Smoked Brisket Texas Chili

The North End Barbecue & Moonshine restaurant in Indianapolis is definitely one of my favorite restaurants. They have a fantastic menu, but for me, the best dish by far is the Texas red chili. It’s simple, spicy, and oh so packed with flavor. Smoked brisket, homemade bacon and a red sauce that I could just slurp up with a (big) straw. I can’t always make it to North End BBQ, so I decided to make my own (slightly different) version of their Texas chili. I was absolutely pleased with it. Nice and spicy, with a bit of smokiness.

Smoked Brisket Texas Chili

Now, you could make this smoked brisket Texas chili with just cubed chuck that has been lightly browned in the Dutch oven first. Nothing wrong with that, not one bit, but if you have smoked brisket, it really gives the chili a completely different flavor than just regular ole chili.

I roasted a few jalapenos on the grill and chopped them to use as garnish. They added even more bite and flavor to what was already a great bowl of chili.

My green chile mac and cheese chili stew is also out-of-this-world crazy good. Give it a try too! Or if you’re craving more Texas-style chili, my classic version is a real winner also.

Smoked Brisket Texas Chili
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5 from 1 vote

Smoked Brisket Texas Chili

This chili is simple, spicy, and oh so packed with flavor. Smoked brisket, homemade bacon and a red sauce that I could just slurp up with a (big) straw.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Keyword beef, chili, smoked
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 220kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 dried chiles I used guajillo, but just about any chile will work
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • cup onion finely chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups beef broth plus more if needed
  • 2 cups water plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons masa harina if you don’t have any masa, take a handful of plain tortilla chips and grind them in a food processor or by hand using a mortar and pestle
  • 2 pounds smoked brisket cubed
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons white vinegar
  • garnishes sour cream, roasted jalapenos, grilled lime edges, etc

Instructions

  • Toast the chiles in a hot skillet over medium-high heat 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Remove to a large bowl and cover in hot water. Let sit for 30 minutes, turning once.
  • Remove chiles (do not discard the water). Cut off the stems and remove the seeds.
  • Chop lightly and transfer to a food processor.
  • Add the cumin, pepper and a few pinches of salt, along with 1/4 cup of the soaking liquid. Process until smooth. If needed add a bit more of the water.
  • Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Add the broth and water. Bring to a simmer.
  • Whisk in the masa harina and add the processed chile paste.
  • Add the brisket and stir. Cover.
  • Let simmer for 2 hours or until the beef is tender, adding more broth if necessary.
  • Stir in the brown sugar and vinegar and add more salt to taste. Simmer another 10 minutes.
  • Serve with the desired garnishes.

Nutrition

Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 319mg | Potassium: 457mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Burnt Ends

I made some poor man’s burnt ends not long ago, which really got my mojo going. So I ran out and picked up a gorgeous Wagyu beef brisket and proceeded to make the real thing, brisket burnt ends. And suddenly, all was good in the world again. Nothing compares to these in my book. Tender as you can get. Beefy good flavor. Every bite is a treat. I could (and did) eat these like popcorn. It was bordering on embarrassing. When you make them you’ll understand what I mean.

Burnt Ends

Meat Candy

I could eat these all day long. As much as I love sliced smoked brisket, or chopped smoked brisket, these little morsels pack more flavor into every bite. And they’re really great served on a hoagie bun with lettuce and tomato as a po boy! And on top of grits???? Amazing!

I usually prefer to use fruit or nut woods when I smoke unless I want a heavier smoke flavor. Pecan, apple or cherry are my favorites. For these burnt ends I went with whiskey barrel chunks for a heavier smoke flavor.

Need to feed a crowd and want to wow them with something totally different? Try my amazing hot dog burnt ends instead.

Burnt Ends
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5 from 1 vote

Burnt Ends

I made some poor man’s burnt ends not long ago, which really got my mojo going. So I ran out and picked up a gorgeous Wagyu beef brisket and proceeded to make the real thing, brisket burnt ends. And suddenly, all was good in the world again. Nothing compares to these in my book. Tender as you can get. Beefy good flavor. Every bite is a treat.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword beef, smoked
Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 10 hours
Total Time 22 hours
Servings 12
Calories 185kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the brisket

Texas Crutch sauce

Instructions

For the brisket

  • Rub the rub all over the brisket.
  • Transfer to a resealable container or wrap in foil and refrigerate overnight.
  • Fire up your smoker for cooking at 225 F. Use whatever wood you prefer. I wanted a little stronger smoke flavor than I usually opt for so I used Jack Daniel’s whiskey barrel chunks. Burnt ends need a little more smoke than say sliced brisket, in my opinion.
  • Transfer the brisket to the smoker and cook until the internal temperature (as measured in several spots) reaches 170 F.
  • Remove the brisket and place it onto a large piece of foil.
  • Combine the crutch sauce ingredients and pour over the brisket.
  • Seal the brisket tightly in the foil and return to the smoker until the temperature reaches 195 F.
  • Remove the brisket from the foil.
  • Cut beef into 3/4″ – 1″ cubes and place into a large disposable pan.
  • Lightly (very lightly!) drizzle the meat with the BBQ sauce. You just want the flavor from the sauce. Toss gently to coat.
  • Sprinkle with more of the rub and return to the smoker for 1 more hour.
  • Devour.

Nutrition

Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 90mg | Potassium: 377mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Texas Crutch Smoked Brisket

Some folks aren’t fans of the ‘Texas crutch’ method of cooking brisket. Some folks do the crutch with butcher paper. Some crutch with foil. This here is how I smoke my brisket using the Texas crutch, packed with flavor, tender and juicy. I slice it thin then pile it on buns for sandwiches or just eat it right off the plate. And yes, a good amount of it disappears while I’m slicing it.

Texas Crutch Smoked Brisket

I do not sauce my Texas crutch smoked brisket before slicing it, but you can if you like. Wait until it’s almost done to sauce it and don’t use too much sauce. You don’t want to hide the fantastic brisket flavor. The rub really adds fantastic flavor to the meat and you don’t want to miss out on that! You can also use my coffee rub for beef, which adds a totally different flavor profile to your brisket.

I usually prefer to use fruit or nut woods when I smoke unless I want a heavier smoke flavor. Pecan, apple or cherry are my favorites. For a heavier smoke flavor I went with whiskey barrel chunks for this brisket.

On the off-chance I have leftover smoked brisket, it often ends up in chili.

Texas Crutch Smoked Brisket
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5 from 1 vote

Texas Crutch Smoked Brisket

Some folks aren’t fans of the ‘Texas crutch’ method of cooking brisket. Some folks do the crutch with butcher paper. Some crutch with foil. This here is how I smoke my brisket using the Texas crutch, packed with flavor, tender and juicy. 
Course Main
Cuisine American
Keyword beef, smoked
Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 20 hours
Servings 8
Calories 475kcal

Ingredients

Brisket

  • 1 4-5 pound brisket flat

For the rub

Texas Crutch sauce

Instructions

  • Optional: Cut a small piece off a corner of the brisket perpendicular to the meat grain. This will make it easier to find and cut against the grain after the brisket is done.
  • Combine the rub ingredients and rub all over the brisket.
  • Transfer to a resealable container or wrap in foil and refrigerate overnight.
  • Fire up your smoker for cooking at 225 F. Use whatever wood you prefer. I wanted a little stronger smoke flavor than I usually opt for so I used Jack Daniel’s whiskey barrel chunks.
  • Transfer the brisket to the smoker and cook until the internal temperature (as measured in several spots) reaches 170 F.
  • Remove the brisket and place it onto a large piece of foil.
  • Combine the crutch sauce ingredients and pour over the brisket.
  • Seal the brisket tightly in the foil and return to the smoker until the temperature reaches 195 F.
  • Remove the brisket from the foil and return to the smoker (and brush with BBQ sauce, if desired) until the temperature reaches 200-205 F.
  • Remove from the smoker and let rest 30 minutes before slicing against the grain.

Nutrition

Calories: 475kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 60g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 176mg | Sodium: 2302mg | Potassium: 1033mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1032IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

BBQ Pinwheels

Oh, I’ve made my share of pulled pork sandwiches. And I love them. Sometimes you want something a little different, but still with that great BBQ flavor. BBQ pinwheels are an excellent alternative to sandwiches. They’re easy to make, easy to eat, and very tasty. They also make for the perfect party appetizer.

BBQ Pinwheels

A Nice Change From BBQ Sandwiches


You can use anything from pulled or shredded pork, chopped brisket, smoked chicken, or even rotisserie chicken.  For a spicier kick, substitute pepper jack or habanero jack cheese for the cheddar and use a spicy BBQ sauce.

If I’m reaching for a bottled BBQ sauce, I often go for Sweet Baby Ray’s.

Also try my BBQ hot dog appetizers and my bacon cheddar pinwheels.

BBQ Pinwheels
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3.50 from 2 votes

BBQ Pinwheels

BBQ pinwheels are an excellent alternative to sandwiches. They’re easy to make, easy to eat, and very tasty. They also make for the perfect party appetizer.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword BBQ, pulled pork, wraps
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 594kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tube pizza dough
  • ½ cup your favorite BBQ sauce plus more for serving
  • 1 ½ cups pulled pork pulled pork, pulled chicken, rotisserie chicken, chopped brisket… whichever you prefer
  • ½ small red onion chopped
  • 1 cup extra sharp cheddar shredded (Swiss, provolone or pepper jack also go well)
  • ¼ cup parsley chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 F.
  • Sprinkle the flour onto a flat surface.
  • Open the pizza dough and spread it over the flour. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle.
  • Brush the BBQ sauce all over the dough.
  • Sprinkle the dough with the meat, onion, cheese and parsley.
  • Starting with the longest edge, roll the dough up into a long cylinder.
  • Cut the cylinder into 1″ wide sections and transfer, laying down flat, to a baking sheet.
  • Bake 15 minutes or until hot and the dough is crispy and done.
  • Serve with additional BBQ sauce, warmed, for dipping if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 594kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 1781mg | Potassium: 153mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 812IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 268mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Brisket with Cajun Brown Gravy

This slow-cooked brisket with Cajun brown gravy came out absolutely fantastic. Sure, it’s tender and juicy, but it’s the flavor… perfectly meaty with the sweetness from the onions and peppers and a kick from jalapeno. And there’s plenty of Cajun-flavored gravy for sopping, so bring some bread to the party. This is comfort food at its best.

Brisket with Cajun Brown Gravy

Enjoy Life. Add Crunch.

I really, really liked this brisket with Cajun brown gravy over Texas toast, topped with crispy onion rings. The crunch of the rings contrasted well with the tender beef, while the bread got all covered in gravy and, man, it was good. You could also use French fried onions or nice and crispy French fries.

I like to use my good ole trusty Dutch oven to make this brisket and pretty much darned near anything like it on my stovetop. It’s nice and big and sturdy. That extra weight helps it maintain and distribute heat perfectly. As an added bonus, it’s actually pretty easy to clean up too!

Also try my slow cooker BBQ beef.

Inspired by a recipe from Louisiana Kitchen and Culture magazine.

Brisket with Cajun Brown Gravy
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5 from 1 vote

Brisket with Cajun Brown Gravy

This slow-cooked brisket with Cajun brown gravy came out absolutely fantastic. Sure, it’s tender and juicy, but it’s the flavor… perfectly meaty with the sweetness from the onions and peppers and a kick from jalapeno.
Course Main
Cuisine Cajun
Keyword brisket, gravy
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 550kcal

Ingredients

  • 6 pound beef brisket trimmed, cut into 2-3 pieces
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil + 3 tablespoons, plus more if needed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ quarts beef broth
  • 2 large white onions chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 jalapenos seeded, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • rice white bread, onion rings.. whatever you like for serving and sopping

Instructions

  • Brown the brisket on all sides in a Dutch oven. Remove.
  • Heat 1/4 cup oil in Dutch over medium heat.
  • Gradually whisk in the flour. Keep whisking until smooth, adding more oil if needed.
  • Cook roux 15-20 minutes or until dark brown, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. Do not burn.
  • Meanwhile, warm the beef broth.
  • Slowly (WARNING: Be very careful! The roux will be very hot and the broth will boil when added. Keep your hands and face away from over the pot) pour the broth into the roux while whisking vigorously to break up any clumps.
  • Bring to boil, reduce to medium low and simmer 20 minutes, skimming away any foam or fat.
  • Scrape bottom to loosen any settled roux.
  • Pour into slow cooker. Set heat on low.
  • Heat 3 additional tablespoons of oil in the Dutch oven over medium-high.
  • Add the onion. Saute 15 minutes.
  • Deglaze with 1-2 tablespoons of water if bottom of pot becomes too brown.
  • Add garlic, bell pepper, jalapenos, and Cajun seasoning. Saute 3 minutes. Pour into slow cooker with broth mix.
  • Add bay leaves, cover and simmer on low for 4-5 hours or until meat starts to fall apart
  • Remove meat to a cutting board and chop as desired. Return to cooker and keep warm until ready to serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 550kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 61g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 169mg | Sodium: 1098mg | Potassium: 1133mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 421IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 7mg

Nutritional values are approximate.