Over the Top Chili on the Traeger Ironwood XL

Over the Top Chili on the Traeger Ironwood XL

Are you looking for a chili recipe that’s sure to win any cookoff? Try my Over the Top Chili! This dish simmers low and slow on the Traeger Ironwood XL, giving it a unique, down-home flavor. If you’re a meat lover, you’ll be glad to know this chili contains no beans and two kinds of meat. 

This recipe would be a surefire winner at any tailgating party, potluck, or family dinner. You can’t go wrong with a big pot of Over the Top Chili and a variety of toppings! 

Over the Top Chili: Heath Riles BBQ

Chili is one of the best meals; part of what makes it so fun is the different variations. From chicken chili to steak chili, you’re bound to find a recipe for the books. I must say that out of all the chili recipes I’ve tried, this one hits the spot. It’s packed with juicy veggies, fragrant spices, and thick chunks of meat. It doesn’t get better than that! 

The Ingredients

With a few kitchen staples, you can make a large pot of chili that will easily feed a crowd. Keep in mind that you’ll have plenty of leftover rubs for the next great recipe. 

  • Veggies. Smoked vegetables add texture and flavor. I used diced white onion and diced jalapeńo. I de-seeded my pepper, but you can keep the seeds if you’re a real fire-breather. 
  • Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeńo Rub. This rub is by far our best-seller! It’s not hard to see why. This AP rub contains a great blend of spicy pepper, garlic, salt, and black pepper. It’s mild enough that even children can enjoy it. Use it on steak or chicken, to season chili, or to jazz up popcorn. 
  • Meat. I created a full-bodied flavor by using two types of meat. I added hearty ground chuck and ground sausage. They taste great when mixed and take on any seasonings when simmered low and slow.
  • Heath Riles BBQ Beef Rub. This delicious blend contains a mix of chili powder, paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper. It brings out the natural flavors of beef, keeping your food authentic. 
  • Tomatoes. The base of this chili is tomatoes, so I included tomato paste, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and Rotel. This gave the Over the Top Chili a cohesive flavor profile with a kick of heat. 
  • Miller Lite. The secret ingredient to great chili is a can of Miller Lite. All the alcohol cooks off, leaving you with a unique, fresh-brewed taste. 

The Smoker Setup

Here’s the main equipment I used for this recipe. More of my grilling favorites can be found in the Equipment and Tools section. 

  • Pellet grill/smoker. I cooked this Over the Top Chili on the Traeger Ironwood XL.  This pit is incredible because you can use it to grill or smoke. The Traeger Ironwood XL has many excellent features, like a pellet sensor, a super smoke button, and easy transportation. 

You can’t go wrong with the Traeger Ironwood XL if you cook large quantities of food. It’s roomy without taking up your entire patio. Plus, it’s ultra-durable, lasting for years!

  • Charcoal. I stoked the pit with Royal Oak Charcoal Hardwood Pellets. I love this brand because you get clean smoke with no fillers. It gives the steak a rich, deep flavor that tastes authentic. This charcoal burns hot and fast! 

The Process for Making Over the Top Chili

You can find a detailed demonstration of this recipe in the video and recipe card. For now, here’s a quick rundown of how I pulled this Over the Top Chili together. 

  • Fire up the pit. I stoked the Traeger Ironwood XL with Royal Oak Charcoal Hardwood Pellets and fired it up to the 250℉-275℉ range. I placed my Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven on the pit to preheat. 
  • Sauté the veggies. The first thing I did was dice the onion and jalapeńo. Then, I added a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to my cast iron pan and seasoned the onion and pepper with Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeńo Rub. 
  • Brown the meat. I mixed the ground chuck and ground sausage until homogenous. Then, I sprinkled the meat with Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeńo Rub and Heath Riles BBQ Beef Rub. I formed the meat into a large patty and repeated the seasoning process. I set the patty on a cooling rack over my Dutch oven so all the juices dripped into the veggies. I let the meat cook for 1 hour until it reached about 107℉. 
  • Add seasoning. I added Bear & Burton’s W Sauce, ancho chili powder, cumin, diced tomatoes, Rotel, tomato sauce, tomato paste, broth, and beer to the smoked veggies. Then, I set the cooling rack of meat over the top and bumped the Traeger Ironwood XL up to 325℉. I let the Over the Top Chili cook for another 1 ½ hours to let the meat take on as much smoke as possible. 
  • Crumble the meat. Next, I set the meat patty in the chili and used my trusty tool to break it into chunks. I let the flavors mesh for 35-40 minutes, then adjusted the seasonings to my liking. My chili had a total cook time of 3 ½ hours. Watch the video to see how I ensure my Over the Top Chili has just the right amount of grease!
  • Cool and serve. I let the Over the Top Chili cool, then topped it with chopped onions and shredded cheese. The only thing left was to dig in!

The Results

My Over the Top Chili came off the pit thick and rich with the perfect aroma. The meat took on the deep flavors of smoke and ancho chili powder, making this dish one of a kind. 

Serving Suggestions for Over the Top Chili

My Over the Top Chili goes great with a pan of Honey Hot Jalapeño Cornbread and a bag of tortilla chips. You can add diced onion, sour cream, cheese, hot sauce, or bell peppers. 

Storing Leftovers

You can store leftover chili in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze it for 4-6 months. We love using leftover chili for chili dogs!

Equipment and Tools

Cast iron pan, Traeger Ironwood XL, Royal Oak Charcoal Hardwood pellets, disposable cutting board, cooling rack, Heath Riles Heat Resistant BBQ Gloves, ThermoWorks Hi-Temp Spatula

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