180
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 30 oz dark red kidney beans drained
  • 30 oz cannellini white kidney beans (drained)
  • 30 oz black beans drained
  • 32 oz beef stock or broth if needed
  • tomato paste if needed

Instructions

  • Saute the onions in the oil until soft
  • While the onions are saute-ing, add the tomato sauce, chili powder, and W sauce in the roasting pan
  • Add the softened onions and mix thoroughly
  • Season the chuck roasts with salt, pepper and rub
  • Place the chuck roasts on the roasting rack and set the rack, chuck roasts and all, into the roasting pan
  • Place the pan in the smoker which is loaded with Bear Mountain Premium Pellets and set to 300F
  • Smoke until the chuck roasts hit 140-150F internal
  • Then carefully remove the pan, making sure not to burn yourself, and crank up the grill to 500F
  • Sear off the chuck roasts to get some browning
  • Remove the charred chuck roasts from the grill and drop the temp to 400F
  • While the chuck roasts rest for about 10 minutes, add the beans to the pan
  • Then chunk up the chuck roasts to bite size pieces and put back in the pan
  • Mix the beans and meat in thoroughly
  • Add beef stock if needed and put the pan back in the smoker
  • Also place a cast iron pan in the grill to preheat the pan
  • Once the cast iron pan hits 350-400 rub butter around the inside the pan (including the sides) and pour in the corn bread batter
  • Place the cast iron pan and corn bread back in the grill
  • After about 30 minutes, when a toothpick goes in and out like butter, the cornbread is done
  • Serve the chili and cornbread together

Video

 

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Original Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to college with a suitcase and a grill where he overcooked, undercooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thousands of failures, and quite a few successes, nearly two decades later he started a website to show step by step, picture by picture, foolproof instructions on how to make great things out of doors so that others don’t have to repeat the mistakes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas

Latest posts by Scott Thomas (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating