Growing up in Texas, I was always a fan of chili with no beans.  And, since I got a smoker, I’ve been experimenting with adding a little smokey flavor to the beef that goes into my chili.  Rather than using ground beef, I always use top round and cut it into small bite sized pieces.  And, I usually marinaded it overnight in my special dry rub mix (recipe is below).  This year, I’m entering this chili in another contest at a Super Bowl Party at one of my neighborhood bars.  I’ll let you know how I did!

Wayne’s Texas Smoked Beef Chili
makes about 3 quarts


3 tbl Wayne’s Beef Dry Rub Mix (recipe below)
4 lb Beef Eye of Round Roast
6 Slices Bacon, chopped
2 lg Onions, finely chopped
1 lg Green Pepper, finely chopped
3 Jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
6 cloves Garlic, peeled, smashed and finely chopped
2 tsp Ground Cumin
2 tsp Ground Oregano
1 tsp Paprika
1 tbl Chili Powder
2 cu Beef Broth
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1/4 cu Corn Masa
1 cu Water

Optional Toppings

Sour Cream
Chopped Onions
Shredded Jack Cheese
Sliced Jalapeños
Hot Sauce


Rinse beef in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Place in a large sealable bag. Pour dry rub mix in the bag. Seal the bag and shake to coat the beef. Open the bag, squeeze out all of the air and reseal it. Refrigerator overnight. The next day, removed the meat from the refrigerator 30 minutes before placing it in the smoker or grill. If you have a smoker, follow the basic directions and smoke the beef at about 225 degrees F for 2 hours or until beef is medium rare in the center (about 120 degrees F). If you are using a grill, place a small number of coals to the side and add wood chips (hickory works well). Place the meat in the center of the grill and smoke on a low temperature for 2 hours.

Remove beef from the smoker and let it rest until cool enough to cut. Cut off any excess fat, then cut beef into very small 1/4” cubes. Set aside.
Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large stockpot over medium heat until bacon is slightly crisp. Add onions, green pepper, jalapeños and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add cumin, oregano, paprika, and chili powder. Sauté for an additional 2 minutes.

Transfer beef to stock pot. Add beef broth. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a very low simmer. Place the corn masa in a bowl and slowly stir in 1 cup of water. Mix thoroughly to remove any lumps. Add mixture to chili. Simmer chili covered, with the top slightly ajar, for about 1-1/2 hours, stirring on a regular basis. Be sure to keep the temperature as low as possible. Add more water if necessary to keep beef just barely covered.

This chili tastes best if you can refrigerate it overnight and then reheat it the next day.

Cattle Drive
Wayne’s Beef Dry Rub Mix



2 tsp Paprika
2 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1 1/2 tsp Brown Sugar
2 tsp Sage
1 tsp Celery Seed
1 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
2 tsp Rosemary
1 1/2  tsp Tarragon
2 tsp Parsley

Mix ingredients together and either grind in spice grinder, mini food processor or in a mortar and pestle.  Store in an airtight container. Also, consider making a larger batch of this recipe to use in future dishes.