This hearty bowl of Smoked Chili is perfect year-round but especially comforting during the winter months. This is a simple recipe with very little prep time.

This recipe costs $14.89 to make. It makes six servings for a total of $2.48 per serving. 

I love to whip up a batch of this Cheesy Green Chile Cornbread or my Sour Cream Cornbread for a delicious and complete meal. 

Smoked Chili in a white bowl.

This classic chili recipe is taken up a notch by slow cooking it in a Traeger Smoker Grill for three to four hours! After trying this recipe, you will never want to make chili on the stovetop again.

However, cooking it on a smoker grill adds a rich and intense smoky flavor that is hard to compete with. This recipe is flavor-packed and seasoned just right.

It is meaty, thick, and full of beans and tomatoes. My recipe is a hearty chili that will warm you up on the most chilly of nights!

Ingredients and Cost

Per Serving Cost: $2.48

Recipe Cost: $14.89

  • 3 pounds lean ground beef – $9.03
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce – $1.08
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste – $0.72
  • 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes – $0.64
  • 15.5 ounce can Northern beans – $0.58
  • 15.5 ounce can red kidney beans – $0.58
  • ¼ cup chili powder – $0.32
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter – $0.30
  • 2 Tablespoons coarse black pepper – $0.44
  • 2 Tablespoons diced dried onion – $0.46
  • 2 Tablespoons garlic powder – $0.20
  • 1 Tablespoon coarse salt – $0.06
  • 1 cup beef broth – $0.48

NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have.

An overhead picture of all of the ingredients needed to make this recipe.

Instructions

  1. First, preheat the smoker to 250 degrees for twenty minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, brown the ground beef. 
  3. Then, add all of the ingredients into a dutch oven and stir together.
  4. Next, set the dutch oven in the smoker. Cook for 3-4 hours uncovered. 

A picture collage showing how to make Smoked Chili.

Recipe Variations

  • I used dark red kidney beans, but you can use any combination of beans you prefer.

Storage Tips

SERVE: You can leave the smoked chili out for about two hours before it needs to be refrigerated.

STORE: Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

FREEZE: Once the chili is cooled, place it in a freezer-safe container or Ziploc bag and freeze for 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for 5-6 hours.

RE-HEAT: Place the chili in a saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

Cook’s Tools

  • Dutch oven
  • Smoker grill
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Wooden mixing spoon
  • Box grater
The finished Smoked Chili in a red dutch oven on a Traeger.

Recipe FAQs

What is the best meat to use for chili?

Ground beef is one of the most common meats to use for chili and is what I use in this recipe. However, you can use other types of meat such as beef chuck or brisket.

Can you smoke ground beef?

You can place the ground beef in the smoker to cook instead of cooking it on the stovetop. For example, in a recipe known as Over the Top Chili, the meat is placed on a grate over the top of the chili and cooked simultaneously as the chili. For this recipe, I recommend cooking the ground beef on the stovetop.

Should chili be thick or soupy?

Chili should be thick and hearty, in my opinion. If there is too much liquid in the mixture, the chili becomes too soupy. You may need to add a cornstarch slurry if your mixture is not as thick as you would like it. In addition, you can also add more beans to help thicken it up.

A spoon lifting up some of the Smoked Chili.

 More Grilling Recipes

A close up picture of the finished Smoked Chili in a white bowl topped with cheese and sour cream.
4 from 26 votes

Smoked Chili

Recipe Cost $ $14.89
Serving Cost $ $2.48
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 35 minutes
6 people
This hearty bowl of Smoked Chili is perfect year-round but especially comforting during the winter months. This is a simple recipe with very little prep time.

Equipment

  • Dutch oven
  • Smoker grill
  • liquid measuring cup
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • wooden mixing spoon
  • box grater

Ingredients
 
 

  • 3 lbs lean ground beef browned and drained
  • 16 ozs tomato sauce
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 15.5 oz can Northern beans drained
  • 15.5 oz can can red kidney beans
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons coarse black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons diced dried onion
  • 2 Tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup beef broth

SERVING: (all optional)

Instructions

PREHEAT SMOKER:

  • Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees for 20 minutes.

BROWN BEEF AND PREP CHILI:

  • While the smoker is preheating, brown the ground beef.
  • Place all of the chili ingredients into a dutch oven and stir well.

SMOKE CHILI:

  • Place the dutch oven, uncovered, on the smoker. Put the lid on the smoker and cook for about 3-4 hours, stirring every hour.
  • Taste about an hour in and add more seasonings as desired.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • I used hickory pellets for this recipe, but just about any wood option will do. Make note that fruit woods are lighter in flavor.
  • I used dark red kidney beans, but you can use any combination of beans you prefer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 607kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 63g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 2534mg | Potassium: 2200mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 3949IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 174mg | Iron: 12mg

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4 from 26 votes (22 ratings without comment)

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4 Comments

  1. This sounds so amazing, looks like a perfect comfort food.

  2. Comfort food season is just around the corner. You can never have too many chili recipes to get you through the winter.

  3. I can never get enough of chili! Looks very heartly and will hit the spot!

  4. This is pure genius! The smokiness in the chili adds so much flavor and comfort food goodness