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large loaf of smoked ground beef on grill grate in Big Green Egg with temperature probes sticking out

Smoked Chili (Over The Top)

Erica
Smoked Chili, also known as Over the Top (OTT), is the BEST chili you will taste in your life. Smoked ground beef mixed into a perfect blend of classic chili ingredients, all cooked in the Big Green Egg or electric smoker. Then a secret ingredient is the finishing touch that sends the depth of flavor over the moon.
4 from 9 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs 10 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 10 people
Calories 434 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the chili base

  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions diced
  • 3 large green bell peppers seeded, ribs removed, and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (28 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can red kidney beans drained and rinsed

For the ground beef "loaf"

  • 2 ½ pounds (85/15) or (80/20) ground beef (lean beef/percent fat)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp Montreal steak seasoning
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate morsels

Instructions
 

Prepare the chili base

  • On the stovetop, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a cast iron Dutch oven (*see Notes). Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic, and sauté 5 minutes or until onion is translucent. Remove from the heat.
  • Add the remaining ingredients for the chili base. Set aside.

Prepare the ground beef "loaf"

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and Montreal steak seasoning until just combined taking care not to over work the meat.
  • Form the meat into a loaf without packing too hard. Set aside.

Smoke the chili in a Big Green Egg

  • Prepare the Big Green Egg to smoke with hickory wood at a steady 275°F-300°F with a plate setter inserted for indirect cooking, legs up.
  • Place a grill grate on the plate setter. Place the Dutch oven with the chili base, uncovered, on the grill rack.
  • Place another grill rack on the Dutch oven (alternatively, use the BGE extender kit for a second rack over the Dutch oven), and place the ground beef "loaf" on that.
  • Cook 2 hours or until internal temperature of the beef is 150°F.
  • Break up the meat into small crumbles and add to the chili. Cook an additional 2 hours. Do not add more wood for smoke.
  • Remove chili from the heat and stir in the chocolate. Serve as desired.

Smoke the chili in an electric smoker

  • Prepare the electric smoker to smoke with hickory wood at a steady 275°F-300°F.
  • Place the Dutch oven with the chili base, uncovered, on a grill rack.
  • Place the ground beef "loaf" on a grill grate over the Dutch oven.
  • Cook 2 hours or until internal temperature of the beef is 150°F.
  • Break up the meat into small crumbles and add to the chili. Cook an additional 2 hours. Do not add more wood for smoke.
  • Remove chili from the heat and stir in the chocolate. Serve as desired.

Notes

A little hickory goes a long way and ground beef soaks it right up. Once the initial wood is used up, resist the temptation to add more. It isn't necessary and can end up overpowering the finished chili.
Acidic and tomato-based sauces can react with cast iron if your pan is not well seasoned. So, if your pan is newer, use a ceramic Dutch oven or other non-reactive pan.

Nutrition

Calories: 434kcal (22%) | Carbohydrates: 31g (10%) | Protein: 27g (54%) | Fat: 22g (34%) | Saturated Fat: 9g (56%) | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 75mg (25%) | Sodium: 841mg (37%) | Potassium: 936mg (27%) | Fiber: 8g (33%) | Sugar: 13g (14%) | Vitamin C: 105mg (127%) | Calcium: 70mg (7%) | Iron: 5mg (28%)

Calorie count is purely an estimate calculated using an online application to serve as a guide and not to be taken as accurate nutritional information. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Keyword OTT chili, over the top chili, smoked chili, smoked ground beef
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