Cincinnati Chili on the Smoker
Since the 1920s, Cincinnati chili has served as a staple in Ohio diners and even spawned several chain restaurants dedicated to the dish. But now you can make it wherever you are with this smoked and braised Cincinnati chili recipe from our friend Jeremy Whitelaw of The Kitchen Whitelaw . He’s labeled his take on the Midwestern meal “tradition with a twist,” trading ground beef for a chuck roast then infusing it with smoky flavors before a tenderizing Dutch oven braise. That being said, this smoked Cincinnati chili recipe still stays true to its roots with the earthy flavors of cinnamon and cocoa powder, a tasty tomato undercurrent, and a base of spaghetti pasta soaking up all those amazing flavors. Serve it as desired according to the Cincinnati chili “way” system, which we’ll detail below the recipe.
|SERVES 8 people||PREP 20 mins||COOK 5 hrs||READY IN 5 hr 20 mins|
- 2½-lb chuck roast
- BBQGuys Signature x Spiceology Beef Rub
- 3 cups beef broth
- 2 cups water
- 6 oz tomato paste
- ½ cup shallot, minced
- ¼ cup garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp cumin
- Spaghetti pasta
- Optional "Way" Ingredients:
- Cheddar cheese, shredded
- Onions, chopped
- Items You’ll Need:
- Dutch Oven
- Preheat your smoker to 275°F.
- While the smoker preheats, liberally season your chuck roast with the BBQGuys Signature x Spiceology Beef Rub .
- Smoke the chuck roast for 1–2 hours, until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F as measured by a BBQ thermometer .
- Remove your chuck roast from the smoker and chop into 1” cubes.
- Place the beef cubes in a Dutch oven, then add the beef broth, water, tomato paste, minced shallot, minced garlic, cocoa powder, chili powder, cinnamon, allspice, and cumin. Mix well.
- Cover the Dutch oven, place it on the smoker, and raise the temperature to 300°F so the chili can gently simmer. Cook covered for 30 minutes, then cook uncovered for an additional 2 hours, or until the chuck roast cubes shred easily.
- Remove your chili from the smoker and serve over cooked spaghetti pasta. Top as desired with cheddar cheese, chopped onions, and/or beans, then enjoy!
The Cincinnati Chili “Way” System
As if the concept of the dish alone wasn’t brilliant enough, the ingenious Ohioans who brought us Cincinnati chili also devised a “way” system to serve as shorthand for desired toppings. They are:
- Cincinnati Chili Two-Way: chili and spaghetti
- Cincinnati Chili Three-Way: chili, spaghetti, and cheddar cheese
- Cincinnati Chili Four-Way: chili, spaghetti, cheddar cheese, and onion OR beans
- Cincinnati Chili Five-Way: chili, spaghetti, cheddar cheese, onion, and beans
Not sure which sounds best? Try them all! Then you’ll know how you like your Cincinnati chili — and exactly how to order this famous dish the next time you find yourself in an Ohio diner!
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