CEO's Guide to Chili

Chilly On A Chili Day

R. Scott Pearson, CEO
March 16 2021

Any day can be a chili day, even the fourth of July, but something about coming in from a day in the cold makes this hearty and spicy stew a natural. Smoky deliciousness is the big feature of this traditional-style chili recipe, which is achieved by smoking the meat on a Traeger Wood Fired Grill before finishing in the stew pot.

5 pounds Top Round Steak
4 tablespoons Kosher Salt
1 quart Chicken Broth
4 tablespoons Chili Powder
2 tablespoons Cumin
2 tablespoons Oregano
6 cloves fresh Garlic, chopped fine
1 White Onion
1 Yellow Onion
Chopped Coarsly
4 tablespoons Tomato Paste
2 cans Diced Tomatoes
1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded, cut bite sized
1 Green Bell Pepper, seeded, cut bite sized
2 cans Red Chili Beans
2 cans Black Beans
1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
2 bottles Dark Beer, 1 for the chili, 1 for you
On the side:
Sour Cream
Jalapeño Peppers, seeded and diced
Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated


Cube the steak into bite-sized pieces, but make sure to leave them large enough that they don’t fall through the grates of the grill. Toss in a bowl with kosher salt and let sit overnight.

Spread the beef chunks over the grate of the grill. If you have an upper grate, it’s ok to use it, as the temperature of the upper and lower grates are very similar. Leave enough space between chunks for smoke to circulate. Start the Traeger grill on the lowest temperature setting, 165ºF to 180ºF. On a chilly day, the Smoke setting may not generate enough heat for the grill to stay on, but if you want more flavor, you can try it. Smoke for three to four hours, then remove from heat and transfer to a large stew pot or dutch oven.

While the meat is smoking, saute the onion over low heat, using 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add more oil if needed. Start with ¼ of the chopped onion. Saute until the first batch is translucent, then add the second quarter, leaving the original batch in the skillet. Saute until the second batch is translucent, then add the third quarter. Repeat one more. When done, there will be onions that are almost black, some brown, some light brown, and some just barely cooked.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the stew pot except for the beans. Cook over low heat for two hours, maintaining a slow boil.

Before serving, add the beans and return to a boil.

Serve with chopped jalapeños, grated cheese, and sour cream.