Our chili recipes are some of the most popular out there, so it was time to share our mega tasty Traeger smoked brisket chili! And we are sharing 5 different ways to make it – stove top, oven braised, smoker, slow cooker or Instant Pot.

The smoky flavor of the brisket with those bold chili flavors ands spices makes for an outrageously good bowl of chili. I love to top my bowl with shredded cheddar cheese and some sour cream.

I mean, where do I even start? This smoked brisket chili recipe has been living in my brain for probably the past 5-6 years and it has taken me all this time to get it down on “paper”. How weird that we rarely use paper anymore. Remember all those calendars on walls and sticky notes of reminders?

a photo of a large bowl of chili topped with fritos, cilantro, and diced onions.

5 Different Ways

Anyway, I always have leftover brisket, those things are huge and my children are small. Therefore, brisket chili. And you don’t need a ton for this recipe…just 1.5 lbs.

I want to help you out so there will be five different versions explained. Please don’t get bugged! I will get questions about making it different ways so I’m just trying to anticipate that and help. The five different ways are stove top, oven braised, smoked, slow cooker and Instant Pot. Then there will be instructions for both uncooked brisket and leftover brisket for each method. Make sense? Sheesh, I hope so! Here we go…

First, I will start by explaining how to brown uncooked brisket if you’re going to go that route…

How to Brown Brisket for Chili

  1. Cube the pieces of raw brisket meat – Trim any hard fat as that will not melt away in the cooking process. Remember, the size of the meat is what you’ll be eating so we want no bigger than 2″ pieces (these will break down so you can smash them a bit, creating smaller pieces once cooked).
  2. Season the brisket with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat oil in the bottom of a cast iron dutch oven or large pot until shimmering. Cook the brisket in batches, never at once or it will end up cooking in liquid, aka boiled meat. Remove to a plate and proceed with the recipe of your choice, oven braised, smoked, or stove top. 

 Using Leftover Brisket for Chili

If you have leftover brisket either from our smoked brisket recipe or our slow cooker brisket, your steps will be fewer…

  1. Because your meat is already prepared, start by cooking the veggies and seasonings first. 
  2. Add cubed brisket and all remaining ingredients to the pot and proceed with your cooking method of choice – stove top, oven braised, smoked, slow cooker or instant pot. 
a photo of a large dutch oven full of brisket chili topped with melting shredded cheese and slice green onions with a large silver serving spoon resting on the edge of the pot.

Brisket Chili – 5 Different Methods

Let’s walk through each cooking method. Keep in mind that your cooking time is going to vary depending on cooking method and whether you start with previously cooked brisket.

  • {NOTE} If you are starting with uncooked brisket, your cook time will be longer.
  1. You will start by cooking the bacon until it is crisp and then moving it to a paper towel lined plate. Then add the onions and peppers and cook until tender.

{Uncooked Brisket}

  2. If you’re using uncooked brisket, add the cubed meat that has been seasons with salt and pepper. Brown in batches according to the instructions above.

  3. Then add all the beef back to the pot and all the remaining ingredients.

{Leftover Smoked Brisket}

  1. If you’re using previously cooked brisket, add it to the pot along with all the rest of the ingredients. Then you decide which method you are going to use…

Stove Top Brisket Chili

  1. Prep the chili with either leftover or raw meat (browning the meat according to the instructions above). Once you’ve got everything in the pot, stir to combine.
    • Freshly Browned Brisket – Bring the chili to a simmer for 30 minutes over medium high heat, then set the heat to medium low and allow to continue cooking for 4-5 hours. Don’t be tempted to stop at hour 3 even though the meat is looking tender, 4-5 hours is the key.
    • Already Smoked Brisket- Bring the chili to a simmer for 10 minutes over medium high heat, then simmer on medium low for an additional 30-60 minutes or even all afternoon is fine- the preferred method for the best flavor.

Oven Braised Brisket Chili

  1. Create the recipe following through the stove top method for the initial 10 minutes of a simmer.
    • Freshly Browned Brisket – Heat the oven to 350 and place the lid on the dutch oven or oven safe pot. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, remove the lid and cook for an additional 3 hours or until brisket is tender and falling apart. 
    • Already Smoked Brisket – Proceed per above and then add the lid and bake for 1 hour, remove the lid and bake for an additional 1 1/2-2 hours. 

Smoked Brisket Chili

  1. Here’s where we bust out the Traeger smoker chili recipe. Using apple, or your preferred pellet mixture, heat the smoker to 275 with the lid closed.
    • Freshly Browned Brisket – Begin as stated above, simmering on the stove for 30 minutes. Move the pot with a lid on it to the smoker and place directly on the grates, closing the lid and cooking for 45-60 minutes. Then turn the heat up to 350 and remove the lid. Cook for another 3- 4 hours. 
    • Already Smoked Brisket – Prepare the chili and simmer for 10 minutes. Place in a 275 degree smoker with the lid on for 30-45 minutes. Turn the heat up to 350, remove the lid and cook for another 1-2 hours for ultimate flavor.

Slow Cooker Brisket Chili

  1. Sometimes the slow cooker just fits the schedule better than any other cooking method. Pull it out and set it to low temperature.
    • Freshly Browned Brisket – Begin as stated above, simmering on the stove for 30 minutes. Pour everything into the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
    • Already Cooked Brisket – Prepare the chili as written allowing it to simmer for 10 minutes on the stove top. Move everything into the slow cooker and cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Instant Pot Brisket Chili

  1. If you’re in a time crunch and want brisket chili fast, then the instant pot is your answer! Our original instant pot chili recipe is one of our most popular posts, so you for sure need to know how to how to make this brisket version in the IP.
  • Freshly Browned Brisket – Brown the brisket first either on the stove top or in the Instant Pot on saute mode. You can also cook the bacon and veggies either on the stove top or Instant Pot. Then add all the ingredients to the IP and cook on high for 70-75 minutes. Perform a quick release.
  • Already Cooked Brisket – Add all the ingredients to the Instant pot, close the valve, and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Perform a quick release.
a close up photo of a white soup bowl full of homemade brisket chili topped with fritos, melting shredded cheese and slices of green onions.

Does Chili Have To Have Beans?

Traditional red chili does not contain beans. But, other chilis are made with beans and in the end it’s 100% up to you. I like beans in my chili to make it a little more hearty and filling so we can stretch it into leftovers. Plus I just like ’em. 

What to Serve with Brisket Chili?

I love to add some crunchy chips into my chili! Fritos or crushed up tortilla chips work great! I also rarely make chili without making a batch of our favorite cornbread. They just belong together!

How Long Will Chili Keep?

Chili can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Can You Freeze Chili?

Chili can be frozen for up to 6 months.

Cool completely, place in a freezer safe container or heavy duty freezer bag and freeze.

How Do You Reheat Chili?

Reheat chili on the stove, in the oven or in the microwave until hot clear through.

a photo of a bowl of brisket chili sitting on a circular wooden charger with two spoons sitting next to the bowl, fritos scattered around, and slices of fresh jalapeno.

Brisket is so flavorful and tender. It is such a bold and brilliant addition to a chili recipe. If you end up with leftover brisket, make this brisket chili recipe! With instructions for making it 5 different ways, you can pick which method fits your schedule the best. Save a bowl for me!

Here are some more CHILI RECIPES that you’ll love:

Brisket Chili – 5 Ways

4.38 from 29 votes
Servings: 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1.5 Pounds Beef Brisket, cut in 2 inch cubes
  • 6 Strips Bacon, good quality, chopped
  • 1 Can Kidney Beans, 15 oz., drained
  • 1 Can Pinto Beans, 15 oz., drained
  • 1 Can Black Beans, 15 oz., drained
  • 2 Cans Tomatoes, 15 oz. fire roasted with juice
  • 1 Can Tomato Paste, 6 oz.
  • 1 Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 1/2 Jalapeños, seeded and minced *optional
  • 2-3 Cups Beef Stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Oregano, dried
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Cumin
  • 1-2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt, or to taste based on the smoked brisket
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper, ground
  • 2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 3 teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced

For the Garnish

  • Sour Cream
  • Cilantro
  • Cheese, shredded

Instructions

  • In a large pot cook the bacon until crisp, stirring often to cook evenly.
    6 Strips Bacon
  • Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate.
  • Add the onions and peppers and cook until tender.
    1 Red Onion, 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • Season all sides of the beef with salt and pepper and add to the pot. Brown the meat in batches, setting brown pieces aside until all the meat is browned.
    1.5 Pounds Beef Brisket, 1-2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt, 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • Add the meat back to the pot and all the remaining ingredients and 3/4 of the bacon and stir to combine.
    1 Can Kidney Beans, 1 Can Pinto Beans, 1 Can Black Beans, 2 Cans Tomatoes, 1 Can Tomato Paste, 1 1/2 Jalapeños, 2-3 Cups Beef Stock, 1 1/2 teaspoons Oregano, 2 1/2 teaspoons Cumin, 2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika, 3 teaspoons Chili Powder, 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce, 1 Tablespoon Garlic
  • Choose your preferred cooking method…

Stove Top Method

  • Freshly Browned Brisket – Bring the chili to a simmer for 30 minutes over medium high heat, then set the heat to medium low and allow to continue cooking for 4-5 hours. Don't be tempted to stop at hour 3 even though the meat is looking tender, 4-5 hours is the key.
    Total time: 4.5-5.5 hours
  • Already Smoked Brisket – Bring the chili to a simmer for 10 minutes over medium high heat, then simmer on medium low for an additional 30-60 minutes or even all afternoon is fine – the preferred method for the best flavor.
    Total Time: 40-60 minutes

Oven Braised Method

  • Create the recipe following through the stove top method for the initial 10 minutes of a simmer. 
  • Freshly Browned Brisket – Heat the oven to 350 and place the lid on the dutch oven or oven safe pot. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, remove the lid and cook for an additional 3 hours or until brisket is tender and falling apart. 
    Total time: 4 hours 40 minutes
  • Already Smoked Brisket – Proceed per above and then add the lid and bake for 1 hour, remove the lid and bake for an additional 1 1/2-2 hours. 
    Total time: 2 hours 40 minutes – 3 hours 10 minutes

Smoked Method

  • Here's where we pull out the Traeger. Using apple, or your preferred pellet mixture, heat the smoker to 275 with the lid closed.
  • Freshly Browned Brisket – Begin as stated above, simmering on the stove for 30 minutes. Move the pot with a lid on it to the smoker and place directly on the grates, closing the lid and cooking for 45-60 minutes. Then turn the heat up to 350 and remove the lid. Cook for another 3- 4 hours.
    Total time: 4 hours 15 minutes – 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Already Smoked Brisket – Prepare the chili and simmer for 10 minutes. Place in a 275 degree smoker with the lid on for 30-45 minutes. Turn the heat up to 350, remove the lid and cook for another 1-2 hours for ultimate flavor.
    Total time: 1 hour 40 minutes – 2 hours 55 minutes

Slow Cooker Method

  • Freshly Browned Brisket – Begin as stated above, simmering on the stove for 30 minutes. Pour everything into the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
    Total time: 6 hours 30 minutes – 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Already Cooked Brisket – Prepare the chili as written allowing it to simmer for 10 minutes on the stove top. Move everything into the slow cooker and cook on low for 3-4 hours.
    Total time: 3 hours 10 minutes – 4 hours 10 minutes

Instant Pot Method

  • Freshly Browned Brisket – Brown the brisket first either on the stove top or in the Instant Pot on saute mode. You can also cook the bacon and veggies either on the stove top or Instant Pot. Then add all the ingredients to the IP and cook on high for 70-75 minutes. Perform a quick release.
    Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Already Cooked Brisket – Cook the bacon and veggies in the Instant Pot on saute mode (this can also be done on the stove top). Add all the rest of the ingredients to the Instant pot, close the valve, and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Perform a quick release.
    Total time: 45 minutes
  • Regardless of what method you choose, serve with sour cream, cilantro, cheese and remaining bacon!!
    Sour Cream, Cilantro, Cheese

Notes

Chili can be kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1CupCalories: 594kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 66gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 187mgSodium: 1233mgPotassium: 1498mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1086IUVitamin C: 27mgCalcium: 53mgIron: 8mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: 50 of the Best Easy Soup Recipes for Families
Cuisine: American

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A bowl of the best brisket