Smoking chili on a Big Green Egg may seem like a hard thing at first. But the good news is that Big Green Egg chili, in both theory and practice, is way easier than it might seem and you honestly can’t mess it up. The nice thing about cooking chili on your Big Green Egg is that you don’t have to worry too much about timing or adding in things at certain points. While it’s true that good chili takes work and a little bit of timing timing and layers of flavor, the Big Green Egg is awfully forgiving when it comes to chili because the ingredients and smokiness will cover over a multitude of mistakes if you make any.
I was nervous at first so I looked around online and there are no shortages of recipes out there. After digging around for a bit, I ended up where I typically end up . . . the Big Green Egg forum, affectionally known as the EGGhead Forum. And based off the reviews and the positive comments I settled on a recipe from the user Egret.
A couple of notes.
One, I subbed my own seasoning and rub for the Dizzy Pig rub mentioned in the ingredients. Nothing special about the rub. Just your typical house made BBQ rub. So if you’ve got one that you use, I’m sure you could use that with similar results to what I got.
Two, this recipe is a little bit spicy. Not over the top, but enough. I’m of the persuasion that the more heat the better. Unless my lips feel like they’re bleeding and about to fall off, it’s not hot enough. However, I pulled my ingredient recommendations listed below down a bit to bring the heat down for you. But all you have to do to make it really spicy is add more of whatever you think will get you there.
A lot of it depends on how spicy your chiles are. Particularly the jalapeño and serrano. Jalapeños never get that hot. But the Serranos are always warm. Especially if you leave a few seeds in (which I did). So if you don’t like hot, make sure you get non-spicy italian sausage or get it as mild as you can get. And cut the chiles called for in half. The great thing about chili is that as you get closer to the end you can start adjusting things up. Not so easy to take things out but you can always add to balance it out in which ever direction you like. A good trick that always helps if I make it too hot, is to add some beer in about half way through to bring it back down a bit in temperature.Oddly enough, the leftovers for the Big Green Egg chili weren’t spicy at all. Typically when I make chili or salsa, it gets hotter and spicier the longer it sits. It was the opposite with this chili. The longer I left it the more mellow and subtle the heat got.
One last notes, don’t let the ancho chiles scare you. They aren’t hot. They have a nice smokey flavor to them but not a lot of heat at all. They’re tough to find. I can’t ever find them at Publix or Kroger but Wal-Mart always has them in the dried hispanic food section. But I wouldn’t leave those off or sub those out as they are the “secret ingredient” to this recipe in my opinion.
Again, thanks to Egret for the great recipe and for sharing it on the EGGhead Forum.
1 1/2 lbs ground Chuck
1 lb Italian Sausage (casing removed if you get it in links)
2 cups Onion (chopped)
1/2 Green Bell Pepper (seeded and chopped)
1/2 Jalapeno Chiles (seeded and chopped fine)
1/2 Serrano Chile (seeded and chopped fine)
1 Tbs Garlic (minced)
1 28 Oz Can Diced Tomatoes and liquid
1 15 Oz Can Diced Tomatoes and liquid
1 Can Rotel
2 15 Oz Can Pinto or Dark Kidney Beans (drained)
2 Tbs Chili Powder
1/2 Tbs Ancho Chile Powder
1 1/2 Tbs ground Cumin
1 tsp Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
2 Bay Leaves
1 tsp Tabasco Sauce
1 tsp dried Oregano
3 Tbs Dizzy Pig Cow Lick Steak Rub
2 cups Beef Broth
1 cup Dry Red Wine
1-2 dried Chili Peppers (chipotle, ancho, etc.) to float on top
Salt and fresh ground Pepper to tasteDirections:
1. Preheat your Egg to 350° with inverted plate setter (legs up).
2. Place dutch oven in the egg on the plate setter and add 2 Tbs. olive oil.
3. Add the ground chuck and sausage (break up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon).
4. Add 2 or 3 fist-sized chunks of wood to coals.
5. Close lid and cook for about 1 hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes.
6. Remove dutch oven from egg, remove meat and drain on paper towels. You don’t have to drain the meat, this just cuts down on some of the grease and what inevitably gives me heart burn and making me run for the bathroom later on in the night.
7. Wipe dutch oven dry with paper towels.
8. Return dutch oven to egg, add more olive oil and sauté onions, green pepper, jalapeños, and Serrano pepper(s) until limp.
9. Add garlic and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes.
10. Add remaining ingredients and cook, uncovered, for about 2 hours (add water/beer as needed to prevent drying).
11. Note: After the mixture starts to simmer, you can reduce the dome temperature to 325 degrees. Remove bay leaves, dried chiles, correct seasoning and serve.