Best Smoked Chuck Roast Chili Ever!
This post is a collaboration with Primo Ceramic Grills. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own. I must say, this is the deepest most flavorful beef chili I have ever made!
Description: A smoked chuck roast and black bean chili studded with smoked poblanos, red bell pepper, tomatillos, and aromatics. The depth of flavor increases as red wine, beef broth and fire-roasted tomatoes are stirred into the chili pot then smoked on a Primo Ceramic Grill. If your time runs short, check out the tip on finishing the chili under high pressure! No matter what finishing method, this smoked beef chili turns out deep, dark, and decadent. Unforgettable and crave-able!
Let's talk chili for a moment? Few subjects in American culinary life are so controversial from what ingredients it is made with to who made the first pot of chili! And of course, we all claim our chili is best! If you were raised in Texas, you typically prefer deep dark red chili, with stewing meat in a chili-pepper sauce that always has cumin but absolutely no tomatoes or beans! Claim your Cincinnati chili is tops and you are talking a sweet chili with cinnamon, chocolate, allspice and Worcestershire, and always served on a bed of cooked spaghetti. Join me in my SoCal kitchen, and I will ladle White Chicken Chili with white beans, and mild green chilies into a chili bowl and top it with Pepper Jack Cheese and scallions. Or on a different day you will catch me stirring tomatillos, pork, pinto beans, charred poblanos, and cilantro to serve you an Arizona influenced Chile Verde. I will forego spicy Hatch chilies in my chili pot because Arizona and Colorado want to take the credit on that heat level.
What you toss into the chili pot is all about your palate so forget about only eating the chili of your region, explore and enjoy a plethora of smoked chili recipes on your Primo Ceramic Grill.
DEFINITION OF CHILI
The International Chili Society (ICS) declares traditional Red Chili as any kind of meat or combination of meats, cooked with red chili peppers, various spices and other ingredients, with the exception of beans and pasta!
HISTORY OF CHILI
There are many legends, tales, and facts on the history of chili that provide chili lovers with conversation fuel other than what goes in or out of a chili pot! Some stories give credit to the Southwest cattle drivers stirring up a kettle of meat with spices. Another story goes back to March 9, 1731, when a group of sixteen families arrived from the Canary Islands at Bexar, to what is now San Antonio, and accordingly to historians, the women made a spicy “Spanish” stew that is similar to chili.
A factual chili story that I love starts in 1895 when Lyman T. Davis of Corsicana, Texas, made chili and sold it from the back of a wagon for five cents a bowl! He threw in all the crackers you could eat; what a deal! He later opened a meat market where he sold Lyman’s Famous Home Made Chili in brick form. In 1921, he started to can chili and named it Wolf Brand Chili after his pet wolf, Kaiser Bill. In 1924, Davis quit the chili business when his ranch struck oil! He sold his operations to two Corsicana businessmen who drove their Model T Fords, with cabs shaped like chili cans and painted like the Wolf Brand label! A live wolf was caged in the back of each truck! What a sight! A picture of the wolf is still used on the label today, and owned by Stokley-Van Camp in Dallas, Texas!
As you eat a big bowl of chili, on the next rainy day, check out the other interesting chili stories, just type “The History of Chili” into a search engine. But for now LET’S SMOKE CHILI!
WHAT DEEP DARK DECADENT CHILI MUST HAVE
*A SMOKY FLAVOR: Two wood chunks and Primo Lump Charcoal are a must in infusing a smoky flavor to the chuck roast, bacon, poblano, red bell pepper, tomatillos, Spanish onion, and garlic! The flavor of each smoked ingredient softens and melds into the overall chili in a way that cannot be reached on the stovetop. The results of smoking chili really surprised me because I always thought my stovetop chili was good. No comparison to smoked chili! Honest!
*A RICH BASE: The saporous chili base is infused by spices, red wine, beef broth, and fire-roasted tomatoes. As the sauce reduces it becomes decadent and savory. My chili spice blend is made from chili powder, ancho chili powder, ground cumin, ground coriander and sweet smoked paprika; feel free to make your own. Malbec wine was used in the chili but a Cabernet Sauvignon would be pleasant too. Don’t buy cheap wine buy a wine you enjoy drinking!
*A DEEP DECADENT MEAT FLAVOR:
The smoked bacon and the smoked chuck roast add a robust meaty flavor to chili.
Look for a chuck roast that has a lot of marbling, or intramuscular fat, that fat will provide flavor and tenderness. Select 2.5 to 3 pounds chuck roast when making one batch of chili.
After the bacon is smoked I tried the fat to see if I could incorporate it into the chili. I could not! The flavor did not pass the taste test!
Store smoked chili 2-3 days in the refrigerator and the flavor will deepen. Amazing results!
*NOT TOO MUCH HEAT: When too much cayenne or a spicier pepper is used in chili your taste buds are blinded with the heat level. It is not all about the heat, it is all about the balance of flavors. At the end of cooking the chili, if you want more heat, add crushed red pepper flakes or simply serve red pepper or hot sauce for the diner to decide heat level.
*BEANS ARE OPTIONAL: I chose black beans because I love the flavor and the color is pretty for this chili! Choose your favorite beans… or leave beans out f you are from Texas! LoL
*TENDER BEEF: Let’s say, it is a windy rainy day at your home and the children are in the house ready to bring down the walls. You want the chili done like yesterday…I have a solution for you! AFTER the smoking of meat and veggies, finish the chili in an electric pressure cooker, and cook on the chili mode for 30 minutes. Release pressure naturally for 10-15 minutes then release the lid. Thank me later, cuz this trick is a keeper for smoked meat stews, soups, and chilis, and cooks who on the go! Primo Ceramic Grill and a Pressure Cooker just became best friends.
For an Off-The-Charts, and easy meal to serve at a dinner party make this chili 2 to 4 days ahead! The flavors then have time to meld together and deepen!
A themed Chili Bar is always welcomed at a Holiday party!
Buy chuck roast when it is on sale or in clearance, wrap it in foil, and freeze. When you are ready to make chili you are ready to go!
Make a double batch of chili and freeze! Store chili in the freezer for up to 6 months.
*CHILI BAR TOPPINGS: Serve with cilantro, chopped onions, scallions, grated Monterey Jack cheese, Pepper Jack Cheese, Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Mozzarella Cheese, avocado, chopped Serrano pepper, chopped pepperoncini, red pepper flakes, hot sauce, sour cream corn chips, tortilla chips and warm tortillas.
SMOKED CHUCK ROAST FOR CHILI
The smoking element in the first 1-2 hours is a must to infuse the beef with a smoky flavor that will carry through the chili mixture. After the smoking time, the chuck roast will soften in wine. Because a chuck roast has a greater amount of collagen than tender cuts. When collagen is cooked in the wine the collagen dissolves into gelatin, which allows the meat fibers to easily separate. After the chili finishes cooking on the grill, stove top, or pressure cooker you can use two fork to break the chunks of meat into bite size pieces
The smoking wood flavor can vary dependent on your taste! I suggest apple, cherry, or pecan wood chunks. Preheat your smoker to 250°F. Place the seasoned chuck roast, on the smoker, over indirect heat, and cook until the internal temperature of the roast reaches 165°F. The roast is cut into chunks and is added to the other chili ingredients to cook in a braising liquid to soften and meld flavors. After the lid goes on the Dutch Oven, the chili cooks for 2 hours on the smoker, at 325°F. with a closed dome. Alternative ways to finish the smoked chuck roast chili is on the oven or stove-top, for 2 hours. If time is of essence, finish cooking chili in a pressure cooker for 30 minutes, or until the roast is fork tender.
Why I love my Primo Grill: 1. Made in the USA 2. Quality Built 3. Easy to Grill, Bake, and Smoke on!
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Smoked Chuck Roast Chili with Red Wine
*Prep Time: 15 minutes *Smoke Time: 2 hours *Braising Time: 2 hours *Total Time: 2-4 hours dependent on finish *Servings: 8-10 people
8 oz sliced bacon, cut crosswise (about 4-inch long slices)
2.5 or 3 pounds chuck roast
1/2 tablespoon brisket rub or beef seasoning blend
1 tablespoon avocado oil or canola oil
1 tablespoon chili blend powder
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 tablespoon ground sweet smoked paprika
1 whole Spanish Onion, skin on
5-6 tomatillos, peeled
1 poblano pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 whole garlic head, with skin on
1 cup beef broth
1 cup red wine, Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon
1 (28 oz) can San Marzano tomatoes
1 (30 oz) large can black beans, rinse and drain
1/2 cup chopped celery
Smoke source: Primo Lump Charcoal and 2 pecan wood chunks
Chili Toppings: cilantro, green onion, sour cream, plain Greek Yogurt, corn chips, tortilla chips, red pepper flakes, chopped red bell peppers
Arrange bacon slices in an aluminum pan, use a pan about 11 3/4” long x 9 2/8” wide like a disposable standard half size steam table pan.
Rub the chuck roast with salt and pepper or beef/brisket seasoning. Drizzle with avocado oil.
Mix the spices in a small bow, chili powder, ancho chili powder, cumin, coriander, and smoked paprika; set aside.
Wrap two Primo Heat Deflector Plates in aluminum foil.
Use a full load of Primo lump charcoal. Place 1 pecan wood chunk at each end of the Primo Ceramic Grill. Light the charcoal with one Primo QuickLight starter cube at each end of the grill. Leave the dome open. Wait 5-8 minutes for the charcoal to build a small bed of embers.
Insert the Primo Heat Deflector Racks to the lowest position.
After small embers can be seen, insert the Primo Ceramic Heat Deflector Plates.
Close the dome with the bottom draft door and top vent fully open. Allow the temperature to reach 225°F. Adjust the bottom draft door to about 1/2-inch open, and the top vent to 1/4-inch open with the daisy wheel fully open.
Place an aluminum foil pan, with bacon on the center of the deflector plates. Insert the grill racks, on the highest level, above the bacon. Place the chuck roast above the bacon. Arrange the onion, tomatillos, poblano pepper, red bell pepper, and garlic head, around the chuck roast. Close the dome.
Increase the temperature in the ceramic grill to between 250°F and 275°F. Cook for 35-40 minutes, or until bacon is crispy. Remove bacon, tomatillos, both peppers, and garlic. Leave the onion and chuck roast on the grill, and for smoke for 30 more minutes or until the onion is soft. Smoke the beef 30-35 more minutes or until beef reaches about 165°F. Maintain the grill heat at 275°F by adjusting the top vent and daisy wheel.
Chop bacon into bite size pieces. Squeeze garlic from outer skin into a grill safe 5-quart grill safe Dutch Oven. Chop red bell pepper and poblano pepper. Quarter the tomatillos. Add bacon, red bell peppers, poblano peppers, tomatillos, black beans, tomatoes, celery, and homemade spice blend into the Dutch Oven, and stir. Pour red wine and beef broth on top, and stir well.
Remove onion and chuck roast from grill. Chop onion and cut chuck roast into 6 or so pieces; add to Dutch Oven, and stir well.
To finish chili, cover with Dutch Oven with lid, close grill dome, and cook over 325°F indirect heat for 1-2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes, or until the meat is fork tender and easily breaks into smaller pieces. *In a hurry? Read the short-cut method below.
To serve: Ladle chili into soup bowls or pasta bowls, and top with favorite chili toppings.
*In a hurry? After the chuck roasts smokes for 1-2 hours, all ingredients can be placed in a pressure cooker for 30 minutes and cooked on the chili setting or the pressure cooker setting. After 30 minutes, release pressure for 15-30 minutes before opening lid and transferring to a serving or storage dish.