Cool fall and winter days demand that you fix this smoked brisket chili recipe. It is the perfect bowl of smokey comfort to warm you up from the inside out.

It seems like every year about this time, as soon as it turns cold, I get a hankering for a nice pot of chili.

In the past, I would always grab a pound of ground beef from the freezer to start with and then pick out a random assortment of cans from the pantry to add to it.

But recently as I reached into the freezer for the frozen ground beef, something caught my eye. A zip top bag full of aluminum foil “grenades” of smokey chopped brisket, leftover from a cook about a month prior.

frozen packs of smoked beef brisket

Suddenly reaching for ground beef sounded like the dumbest idea in the whole wide world.

Why cook a pot of chili with plain old boring ground beef, when I had leftover smoked brisket in my freezer?

That was the day I discovered smoked brisket chili.

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What to do with Leftover Smoked Brisket

A whole packer brisket is a big piece of meat and can feed a ton of people. Unless you’re feeding a small army, you most likely will have leftovers at the end of the day.

Honestly, when I smoke a brisket, there’s a part of me that is hoping for the leftovers because some of our favorite recipes call for this key ingredient.

Since most of the recipes we cook with leftover brisket call for the meat to be chopped, we typically do that before freezing.

foil pack of brisket

Then we wrap up 8 to 10 ounce packets of brisket in heavy duty aluminum foil. We throw the foil packs into a gallon size freezer bag and store them away in the freezer until we need them for a recipe in the future. (Update: Now we much prefer vacuum sealing our leftover smoked meats).

How to Make Smoked Brisket Chili

If you know me very well, you know I have a few different smokers. I’ve smoked this recipe of chili on most of them. The main requirement is that you’re able to place the dutch oven over indirect heat and maintain a temperature between 250-275 for a couple of hours.

Though this chili recipe will spend the majority of its time on your smoker, its journey begins in the kitchen with the sautéing of vegetables on your stove.

saute vegetables

With a little bit of olive oil over medium heat, sauté the onion, red pepper, green pepper, and jalapeno peppers in a cast iron dutch oven.

adding seasoning to chili

Once the vegetables begin to get tender, then stir in the seasonings, Worcestershire sauce, canned ingredients, and leftover brisket. Stir these ingredients to combine thoroughly and then they’re ready to head to the smoker.

adding canned ingredients to chili
adding brisket to chili

We sometimes leave the chili covered for the first 1/2 hour as it’s all coming up to temperature, but then for the remainder of the cook, we leave it uncovered so that it can take in the smokey flavor.

dutch oven covered
stirring chili

Just be sure to check in and stir the pot every 30-45 minutes to ensure even cooking and equal opportunity for smoke.

smoked brisket chilli

Brisket Chili Garnish Options

My favorite way to garnish this bowl of brisket chili is with some freshly shredded cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream and some sliced green onions.

chili garnishes

Here are some other ideas you could consider:

  • spoon chili over a baked potato
  • sliced avocado
  • guacamole
  • crushed tortilla chips
  • corn chips
  • shredded cheese (cheddar, pepper jack, Mexican blend)
  • sour cream
  • green onions
  • olives
  • corn bread
  • cilantro
  • fresh limes
Print Recipe
4.24 from 34 votes

Brisket Chili

You haven't even had chili until you've had it smoked with leftover brisket inside. This is one of our favorite ways to use leftover brisket.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time2 hours 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Barbecue
Keyword: brisket, chili
Servings: 6
Calories: 225kcal
Author: David Gafford



  • 10 oz smoked brisket chopped
  • 28 oz fire roasted tomatoes
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can kidney beans drained but not rinsed
  • 1 can black beans drained but not rinsed
  • olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and diced
  • 1/2 red pepper diced
  • 1/2 green pepper diced
  • 1/2 white onion diced
  • 1 Tb Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tb chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper


  • Heat up your smoker to around 250-275 degrees. We used hickory wood splits.
  • On your stovetop, heat up a cast iron pot to a medium high heat. Drizzle olive oil to coat the pan.
  • Saute onion, red pepper, green pepper and jalapeno until tender.
  • Add seasonings (chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper) and stir to combine.
  • Add Worcestershire sauce and all remaining canned ingredients (kidney beans, black beans, fire roasted tomatoes and crushed tomatoes) and stir to combine.
  • Add cubed brisket into the pot and stir to combine.
  • Place the pot on the smoker for about 30 minutes covered.
  • Remove the lid and stir brisket chili to ensure even heating and prevent char on the bottom of the pot.
  • Continue smoking chili for about 2 more hours uncovered. Be sure to stir the chili every 30-45 minutes.



Part of why we love this recipe is the smokey flavor that the brisket chili is infused with, being slow cooked on the smoker. 
If you find that the smoking process makes your chili too thick, you can always add beef broth to help thin it out some.
However, if you’re not a huge fan of smoke flavor or would prefer an easier indoor method for cooking, this recipe would also work wonders simmering on a stovetop or in a slow cooker.
Leftover brisket chili can be stored in the fridge for a few days, or we like to freeze it for up to a few months.


Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 878mg | Potassium: 837mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 2149IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 5mg