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Smoked Brisket Chili

Use your leftover brisket to make this incredible smoked brisket chili.

One of my favourite parts of having our Traeger is that I always have a variety of yummy leftovers tucked carefully away in the freezer.

There are often frozen pulled pork, beef jerky, beef brisket leftovers. Just waiting for us to have a lazy night where both Kevy and I tap out on cooking duties.

This recipe was born during a cold Sunday afternoon, where we needed to eat dinner, but it was Sunday - and no one was really feeling making a big dinner.

This recipe is dedicated to lazy cooking.

Two bowls of smoked brisket chilli with a dollop of sour cream and garnished with cilantro.
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Tips + tricks

No. 1 --> Save your smoking leftovers! That's the beauty of this recipe. If you only got a little leftover, save it anyways.

No. 2 --> Store your smoked leftovers in a vacuum-sealed bag. Seriously. Our Food Saver gets a major workout, but it makes for fresh, delicious leftovers every time.

No. 3 --> Change this recipe to suit your tastes. This is a baseline, a guide, an idea, a hint. While it's perfect for mine and Kevy's tastes, our kids prefer to add beans, and you may prefer to do the same 🙂

No. 4 --> Use the flat of the brisket for this recipe. This side of the brisket is the thinner, leaner side but lends well to braising in chili. We've used the point, but the meat is so tender on the point that it gets lost in the chili, while the flat falls apart in your mouth, not your bowl!


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How to make

Because this chili is made with leftovers, it requires very little hands-on time.

  1. Brown the onions, celery, garlic and jalapenos until fragrant and translucent.
  2. Add the spices and tomato paste. Cook until the tomato paste has darkened and the spices give off a stronger scent.
  3. Add the chopped brisket, the tomato paste, Rotel tomatoes and coffee.
  4. Stir until completely combined. Simmer for as little as 30 minutes before serving - or as long as a few hours. Don't forget to stir occasionally.
Holding the finished chili in a large pot.

How to serve

One of the best parts of chili night in our house is the bar-style toppings we set out for it! Small bowls filled with yummy topping options take a regular chili to the next level.

Here's some ideas to get you started:

Two bowls of leftover brisket chili with bread.

What to serve with chili

I might be biased, but I swear bread is the perfect side dish for chili.

Cornbread might be my favourite. It's hearty, but slightly sweet and plays against the smoky savouriness of the brisket chili. Try my cornbread!

That said, a good crusty loaf can't be beat. This no-knead bread is the perfect crusty bread to go with a dense, smoky chili!

Two bowls of brisket chili with a bread basket.


This is about to be like leftover inception. Leftovers inside of leftovers.

I'm about to blow your mind. Yes. You can store leftovers of this chili. That makes this a great make ahead meal option.

This chili is good for a couple days in the fridge, OR frozen in a freezer-friendly container for up to 3 months.

Making chili is simple, all you need is a damn good chili pot. Me, personally, I believe that my large enamled cast iron dutch oven is the most perfect vessel for chili!

It's wide, and deep, but also shallow? By that I mean, it's a wide pot, and it's deep enough for cooking, but not so deep it's hard to use.

You can get a large cast iron dutch oven on Amazon!

Need a kick ass brisket recipe?

I gotcha! Here's how we make our smoked briskets!

Sliced smoked brisket.

Love your smoker?

Try some more of my smoked recipes!

📖 Printable Recipe

Two bowls with brisket chili and topped with sour cream.
Yield: 16 cups

Smoked Brisket Chili

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Put those brisket leftovers to use in this delicious, smokey, chili. It's full of tender beef chunks, veggies, and just the right amount of heat.


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil or lard
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, or more if you like it spicier!
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 3-4 cups of leftover smoked brisket, coarsely chopped
  • 5 oz tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup strong coffee
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes, original (10 oz )
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)


  1. In a large pot, over medium heat, sautee the onions, celery, garlic and jalapeno in the oil or lard, until the onions become translucent.
  2. Add the cumin, chili powder, paprika, cinnamon and tomato paste - cook until the spices become more fragrant and the tomato paste darkens.
  3. Add the coffee, allow it to simmer for a few seconds and use it to deglaze the pan. Scrape all those browned delicious bits off the bottom - don't leave that flavour behind!
  4. Add the chopped brisket, Rotel tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Stir until ingredients are well combined.
  5. Bring the pot of chili to a low simmer over medium-low and allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes, but up to a few hours. If you find the chili becomes too thick, simply add a 1/4 cup of water to thin it out.
  6. Serve hot!


Serve with:

This chili deserves a side of bread. Just saying. It's great served warm with a fresh loaf of No-Knead Bread, or a wedge of warm Cornbread.


This chili is good for a couple of days in the fridge OR frozen in a freezer-friendly container for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

2 cups

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 356Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 620mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 28g

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Delicious smoked brisket chili pinterest graphic.
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