Texas Brisket Chili

Chef Tom fires up the Kamado Joe Classic III Ceramic Charcoal Grill to share his version Texas Chili. Homemade chile base, no beans, and best of all… smoked brisket! It’s Texas Brisket Chili!

Texas Brisket Chili

Yield 16 servings


For the brisket:

For the chile base:

  • 6 ancho chiles, seeds and stems removed
  • 2 pasilla chiles, seeds and stems removed
  • 2 guajillo chiles, seeds and stems removed
  • 4 arbol chiles, seeds and stems removed (optional)

For the chili:

  • Brisket scraps for rendering/fond
  • 1 large yellow onion, (4 cups) sliced thin
  • 8 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce (optional)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin seed
  • 1 tbsp dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bottle Shiner Bock beer
  • 1 cup coffee
  • 1 quart beef stock
  • Noble Saltworks Hickory Smoked Salt, to taste
  • Diced onion, for garnish
  • Shredded sharp cheddar, for garnish
  • Crumbled queso fresco, for garnish


Preheat your Kamado Joe Classic III Ceramic Grill to 275ºF, set up for smoking with large chunks of hickory wood chunks for smoke.

To prepare the brisket flat, trim excess fat and silver skin from the surface of the flat. Save some of the excess fat for rendering for the chili. Coat the brisket in a thin layer of Worcestershire sauce for binder. Season with a moderate amount of Killer Hogs The AP Rub. When the rub is wet and attached to the meat, season liberally with the Cattleman’s Grill Smoky Chipotle Steak Rub. Let the rub set up until it appears wet on the surface.

Smoke the brisket at 275ºF-300ºF until a bark is formed on the surface, as well as pockets of moisture, about 2.5 hours. Remove from the grill. Cut into 1.5”-2” cubes.

Remove the slow-roller indirect set-up for the grill. Add more charcoal. Open up the airflow and bring the grill up to 350ºF-400ºF, set up for direct grilling.

While the brisket is smoked, prepare the chile base. Start by toasting the chiles in a hot dry skillet. A Lodge 12” skillet should hold all of the chiles. Toast them just until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds, then flip and repeat. Add enough hot water to the skillet to cover the chiles. Bring the water up to a boil. Turn off the heat. Cover with a lid and let soak for 20 minutes.

When the chiles are softened, remove from the soaking water. Rinse with clean, cold water. Transfer to a blender. Add one cup of water to the blender. Blend until a smooth paste is formed. Set aside.

To make the chili, render the fat from the brisket trimmings until you have about 3 tablespoons of rendered fat. Remove the chunks of fat and brisket. Add the onions and garlic and stir with a wooden spoon. Add the cumin, oregano and smoked paprika, as well as a few shakes of smoked salt. Cook over medium-high heat until slightly browned and softened, stirring to prevent scorching. Add the cubed brisket, chipotles in adobo sauce, coffee, beer and beef stock. Stir and transfer to the grill.

You might also enjoy: Brisket Tacos with Smoked Salsa

Cook the Texas Brisket Chili uncovered for about one hour, until thickened and dark on the surface. Cover with a lid and continue cooking until the brisket is fork tender, about 2 more hours. Add additional stock or water to keep the brisket mostly submerged at all times. When the brisket is tender, the liquid should be thickened. You can add more liquid to thin the chili out, if desired.

Shred most of the brisket. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve the Texas Brisket Chili in bowls topped with diced onions, sharp cheddar and queso fresco.

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  1. Brian Archer
    October 2, 2019

    Love the recipes Tom, you are doing a great job and I’m really enjoying my new YS640S in large part to your videos. Wondering if you would consider two videos for the future, one being calzones and the other being blackened catfish. Thanks man!

  2. Chris
    October 6, 2019

    This doesn’t mention when to add the chili paste or the cinnamon stick.

  3. Matt
    October 11, 2019

    What if you did want beans? What would you recommend in regards to when to add and how to add? Thanks! (Editor: Assuming canned beans, in the last 90 minutes or less. They need to warm up and pick up some flavor, but go too long and they will turn to mush.)

  4. jroach2014
    October 17, 2019

    Hello! This sounds great and I hope to make it soon. What are you using to cook the actual chili in? Is the a 12″ deep pan?

  5. Brady
    October 22, 2019

    I made this recipe and it wasn’t nearly as thick as this. Any idea where I went wrong?

  6. Shana Acquisto
    October 26, 2019

    What do you do with peppers sat aside and cinnamon stick

  7. Dwight Corrin
    June 13, 2020

    I don’t understand why you are using plain water, which adds no flavor, when you have the liquid left from re-hydrating the chiles. You are throwing away flavor when you wash the re-hydrated chiles.


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