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We’ve done competition style chili recipes before, but nothing like this. We use fresh ingredients and just the right amount of heat to make this recipe a real crowd pleaser.


  • 3 lbs ground beef
  • The Rub
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 4 jalapenos
  • 2 Serranos
  • 8-12 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 oz chili powder
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes, including the juice
  • 14 oz beef broth
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream


Start heating a drum smoker to anywhere between 300 and 350 degrees. Smash the ground beef into the bottom of a foil pan to maximize the surface area and give the smoke more space to cling to. Season with The Rub. Once the drum is up to temperature, add the ground beef and cook until it’s well browned.

While the meat is cooking, chop up the onions, jalapenos, and Serrano and finely mince the garlic.

When the meat is browned, remove from the heat and drain off the rendered fat. Add a dutch oven, or other heat resistant pan with a lid into the drum and coat the bottom with a small amount of canola oil. Add the chopped onions, stir to coat with oil, and cook with the lid on for 6-7 minutes, until they soften and begin to brown, stirring occasionally.

Add garlic and peppers to the onions, stir, cover, and cook until lightly browned.

Add the ground beef to the mixture and break into smaller pieces. Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, diced tomatoes, beef broth, and beans to the mixture, stirring well to mix. Cover and cook for at least 45 minutes or up to an hour and a half, stirring every 15-20 minutes.

Serve with a topping of cheese, sour cream, and extra jalapeno slices for garnish.

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