Smoked “Over the Top” Chili

Some of you might like to spend your days off relaxing on the couch, being lazy but our idea of a relaxing Sunday is smoking something delicious on the Traeger and enjoying the beautiful, March weather! This recipe is super interesting as it is almost like a deconstructed chili in a way. With this technique you are able to create a smoky meat flavor in your chili. Two things you NEED to have though are a cast iron dutch oven and a rack that fits on top of it.

This recipe requires a decent amount of chopping and mis en plas, but after everything is prepared, its kind of a set it and forget it recipe for a few hours.


Smoked “Over the Top” Chili:


  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 3/4 pound bacon diced raw
  • 1 (15 ounce can) Black Beans
  • 1 (15 ounce can) Navy Beans
  • 1 (15 ounce can) Cannelini Beans
  • 1 (15 ounce can) Great Northern beans
  • 1 (15 ounce can) Pinto Beans
  • 1 (10 ounce can) rotell diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 (10 ounce can) red enchilada sauce
  • 3 bell peppers (1 green, 1 yellow, 1 red) diced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic minced
  • 1/2 white onion diced
  • 1 poblano pepper diced
  • 1 jalapeno (seeded and diced)
  • 3 DIFFERENT packets of chili seasoning mix
  • Can of beer of your choice
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • Desired amount of hot sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Chili Toppings:

Shredded Cheddar

Sour cream


Macaroni noodles

Green Onions



  1. Preheat Traeger (or any smoker you own) to 250 degrees.
  2. Prepare the meatball by chopping the bacon and kneading it into the ground beef along with 1/2 of each of the three chili packet mixes. Keep this in a bowl and set to the side. Save the chili packets as you will use this later in the recipe.
  3. Dice all of the different peppers, onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes in vegetable oil.
  4. Drain all of the beans and add to the cast iron dutch oven. (**See recent cooking hack post to help you with this** Cooking Hacks)

5. Add Rotel tomatoes to the dutch oven

6. Add sautéed veggie mixture to the dutch oven.

7. Add in can of enchilada sauce.

8. Mix in the other halves of the chili seasoning packets.

9.Place dutch oven directly onto smoker with grate on top of open dutch oven. Put meatball/meatloaf mixture on top of grill grate on top of dutch oven so the dripping from the meat drip into the chili mixture as it smokes.

10. Cook at 250 until the internal temperature of the meatball reaches 155-160 degrees. This will vary depending on smoker, temp outside and accuracy of smoker heat throughout cooking time but should be around 4 hours or so.

11.Remove the meatball and crumble it up and add it to the dutch oven chili mixture. Add half can of beer or more to desired thickness. Add in salt, pepper, garlic powder, salsa and hot sauce.

12. Put back on Traeger and smoke for another hour.


13.Take off smoker and serve with your favorite chili fixins!

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