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Smokin’ Chuck Wagon Chili
Smokin’ Chuck Wagon Chili

Smokin’ Chuck Wagon Chili, with the weather being so cold and dreary around the country we’ve been in the mood for Chili. So, I thought I would make my Smokin’ Chuck Wagon Chili, slow smoked with Texas Blend BBQ Pellets. I have been making chili for 40 years now with little or no measuring I guess you could call it a dump Chili thus the name Chuck Wagon. In my recipe tonight I’ll be using leftover meat that I cut into large chunks.  I’ll show you step-by-step how to make this chili on your grill. I was torn between doing an original Chili which I will give you some history on or just a plain good Chili that is more common today.

The first recorded recipes for chili date back to the 1800’s with the Chili Queens of San Antonio. Chili con Carne translates into peppers and meat. Chili then was made by the poorest of the poor who had little or nothing in which to make their Chili. They used the toughest meats and whatever peppers and seasonings they could find. Chili in the 1800’s contained no tomatoes for that time in history they were considered poisonous. My chili is close to that long ago recipe. But not quite as I use a lot of peppers and I added little tomato and lots of garlic.

Chili con carne is often known simply as chili. The name chili con carne is a slight corruption of the Spanish language chile con carne, which means chile (peppers) with meat. The essential ingredients are meat and chili pepper.
That’s it….

Patti and I have set one night a week just for us. It’s our date night. We usually put something special on our Sawtooth Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker but sometimes we cook inside. We always eat outside on our patio where it is very comfortable with a rainforest theme.  Wood Pellet Patio Heater, little lights, candles, lanterns and surround sound. We enjoy a little wine, or strawberry margaritas using frozen strawberries for ice, good food, music and sometimes a dance or two…

Smokin’ Chuck Wagon Chili
Big Chunks of Meat, Chili Peppers and Onions

Smokin’ Chuck Wagon Chili
A Wood Pellet Grill Recipe

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Grill: Sawtooth Wood Pellet Grill
Pellets: Green Mountain’s Texas Blend BBQ Pellets

Ingredients: Smokin’ Chuck Wagon Chili

  • 4 pounds of cubed beef, (I used leftover Tri Tip, but chuck roast works well)
  • 2 large sweet onions, rough chopped
  • ½ cup dried chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup New Mexican chili powder
  • ¼ cup Chipotle chili powder
  • 15  oz. can Mexican style stewed tomatoes
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 8 oz. can of Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Country Bob’s Seasoning Salt
  • Dried chili peppers, we use a few handfuls

Directions: Smokin’ Chuck Wagon Chili

If you are not using leftover meat brown the raw meat first. Using a large Dutch oven rough chop your onions and layer them in the bottom. Then, layer your meat chunks, chipotle chili peppers, and the rest of the seasonings cover with water. I like to use a pair kitchen shears to cut the chipotle peppers. After adding all the ingredients to your Dutch oven place it on the Sawtooth Grill/Smoker at 250 degrees (122c) for five hours or until the meat is tender. If you want to thicken it up the last half hour you can add a little corn starch mixed with water and stir that in. Do this a little at a time and you’ll see it thicken.  When it gets to where you want just let it simmer for a little while.

I use a Maverick ProTemp Instant Read Thermometer (Our Store) for checking meat temps.

Note: I get a lot of questions about the kind of pellets you can use with a recipe. Keep in mind that a recipe is just an outline. Some you need to follow closely like when you are making bread, but most you can do anything you can dream, our favorite way to cook. Feel free to mix and match the pellets until you find a combination you really like. Also you are only smoking at temps less than 250 degrees (122c), anything higher is cooking and there will not be much if any smoke so it does not matter what kind of pellet you are using.

 Smokin’ Chuck Wagon Chili
A Wood Pellet Grill Recipe

Smokin’ Chuck Wagon Chili
Place your Chopped Onions in your Dutch oven


Smokin’ Chuck Wagon Chili
Add Meat and Chipotle Chiles


Smokin’ Chuck Wagon Chili
Add Seasonings


Smokin’ Chuck Wagon Chili
Add Dried Peppers and Cover with Water


Smokin’ Chuck Wagon Chili
On the Sawtooth Wood Pellet Grill

Smokin’ Chuck Wagon Chili
A Wood Pellet Grill Recipe

Smokin’ Chuck Wagon Chili
Let’s Eat

Smokin’ Chuck Wagon Chili
A Wood Pellet Grill Recipe

About our Recipes

We do our recipes on our patio where we have a lineup of grills, including Green Mountain, Sawtooth, Louisiana, Royall, Memphis, Traeger pellet grills, Char Griller side box smoker, Saber, Charmglow, Char-Broil, The Big Easy, Pacific Living Outdoor Oven, Lodge Sportsman’s, Brinkman and Weber. I call it our “Wall of Grill”. Our grilling styles are healthy and low fat and will fit pelletheads, gas, natural wood and even charcoal purists. Almost any of our recipes can be done on any kind of good BBQ.

The important thing to keep in mind is TIME & TEMPERATURE. You can do our recipes on any grill, even some of them in the oven or crock pot, but, then you lose all the flavors you get from cooking outdoors. But sometimes it does rain.

Remember that a recipe is simply an outline; it is not written in stone. Don’t be afraid to make changes to suit your taste. Take it and run with it….

Live your Passion and Do What You Love,
Ken & Patti
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Our Thanks To:

Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce
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Butcher BBQ
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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I need to update my website and I’m wondering what softwear you used to do yours… it looks great!

  2. Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is great,
    let alone the content!

  3. do you put the lid on the Dutch oven?

    1. Leave it uncovered so it can pick up the smoke flavors ….

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