Smoked Beef Brisket Chili – Uses for Leftover Smoked Beef Brisket
Smoking a beef brisket, especially a large whole brisket with both the point and flat intact, can yield a sizable amount of meat. So you might be wondering what you can do with all those leftovers other than just making sandwiches all week. I want to assure you that leftover smoked brisket has many uses, all of which are delicious.
First, let’s talk about storing cooked brisket. Cooked brisket will last in the refrigerator for approximately 2 days. You can also wrap the brisket very well and store it in your freezer for 2 or 3 months. I suggest placing serving size portions in freezer baggies for a quick weeknight meal option.
What can you do with the leftovers? One of my favorite things to do with leftover brisket is to make smoked beef brisket chili. Another favorite dish is a smoky breakfast hash with brisket, potatoes, onions, and bell peppers. Add a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce and cook on a flat top or in a cast iron skillet. Add a soft poached or runny fried egg on top.
Here are some more leftover smoked brisket recipe ideas:
- Leftover brisket tacos
- Arepas stuffed with smoked brisket
- Brisket topped bruschetta
- Leftover smoked brisket nachos
- Brisket grilled cheese sandwiches
Leftover smoked beef brisket chili is the focus of this tutorial. The first thing you have to do is smoke the brisket. We have a good recipe for smoking a beef brisket to get you started.
Once you have smoked the brisket you will want to find a good recipe for making chili. There is much debate about what ingredients are authentic to chili. I am partial to chili with protein, beans, and vegetables. However, I would be kicked out of Texas if I claimed this was chili. In Texas, arguably the beef capital, a Texas chili recipe has no beans! The beef is the star ingredient. You can try our easy Texas style chili recipe with smoked brisket.
Beans are a great source or soluble fiber and protein. They also fill you up. This leftover smoked beef brisket chili recipe has plenty of veggies, aromatics, beans, and of course brisket.
You can make brisket chili in a slow cooker. Making beef brisket chili in a slow cooker is a good idea if you want to assemble the meal right before you head out to work or school. It will be ready when you get home and the house will smell amazing.
Pro tip #1: If you are using a slow cooker, sauté the vegetables first and use less liquid.
It is also possible to make chili in a heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven or a large soup pot. You can also assemble the chili and braise it in a low oven. For our purposes, the recipe here utilizes a heavy pot and a stove top. This may be the quickest way to make chili.
Leftover Smoked Beef Brisket Chili: A Step-by-Step Guide
This brisket chili is loaded with protein, is comforting, and packs a little punch of spice. The preparation time is approximately 15 minutes. It cooks in just 40 to 60 minutes. It will serve up to 6 people.
Pro tip #2: I don’t recommend making chili in a cast iron pot. The iron can interact with the tomatoes, resulting in a metallic taste.
- 2 pounds smoked brisket cut into bite size cubes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 grated carrot
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to your liking)
- 1 12 ounce bottle of beer or beef broth
- 2 15 ounce cans of diced tomatoes with liquid
- 1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
- 1 15 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 ounce can dark kidney or black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 whole bay leaf
- Salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: Place a large Dutch oven or heavy soup pot on your stove over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil to the pot. Then, add the onions and bell pepper. Sauté for 5 to 6 minutes until the onions and peppers have softened. Add in the garlic and carrot and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, and cayenne. Cook for another 30 seconds until the spices smell fragrant.
Step 2: Pour the beer or broth into the pot and allow it to come to a boil and reduce slightly. Add the tomatoes, sauce, and bay leaf. Bring up to a simmer.
Step 3: Add the beans and brisket to the pot. Stir to combine well. Taste the chili and season with salt and pepper while the chili comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cover the pot and cook over low heat until most of the liquid has been reduced, stirring a few times.
Step 4: Remove the chili from the heat. Take out the bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
Step 5: Serve the chili with recommended toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream or Greek yogurt, sliced scallions, chopped cilantro, or diced avocado.
Best Side Dishes to go With Chili
Chili is a filling meal all by itself. There are some classic sides that go well with chili. I have served chili over chewy and nutty brown rice with many accolades. You can also serve chili with a hefty topping of guacamole and crisp tortilla chips. A more classic pairing is slightly sweet corn bread. A recipe for easy cornbread is included.
Beer is often the beverage of choice to accompany chili. But, I wouldn’t rule out a Merlot or Pinot Noir wine. A non-alcoholic choice would be iced tea or root beer.
Easy Cornbread Recipe
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 whole eggs, beaten
- 1 cup half and half or buttermilk
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1/4 cup sugar or maple syrup
Pro tip #3: for a savory cornbread, eliminate the sugar and add 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped chives to the batter.
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 400°F.
Step 2: In a large bowl, sift together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the half and half, melted butter, and sugar and whisk together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir together just enough to combine.
Step 3: Butter and dust with flour a 9x9 inch baking dish or a 9 inch cast iron skillet. Pour the batter into the pan. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the bread is golden in color.
Step 4: Cool the bread for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the bread from the pan to a cooling rack for another 5 minutes before serving. Cut into squares or wedges and serve with chili.
You now have the steps you need to make an awesome leftover smoked beef brisket chili with a side of cornbread. And, don’t forget the recommended toppings. If you make too much chili you can freeze it in batches for easy weeknight meals. It should keep in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.
We hope this tutorial has inspired you to smoke a whole brisket and reap the rewards of any leftovers by trying your hand at chili and some of the other recipe ideas suggested. Smoked brisket really takes common beef dishes to a new level that promises not to disappoint.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does leftover smoked beef brisket keep?
Most cooked meats last about three to four days in the refrigerator, and smoked beef brisket is no exception. The best way to safely store brisket is to let it cool, uncovered, in the refrigerator. Once it’s fully cool, you can wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container or bag. It will stay juicier if you store it whole, but you can also slice it before storing it.
Can you make brisket chili with frozen brisket?
If you don’t plan to eat your leftover smoked beef brisket within four days, it’s best to store it in the freezer. Frozen smoked beef brisket is an excellent option for making chili. Since the meat is cooked, you don’t have to simmer the chili for hours. Simply remove the brisket from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, add it to your chili and warm it through. It’s that easy!
How do you make Texas chili with leftover beef brisket?
Our recipe above is not a true Texas chili since it contains beans and tomatoes. You can certainly use the techniques we talk about above to utilize your leftover brisket and make a true Texas chili, or you can make our recipe and see what you think. We think you’ll fall in love with the flavors, beans and all!
Is leftover smoked beef brisket chili thick?
This recipe results in a thick, flavorful chili, but everyone’s kitchen is different. If you make it in a slow cooker instead of a Dutch oven, it will definitely turn out a little juicier and saucier. If you make this recipe and want it to be thicker, try thickening it with a gluten-free cornstarch slurry (a combination of cornstarch and water). Simmer the chili with the slurry until it reaches the desired level of thickness.
How do you serve leftover smoked beef brisket chili?
We like serving this chili simply with a side of cornbread. It’s so tasty! You can also dress the chili up with sour cream, cheddar cheese, and chives. This is especially helpful if the chili turned out a little spicier than you intended. If you have leftovers, you can pop them in the freezer for a later time, or you can get creative with your uses. Use this chili to smother french fries for chili cheese fries, or ladle some over a baked potato to amp up the flavor. You can even serve it on top of nachos for a delicious (but messy) treat!