Irresistible Smoked Chili Recipe to Satisfy Your Taste Buds

Smoky. Spicy. Satisfyingly rich. This is what’s in store for you with my Smoked “over the Top” Chili Recipe. Perfect for a cozy family dinner or a gathering of friends, this chili recipe will be your next go-to comfort food. As a culinary explorer, I’ve tasted and tested every recipe, so you can trust me when I say that you’re in for an adventure.

Behind every great dish lies a story. So, let me share with you how this recipe first came about. One chilly evening, as I craved for something flavorful and hearty, I decided to make my own spin on the classic chili by smoking meat and veggies as the base. It was a winning light bulb moment – that’s why I named it “over the top”. It turned out to be so incredibly delicious that I had to share it with the world.

But don’t just take my word for it! Try it out yourself and experience its magic firsthand. Not only is this chili recipe tasty, but it’s also healthy and packed with nutrients from the beans and vegetables used. Plus, it’s versatile – you can serve it on its own or use it as a topping for nachos or in chili mac.

Whether you’re serving up the perfect meal for your family or entertaining friends at your next barbecue, this Smoked “over the Top” Chili Recipe will meet your expectations and satiate your cravings. So let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Smoked “over the Top” Chili

Are you tired of the same old chili recipe? Well, let me introduce you to a game-changer – the Smoked “Over the Top” Chili Recipe. This recipe is perfect for grill addicts and food lovers alike. Trust me when I say that this is not your ordinary chili; it’s a top-of-the-line, smoked-to-perfection, flavor-packed goodness from start to finish.

Firstly, this recipe uses only the freshest ingredients. The combination of garlic, bell peppers, diced tomatoes with green chilies, and an array of beans (Great Northern, Cannellini, Pinto, Navy, and Black) creates a rich flavor profile that provides just the right amount of balance in every bite.

But what sets this recipe apart is the smoked top chili. The addition of smoked paprika and pecan smoking will give your taste buds an unforgettable experience that’s both smoky and mildly sweet.

Secondly, this dish is incredibly versatile. You can customize it according to your taste preferences by adjusting the level of heat or by adding or removing ingredients like bacon, ground beef or pork sausage. You can even make it a vegetarian version by omitting the meat.

Lastly, this recipe is ideal for large gatherings or meal-prepping as it yields a generous serving size that makes for delicious leftovers that taste even better after sitting overnight in the fridge.

Overall, whether you’re making it on a Kamado Joe or a Dutch oven, smoking it on a Traeger or Pit Boss pellet smoker or simply grilling it on your Big Green Egg – this recipe proves that homemade chili can be both unique and exciting. So go ahead and share this recipe with others because they’ll surely love you more for it!

Ingredient List

 A hearty bowl of Smoked 'over the Top' Chili, perfect for a cold evening by the fire.
A hearty bowl of Smoked ‘over the Top’ Chili, perfect for a cold evening by the fire.

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s gather the necessary ingredients to create this smoked “over the top” chili that will surely ignite your taste buds. You’ll need:

Meat and Bacon

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 pound of pork sausage
  • 8 strips of bacon


  • 1 can (15.5 oz) of great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans (15.5 oz each) of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans (15.5 oz each) of navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) of black beans, drained and rinsed


  • 2 bell peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 whole garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 can (10 oz) of diced tomatoes with green chilies

Chili Base

  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 3 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Wood Pellets

  • Pecan or your preferred flavor

Note: you may also use traeger smoked top chili seasoning for added flavor.

Now that we have all our ingredients, we can start cooking up some flavorful smoked chili.

The Recipe How-To

Now that you have your ingredients sorted, it’s time to get cooking. This recipe is straightforward, but it does require a little patience to achieve the perfect smoked flavor.

Step 1: Start with the Bacon

To get started, dice 1 pound of bacon and cook it in the Dutch Oven until crispy. Then, remove it and set it aside for later.

Step 2: Brown the Meat

In the same Dutch Oven, brown 1 pound of seasoned ground beef and 1 pound of pork sausage. Once fully cooked, remove the meat from the pan and set it aside with the bacon.

Step 3: Chop Your Veggies

Next up, dice 2 bell peppers and mince 4 cloves of garlic. Add these to your Dutch Oven and sauté until they’re soft and fragrant.

Step 4: Time for Beans

Once your veggies are done, it’s time to add in your beans. Add two cans each of Great Northern Beans, Cannellini Beans, Pinto Beans, Navy Beans, and Black Beans, all drained and rinsed. Stir everything together until everything is well combined.

Step 5: Mix in Your Other Ingredients

With your beans done, it’s time to add in the rest of your ingredients. Stir in one can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, followed by your cooked bacon and meat.

Step 6: Smoke It Up!

At this point, you have a delicious chili base ready to go. But we’re not quite done yet- we need that smoked flavor! We recommend using a pellet grill or smoker like a Traeger or Pit Boss for this step, but you could use any smoking method that you prefer.

First, preheat your smoker to around 225°F. Next, place your Dutch Oven filled with chili onto the smoker grates. Smoke for around four hours, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.

Once it’s done smoking, give it a final stir and taste before serving.

Enjoy this smoked “over the top” chili recipe in its purest form or serve over chili mac for a hearty twist!

Substitutions and Variations

 The aroma of hickory smoke and spice will lure your senses into this delicious chili recipe.
The aroma of hickory smoke and spice will lure your senses into this delicious chili recipe.

While this smoked “over the top” chili recipe is certainly delicious as written, there are many substitutions and variations you can make to suit your tastes and pantry inventory. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Swap out the beans: If you’re not a fan of one of the bean varieties listed in the ingredient list, feel free to use a different type. Kidney beans, black-eyed peas, or even chickpeas would all be delicious in this chili.

2. Try different meats: While ground beef and pork sausage are the main proteins in this recipe, you could certainly use other types of meat instead. Consider trying cubed beef or pork, shredded chicken or turkey, or even vegetarian crumbles.

3. Adjust the spice level: If you like your chili extra spicy, consider adding more chili powder, diced jalapenos, or red pepper flakes. On the flip side, if you’re looking for a milder flavor profile, reduce the amount of chili powder and omit any additional spicy ingredients.

4. Experiment with smoking: This recipe calls for smoking the chili on a pellet grill or smoker, but there are plenty of other methods you could use to add a smoky flavor to your dish. Consider using smoked paprika or adding some pecan smoking chips to your charcoal grill.

5. Customize the toppings: One of the best things about chili is that you can really make it your own by adding your favorite toppings. Some classic options include shredded cheese, sour cream, diced onions, and crushed tortilla chips, but don’t be afraid to get creative!

Serving and Pairing

This smoked “over the Top” chili recipe is a hearty, flavorful dish that is best enjoyed with family and friends. When it comes to serving this dish, there are several options.

For a traditional chili experience, simply ladle into bowls and top with your favorite toppings such as shredded cheese, sour cream or diced onions. However, if you want to mix things up a bit, there are several creative serving suggestions that will elevate this chili to the next level.

One option is to serve it over a bed of rice or noodles. The soft and silky texture of the rice or noodles provides a perfect backdrop for the smoky, spicy flavors of the chili. Similarly, cornbread is another classic pairing that enhances the sweet flavors in the chili.

If you’re looking for an unexpected twist on this classic chili recipe, consider using it as a topping for baked potatoes. The creaminess of the potatoes balances out the heat and smokiness of the chili, resulting in an unforgettable meal.

As for beverages, beer is a classic pairing for any chili recipe. However, if you’re looking for something a little different, consider serving this dish with a red wine such as Zinfandel, Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon. Soft drinks like cola or root beer also work well with its hearty flavors.

Whether you choose to pair this smoked “over the Top” chili with traditional sides or try something new, one thing is certain – it’s a meal that will leave you feeling satisfied and full.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

If you’re a fan of meal prepping, then you’ll be pleased to know that this smoked “Over the Top” chili recipe can be made ahead of time. Simply follow the recipe instructions up until the point where the chili is supposed to simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours. Allow the chili to cool down completely before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

To reheat the chili, simply place it in a pot or Dutch oven over low heat until it’s heated through. If you’re pressed for time, you can also reheat individual servings in the microwave.

In terms of storing leftovers, this chili can be refrigerated for up to 5 days and frozen for up to 3 months without compromising its flavor or texture. Just be sure to thaw frozen chili completely before reheating it.

One helpful tip when storing this chili is to portion it into smaller containers before freezing. This will make it easier to thaw only the amount you need without having to defrost the entire batch.

Whether you’re meal prepping for the week or just saving some leftovers, knowing how to properly store and reheat this smoked “Over the Top” chili recipe will ensure maximum flavor and freshness every time.

Tips for Perfect Results

To ensure your Smoked “Over the Top” Chili Recipe turns out perfectly, here are some helpful tips and tricks.

Firstly, make sure to use good quality ingredients. Fresh bell peppers, diced tomatoes with green chilies, a variety of beans – great northern, cannellini, navy, and pinto beans – are essential for a flavorful chili base. Additionally, using high-quality bacon and ground beef will give your chili a rich and savory taste.

It is important to remember that smoking the chili is what sets this recipe apart. I recommend using pellet grills such as Traeger or pit boss which infuse bold flavors into the chili. If you don’t have a pellet grill, don’t worry! A kamado joe or Dutch oven can also be used.

As with any dish, proper seasoning is key. Smoked paprika adds a depth of flavor to the chili while chili powder brings heat and spice. It’s important to adjust the seasoning to your personal taste preference.

When adding in the meat cooked from Ott Chili to the pot it can be tempting to immediately stir it in, but resist the urge! Letting the meat simmer for a few minutes after adding will allow it to absorb flavor from the rest of the chili.

Lastly, I recommend giving your chili time to rest before serving. Allowing it to sit for at least an hour, if not overnight in the refrigerator gives time for all of the flavors to meld together resulting in a delicious and impactful dish.

By following these tips and tricks you’ll be able to create a Smoked “Over the Top” Chili Recipe that is sure to impress your guests and leave them asking for seconds.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this smoked “over the top” chili recipe is not your average chili recipe. By infusing it with smoky flavors and using a diverse range of beans, it is a top-tier chili that will leave your taste buds in shock and awe. The addition of bacon and ground beef provides protein-packed nourishment, while vegetables such as garlic and bell peppers add to the nutrient density of the meal.

What makes this recipe so special is its versatility. It can be cooked using various methods including pellet grills, kamado joes, big green eggs, dutch ovens, pellet smokers or even pit bosses. You can also experiment with different types of meat such as pork sausage or seasoned ground beef to make it your own.

This chili recipe is perfect for any occasion whether you’re having friends over to share a giant meatball or looking for an easy meal to prep and store throughout the week. Its make-ahead capabilities and reheating tips provide convenience without sacrificing quality.

So let’s share this recipe with our fellow grill addicts and chili enthusiasts! With its dynamic combination of spices and ingredients, this smoked “over the top” chili recipe is sure to impress anyone who takes a bite.


Smoked “over the Top” Chili Recipe

Over the top chili is more of a technique so feel free to use this method with any of your favorite chili recopies!
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 5 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Fusion
Servings 1 6QT
Calories 578.5 kcal


  • 2 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1/3 lb bacon
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can navy beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can great northern beans
  • 1 (10 ounce) can rotell diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce
  • 3 bell peppers (1 green, 1 orange, 1 red)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 3 different packs chili seasoning mix


  • Preheat Kamado to 250 degrees and add 1-2 hickory wood chunks to the coals. Use smoking stone for indirect heat.
  • Prepare the meatball by chopping the bacon and kneading it into the ground beef along with ½ of each chili seasoning package. (save the other ½ of each chili packet for the bean mixture).
  • Dice all of the different peppers and sauté them in vegetable oil with the garlic for 5 minutes.
  • Drain all of the beans and add to a cast iron dutch oven.
  • Add Rotel tomatoes to the dutch oven.
  • Add sautéed peppers to the dutch oven with the beans.
  • Add ½ of each chili seasoning packet to the bean mixture.
  • Place the dutch oven directly on the cooking grates of the preheated Kamado.
  • Place the meatball directly over the dutch oven on a second cooking grate so the drippings from the meatball drip into the chili mixture as it smokes. If an upper level grate is not available the dutch oven can be placed under the main grate on the smoking stone. If this is the case use a dutch oven with feet to avoid burning the chili mixture.
  • Cook at 250 until the internal temp of the meatball reaches 155-160 degrees. The time to reach temperature will vary from cooker to cooker but plan on around 4 hours.
  • Remove meatball, crumble, and add to the chili mixture.
  • Continue to cook for another hour.
  • If needed you can add beef stock to the chili if it is too thick.
  • ENJOY!

Your Own Notes


Serving: 416gCalories: 578.5kcalCarbohydrates: 49.2gProtein: 39.1gFat: 25.2gSaturated Fat: 9.2gCholesterol: 87.4mgSodium: 790.3mgFiber: 17gSugar: 3.9g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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