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Smoked Chuck Roast Chili

Smoked Chuck Roast Chili is my 'Lotsa Meatsa’, super heavy on meat, very thick, light on beans version of chili. It has a deep, complex flavor from Guinness Stout, bacon, traditional chili spices, cocoa powder, and smoke. You don't need a smoker to make it, but it is made on a barbecue grill.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Smoked Chuck Roast Chili
Servings: 12
Calories: 643kcal


  • 7 -9 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven


  • 4 pounds chuck roast, fat trimmed, cut into 1 - 1.5" cubes
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 pound bacon, cut into 1/2" strips
  • 2 cups onion, diced
  • 3 jalapeños, seeds and ribs removed, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder or espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • 1 pint Guinness Stout or other full bodied beer
  • 48 ounces diced tomatoes and their juices
  • 4 cups beef stock - divided
  • 15 ounces red beans, rinsed
  • 15 ounces black beans, rinsed
  • 15 ounces pinto beans, rinsed


  • Set up a barbecue grill for indirect cooking with the heat source side on high or very hot.
  • Season the chuck cubes on all sides with the kosher salt. Sear over the hot coals or flame until browned on all sides. Remove to a bowl when well caramelized on the outside, saving all of the drippings.
  • Meanwhile, in a 7qt or 9qt dutch oven, cook the bacon until crispy.
    meat being browned for smoked chuck roast chili
  • Remove the bacon while leaving the drippings in the dutch oven. Add the onion and sauté until tender for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the jalapeños, tomato paste, garlic, and all of the remaining spices. Continue to cook over the flame for 1-2 minutes until fragrant and the tomato paste begins to caramelize.
    smoked chuck roast chili in process
  • Add the beer scraping the bottom of the dutch oven to remove the browned bits and to deglaze the pan. Simmer for 2-3 minutes to reduce slightly.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and all of their juices and TWO (2) CUPS of the beef stock. Add the browned cubes of beef and the crisp bacon back into the pot.
  • Move the dutch oven to indirect to semi-indirect heat and reduce the grill temperature, aiming for about 300 degrees. Add a couple chunks of your favorite smoking wood if desired. I used hickory for this.
  • Simmer the chili with the grill lid closed, but the Dutch oven uncovered for 2 to 3 hours or until the beef starts to become fork tender.
  • Add the beans and the remaining 2 cups of beef stock and continue to cook for an additional hour. The goal is fork tender pieces of beef.
  • Taste test the chili to check if additional salt is needed.


More or less beef stock may be added as desired to obtain the desired consistency of the chili.


Calories: 643kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 1925mg | Potassium: 1528mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1048IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 128mg | Iron: 8mg