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SMOKED CHILI! Finally a technique that yields BGE flavors in my bowl.

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Yes, this is the "giant meatball chili" you may have seen.   However...
....if you haven't seen this yet, stay tuned!  It's a fun cook.
If you have seen it, but haven't made it, read on... I'll hopefully tell you what worked, what didn't, and how I'd make it again.
And if you've made it...well then, would love your feedback. 



First, this post gives some good history of the recipe and credit's the originator.  I have to tell you, it's not a recipe, it's a technique.  I would recommend you follow whatever your favorite chili recipe already is...  beans or no beans, veggies or none, hot or mild... make it how you like it with only one major difference;
1) Mix all your spices in with the meat and shape into a giant ball that you'll slow cook over your pot.  
That's it.   Ignore the rest of the recipes as you already know what kind of chili you like, so just make that, and see how this technique varies the results.  :plus_one:

So, that said, the only variation on my normal recipe was that I put a few peppers in, when I usually skip those.  I didn't follow either of the linked recipes otherwise because I don't like that many veggies or that many beans in my chili.   Chili for me is about the meat...and tomato sauce simmered with chili powder and cumin. Onward...

Okay, for the most part these are my ingredients.   There's one pepper of each color in there, a Jalapeno and in the pot is some garlic and a few medium onions.  I sauteed those on the stove before adding to the egg.  I do that because a simmering liquid does not get hot enough to break down the veggies as soft as I like them.  So you have to saute them in a pan before adding your liquids. 
On the meat front, I have 2 lbs. of 80/20 beef, 1 lbs. of chorizo and 1 lbs. of hot pork sausage.

Making the giant meatball was fun.   I was a little skeptical of this part, I admit, because all of my seasonings are going in with the meat.  Now, I think you could split em and still get good results...  add half of your seasonings to the meat and the other half to the pot of tomatoes and such.   But, it did work.

I put the chorizo in as I saw someone mention that in another post.  I was going to put that in instead of my hot pork sausage but then figured... more pork is good!   In the end, I think this made it a little too spicy for my kids, but I loved it.


I would recommend cooking indirect as shown, at 275, until you hit an internal temp on the meat ball of 150.  I was going for 155....left it on long and hit 160.  Results will still good, the meatball after breaking apart was very spicy and flavorful.  And yes, all that flavor somehow worked it's magic into the chili!   However, the meat was well done.  No reason to cook this meat ball beyond medium since you are going to plop it in simmering liquid anyway.

Here's the break-apart.  I did have a smoke ring and the bark on the outside was delicious.  I bet you could roll this in some mustard and your favorite rub before cooking for a little extra BBQ goodness.


Okay...this whole method seems to do two things for your chili.
Primarily, you are smoking the meat outside of the sauce so you can now get the great smoke flavoring into the chili!  I could not really achieve this with the normal method of just cooking with an open lid on the egg.
Second, you get the juices from the meat, dripping into the pot.  That's good to, but
what about the FAT?

I know....I know...  I'm preaching to an audience that loves the fat.  Me, I like the flavor, but don't like my food to feel greasy.  When I tried the chili off the egg (before I added the meat) it was a bit greasy.  But I rolled with it to see how it'd be after it came off in the end.  The first picture below shows the pot directly off the egg, before stirring.  There is a good bit of fat on top.  I mean, I made this with 80/20 mix so 20% of that meat is fat and I'm sure the pork wasn't much better. 

I skimmed off most of that fat (which only ended up being 4 oz. of measured liquid fat) and the flavor is awesome without the greasy taste.  So, you can do this method without an oily chili.  If you like all that, well then, leave it in.  One less step for you.

Off the egg after an hour of simmering with the broken up meat;



At that point I brought it onto the stove for the last hour.  The egg had done it's magic, and I was able to tend to it easier on a low simmer in the house as I adjust spices and got it ready to serve.  I dumped a can of drained corn in somewhere along the way.  We like it and it let's me squeeze in some more veggies to the kids.  I did not add any salt to this chili.  I've never made chili without adding salt, but it just had a bunch of flavor and didn't need it;



So, what's the verdict?

It's very good chili, and it definitely gets the aroma of egg cooking into your pot.  I think I'll try it this way again without as much smoke.  That's due to balancing tastes of the family with my own...I like the smoke, like most of you.  Kids and wife are sometimes sensitive to it, it's tough to tell.   Here's the thing, just having that giant meat ball slow cooking on it's own will have it absorb so much of the lump flavoring, that you don't need to add much smoke at all.  I'll go with some mild wood next time, if anything.

Total cook time is about 5 hours.   3 hours slow cooking the meat to temp.  Then an hour with the broken meat in it.  Then another hour in the house tinkering and simmering.  

It's a solid chili.  Made this batch for the family.  Will definitely make this for a party some time to get a better feel for mass appeal.  I think it'll be a hit.  Smoked chili!

I'll be happy to post my full recipe if anyone would like it.  I don't use any pre-packaged seasonings.
LBGE/Maryland
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Comments

  • Eggcelsior
    Eggcelsior Posts: 14,414
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    Is that glass from The Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh? Love that place.
  • KiterTodd
    KiterTodd Posts: 2,466
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    Is that glass from The Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh? Love that place.
    DAMN!  You're good.  Yes it is.   :plus_one:
    I love it also but have not been there in years.  I hope it's still open.

    On the back of the glass it says,
    "And on the eight day...  Man created Beer!"
    LBGE/Maryland
  • Dillonjm
    Dillonjm Posts: 229
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    going to definitely try the Giant Meatball method soon
    Backyard BBQ Dude
    1 L BGE - 1 Minimax - 1 Recteq

    Northern VA
  • shtgunal3
    shtgunal3 Posts: 5,654
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    Your chili looks great! I love the idea of the giant meatball. 

    I'd like to see your full recipe if you don't mind posting it.

    ___________________________________

     

     LBGE,SBGE, and a Mini makes three......Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • StillH2OEgger
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    That looks fantastic. People can disagree about what constitutes real chili, but I can't imagine someone dissing that pot of goodness. Well done!
    Stillwater, MN
  • Legume
    Legume Posts: 14,624
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    Cool idea, I had not seen this before now.

    This made me laugh:

    "I mean, I made this with 80/20 mix so 20% of that meat is fat and I'm sure the pork wasn't much better. "

    Yeah, I'm guessing the chorizo and the pork sausage might've been a little north of 20%, but that's why you invite pork to the party.
  • RedSkip
    RedSkip Posts: 1,400
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    KiterTodd said:
    Is that glass from The Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh? Love that place.
    DAMN!  You're good.  Yes it is.   :plus_one:
    I love it also but have not been there in years.  I hope it's still open.

    On the back of the glass it says,
    "And on the eight day...  Man created Beer!"
    It's still open.

    @KiterTodd
    @Eggcelsior
    Large BGE - McDonald, PA
  • JohnH12
    JohnH12 Posts: 213
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    That will definitely be my next chili cook!
    I might sub some venison sausage for the beef. I have a bunch in the freezer from a recent kill.
  • bluebird66
    bluebird66 Posts: 2,732
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    Awesome!
    Large Egg with adjustable rig, Kick Ash Basket, Minimax and various Weber's.
    Floyd Va

  • TideEggHead
    TideEggHead Posts: 1,338
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    Nice job!
    LBGE
    AL
  • KiterTodd
    KiterTodd Posts: 2,466
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    Legume said:
    Cool idea, I had not seen this before now.

    ...Yeah, I'm guessing the chorizo and the pork sausage might've been a little north of 20%, but that's why you invite pork to the party.
    :lol: I suppose you're right.   That's what was nice.  I only took off the surface fat so most of the fat and flavor is in there and it tastes great.

    Ground venison would be good also.

    On some recipes, people put chopped up bacon in their ball of meat.  I didn't want to vary too much from my normal method and was concerned that if the bacon didn't cook down it'd be chewy.  Be curious to know how that worked out for anyone.
    LBGE/Maryland
  • herbu
    herbu Posts: 125
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    Looks great!  I simply make hamburger patties and cook them like hamburgers.  Then crumble them into the pot.  Same w/ sausage and bacon.
    Of all the lies I tell, "Just kidding" is my favorite.

    XLBGE, Jordan Lake, NC
  • KiterTodd
    KiterTodd Posts: 2,466
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    herbu said:
    Looks great!  I simply make hamburger patties and cook them like hamburgers.  Then crumble them into the pot.  Same w/ sausage and bacon.
    That sounds much simpler!  But probably yields similar results.

    I would think the giant meat loaf sits up there longer and can absorb more smoke, but heck...hamburgers over chili, brilliant!
    LBGE/Maryland
  • fiver29
    fiver29 Posts: 628
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    I've been making the same chili recipe on the egg for a really long time.  I like this.  I'm going to try this with the recipe I've been making.  But putting all the seasonings in the meatball.  

    Thanks for posting in detail!!
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Strongsville, Ohio

    Yes.  I own a blue egg!  Call Atlanta if you don't believe me!
    [I put this here so everyone knows when I put pictures up with a blue egg in it]

  • KiterTodd
    KiterTodd Posts: 2,466
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    fiver29 said:
    I've been making the same chili recipe on the egg for a really long time.  I like this.  I'm going to try this with the recipe I've been making.  But putting all the seasonings in the meatball.  

    Thanks for posting in detail!!
    No problem.  And yes, that's exactly what will yield the best results for YOU!

    Glad folks are appreciative.  I saw this for the first time last month, even though the method has apparently been around for quite a while.  And once you see it, it's not a question of "if" you'll make it...  but WHEN!  It's just too easy. It's like when @SGH shared his ritz cracker sausage loaf appetizer recipe.  Everyone has crackers and sausage, it's something new to try, there was no reason not to try it!
    LBGE/Maryland
  • kl8ton
    kl8ton Posts: 5,429
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    Great post.  I like how your pictures are displayed in a grid style.  I love the meatball idea.  <cornyjoke> That is the kind of out of the pot thinking we need around here! <\cornyjoke>


    Large, Medium, MiniMax, & 22, and 36" Blackstone
    Grand Rapids MI
  • Ladeback69
    Ladeback69 Posts: 4,482
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    @KiterTodd, my dealer posted this same recipe on Facebook a week or so ago and I have been wanting to try it.  I may have to do it soon.  Looks awesome post. =)  
    XL, WSM, Coleman Road Trip Gas Grill

    Kansas City, Mo.
  • Phatchris
    Phatchris Posts: 1,726
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    Very cool technique
  • pab
    pab Posts: 273
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    If you go back to the Church Brew Works get the pierogi pizza. I didn't think it would be good, but it blew me away :)
    Nerk Ahia LBGE
  • vb4677
    vb4677 Posts: 686
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    Nice!  Been wondering how to get that BGE goodness into my world-class chili recipe...  Great idea.

    Kansas City: Too Much City for One State - Missouri side
    2 Large BGE's, Instant Pot, Anova Sous Vide, and a gas smoker...
    Barbeque, Homebrew and Blues...
  • Hans61
    Hans61 Posts: 3,901
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    How'd you get the fat out? Let it cool and scrape the top like floating wax?

    very nice post! Going to try!
    “There are three rules that I live by: never get less than twelve hours sleep; never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city; and never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body.”
    Coach Finstock Teen Wolf
  • Mosca
    Mosca Posts: 456
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    herbu said:
    Looks great!  I simply make hamburger patties and cook them like hamburgers.  Then crumble them into the pot.  Same w/ sausage and bacon.
    Same here. works great.
  • KiterTodd
    KiterTodd Posts: 2,466
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    Hans61 said:
    How'd you get the fat out? Let it cool and scrape the top like floating wax?

    very nice post! Going to try!
    If you don't stir, its just all floats to the top as shown in the one photo.  It was pretty easy to collect with a flat serving spoon.  I dumped spoonfuls into a gravy separator.  Cooling it would have taken too long since I planned on eating it immediately.  :)

    Thanks for the feedback.
    LBGE/Maryland
  • Carlyn2828
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    Any tips on reheating?  I sort of entered a chili cook off without really knowing how to cook chili and figured I would try this recipe.  I do not think I will have time to make it day of...but might try.  Thanks for the recipe!
    Jacksonville, Florida - Large BGE & Large Yellow Lab...Just the three of us!
  • KiterTodd
    KiterTodd Posts: 2,466
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    Any tips on reheating?  I sort of entered a chili cook off without really knowing how to cook chili and figured I would try this recipe.  I do not think I will have time to make it day of...but might try.  Thanks for the recipe!
    Hey @Carlyn2828 !   You are in luck as it seems that all sauces and soups are better the following day, so fear not!  You'll win a blue ribbon for sure.  I actually wouldn't make it the day of, anyway.  You'll be rushed and the time is indeterminate.

    Most chili contests have everyone lining up crock pots.  If that is the case, just put it on LOW!  And let it come up to serving temp.

    If you are stove top, again, heat on low heat to bring it up to serving temp. You don't have to boil it and you certainly don't want to scald it to the bottom of the pot.  So stir regularly or use on of these simmer pads which work great.
    LBGE/Maryland
  • KiterTodd
    KiterTodd Posts: 2,466
    edited January 2017
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    * RECIPE ADDENDUM *

    If I could go back and edit my posts, I'd change that line about "going easy on the smoke," to "smoke to your taste!"  

    When I wrote that I was concerned about the wife not being keen on too much smoke.  However, not only did she like it, but when I was packaging the leftovers up to freeze last night I had another hearty bowl and damn if that wasn't some of the best chili I've had! 



    You could sell that in a BBQ restaurant for $15 a bowl and people would be lining up for it.  Awesome flavor.  :plus_one:
    LBGE/Maryland
  • Carlyn2828
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    Thanks @KiterTodd - That is great news!  I will be making my chili on a Saturday and serving on a Sunday.  Thank you for the great advice!  Hopefully I'll smoke the competition...Hahahaha.  
    Jacksonville, Florida - Large BGE & Large Yellow Lab...Just the three of us!
  • Ladeback69
    Ladeback69 Posts: 4,482
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    This is like cooking meatloaf over a pot of chili.  We love meatloaf from the egg so this should be even better.
    XL, WSM, Coleman Road Trip Gas Grill

    Kansas City, Mo.
  • SmokeyPitt
    SmokeyPitt Posts: 10,490
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    I did this a couple of nights ago and it was really good. It had great smoke flavor. @Ladeback69 nailed it...reminds me of meatloaf chili.  Will definitely do again. I cooked pretty hot, around 350-375 due to time constraints and it still picked up a lot of smoke flavor. It only took a couple of hours take off to touch down. 

    I really like leftover brisket in chili as well, which is another way to get the smoke flavor in. It is great to have this as an option for something different, especially if you don't have leftover brisket.  Thanks for the recommendation. 


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