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Recipe: Smoked Brisket Chili

Delicious smoked brisket chili.

A perfect use for that leftover smoked brisket

So you smoked a whole packer beef brisket over the weekend. Your friends and family went to town on it, because it was knock-out delicious, but you still have some of the smoked brisket left over. What are you going to do with it?

One great option is to make some Texas-style smoked brisket red chili. Chili is awesome for all sorts of reasons. For starters, it’s tasty and easy to make. The set it and forget it part of that is alluring since you probably are going to be making the chili on a Sunday or weekday evening.

But even better than convenience is the fact that brisket chili is so versatile. You can eat it alone with a little cornbread. Or cover some tortilla chips and make some nachos with it. Or heat up some hot dogs and make the best damn chili dogs you’ll ever have. In short, brisket chili is a smart freaking choice.

The smoked brisket chili we have here is one that I developed because I wanted that authentic Texas smoked barbecue flavor to take precedence in the chili. The smoked brisket is definitely the star of the show here. But the smoked flavor is pretty powerful and as such it is vitally important that you allow this chili to simmer for at least two hours to help meld the flavors.

I use a stout beer in my recipe that has some espresso-type notes in it. It’s low on the IBUs and the coffee flavor really plays well with the smoked brisket. I suppose you could use some Mexican beer or a lager and it will turn out just fine.

I don’t use any bell peppers, beans, or other ingredients that have flavors that can take over the chili. This is straight up brisket chili. And once you try it, you’ll be like, dang dude, I should have done that sooner!

One final note on spice: this recipe has some heat if you use the jalapeƱos. You can kick it up further with some hot chili powder or cayenne pepper. You can tone it down by using green chilis and mild chili powder.

Smoked Brisket Chili


2 tbspVegetable Oil
1 medSweet Onion
1.5 lbsSmoked Brisket (The most crucial ingredient. Don’t substitute this.)
14.5 ozFire-roasted Crushed Tomatoes (1 regular can)
4 ozDiced chilis or jalapenos (1 small can – pick based on your taste for heat)
1 tbspCalifornia Mild Chili Powder (Substitute hot if you want)
0.5 tbspCumin
1 tbspBuck Magnussen BBQ Rub (See our recipe)
29 ozTomato Sauce (1 large can)
8 ozStout Beer (Coffee stout works well)
24 ozWater
1 tspBeef Base (Like Better Than Bouillion)


1. Dice the onion and cook over medium-low heat with the vegetable oil until the onions begin to carmelize.

2. Add the smoked brisket, fire-roasted tomatoes, and chilis (or jalapenos). Add the spices. Stir and let it cook for a couple minutes.

3. Add the tomato sauce, beer, water, and beef base. Stir and heat to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. Let simmer for approximately two hours.

4. Serve with your garnishes of choice. We suggest some sour cream and cheddar cheese.