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Cow Lickn' Chili - great flavor but want more smoke flavor...

DaveMDaveM Posts: 100
I just made the Cow Lickn Chili that has been posted on this forum numerous times.  The only thing I changed was to substitute venison for the beef.  Although I used a very generous amount of mesquite, I found that very little smoke seemed to penetrated into the chili.  The flavor was absolutely incredible, but I think I could have gotten the same result from my kitchen oven.  Have other people had similar results?  

Has anyone tried any variations, such as smoking the vegetables in a mesh basket or some other way to get the smoke to penetrate more?

For those who haven't made it, you are missing something big!  If you are looking for the recipe, it is here:

--Dave from Leesburg, VA BGE XL, Viking 42", Firepit with $16 grill


  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    It's been my experience that venison does not absorb "smoke flavor" near as much as other meats.  Like when it is ground up with pork, it seems like the more pork in it, the better the smoke flavor.
  • Richard FlRichard Fl Posts: 8,244
    When I make chili in a 9qt CI pot I always leave the top off and add eggstra wood.  Let mine cook 3-5 hours.  Liquid smoke will always work.
  • LitLit Posts: 6,856
    I have cold smoked the meat prior to cooking it and it came out really smoky.
  • horsefleshhorseflesh Posts: 206
    I have found that any kind of liquid-heavy dish like chili just doesn't soak up smoke as much as I'd like. I have the best success by making sure that the ingredients that go in the pot are themselves nice and smoky.
  • yumdingeryumdinger Posts: 237
    I do smoke/roast the peppers prior to adding to the chili.  I am not sure if it adds a lot more flavor but makes me feel good.  
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,837
    edited May 2013
    I think most of the smoke flavor settles on the top of the pot.  I have noticed it gets a "skin" on the top.  I give it a good stir a few times throughout cooking to try to distribute the smoke flavor throughout the pot. 

    I think roasting the peppers would be a great idea.  I imagine that might take some heat out of the peppers. 

    I have thought about replacing the ground beef with a roast (such as chuck roast), and smoking that ahead of time and then cubing it. @Lit mentioned he did this with Tri-tip and that sounds really good.  Thinking next time I make tri-tip I am gonna have to give this a try. I have found beef really soaks up oak wood and I love the flavor.  

    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    If you consider smoking a chuck steak vs meatloaf??  It is hard to "oversmoke" a chuck steak, but meatloaf is another story.  Smoke needs meat surfaces to attach to and be absorbed. Take that tri-tip or chuck steak and have it "course ground" then smoke it and there will be a major difference..
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