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GoWild Recipe: Smoked Venison Chili

GoWild Recipe: Smoked Venison Chili
April 29, 2017

Smoked Chili

This chili is a phenomenal way to use a deer roast. We will say, though, you are using a prime piece of meat from your harvest, and as with any chili, the meat does not take center stage like some meals. But this is a great meal all the same. You can eat it as a traditional chili with your favorite topics, or even pour it over nachos as an appetizer. Either way, this is one everyone will enjoy. You will likely even have a few folks say, "Can I get that recipe?"

Ingredients & Tools

Venison Roast

  • 1 Venison Roast, 3-5 pounds
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 TB Meat Church Holy Cow
  • 2 TB Finely Ground Good Coffee
  • 1/4 cup apply jelly
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 honey
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar


  • 4-5 cups blanched tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato pizza sauce (we use homemade—just make sure it's high quality)
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 2 Large green peppers, diced
  • 1/2 Sweet red pepper, diced
  • 3/4 Large onion, diced
  • 4 Jalapeños
  • 1 15 oz. can of dark red kidney beans
  • 1 15 oz. can of light red kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce
  • 1 TB cumin
  • 1 TB paprika
  • 2 TB chili powder
  • 2 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp hot sauce

Necessary tools:

Roast Directions

Let your roast sit at room temp for at least half an hour. Cold meats and heavy smoke can cause a bitter taste. This is from the smoke's creosote adhering to the meat. If your meat is really cold, or even worse, still frozen on the inside, you're going to overcook the outside trying to get your target internal temp.

Preheat the smoker to 225º. We use a Big Green Egg for this recipe, but any smoker will work. Rub the roast down with olive oil. Then, mix your Meat Church and coffee. Venison roasts will vary in size, so just keep in mind you should not put it on so thick the rub won't stick and you don't want it to cake. Just do a nice pat down. 

We smoke our roast over apple, orange and cherry wood. There are a lot of mixed opinions on smoking venison, but most people seem to agree, harsh woods like mesquite and hickory will give the meat a bitter taste. Stick to the fruit woods. At the end of the day, you’re only going to smoke the roast for about two hours. Add the wood and bring the smoker back to 225º.

Add your venison to the smoker. Cook it for two hours, or until it hits about 100 to 110º, whichever comes first. It will vary depending on how cold the meat was when you put it on the smoker. While the meat smokes, mix the apple jelly, cider, honey and dark brown sugar in a small bowl.

When it hits the two hour or temperature, pull it from the smoker. Using two sheets of aluminum foil, start to wrap the roast. Pour your jelly/cider mixture over the whole roast, allowing it to run over the sides and to the bottom. Wrap the meat tightly, leaving your thermometer in place. This keeps it moist. Place back on smoker and cook to about 140º.

When you hit 140º, pull that bad boy. Remember—it will keep cooking in the foil. So it’s OK to pull it at this temp. It’ll probably go up another five degrees after you pull it. Let it rest while you prep your chili.

Chili Directions

While you can cook the chili in a large chili pot on the stove, we prefer a dutch oven on the smoker. This process will continue to pull in smoke, and since you already have the smoker going, it's nice and easy. It's your world though, do what suits you. 

Bring smoker temp to 300º.

In the dutch oven, add the olive oil, red pepper flakes, peppers, and onion. Stir a few times as it cooks for about 10 minutes.

Mix in the garlic. Stir a few times while cooking for 10 more minutes.

Add the kidney beans, tomatoes and BBQ sauce.

Stir it up while adding in all of your spices and hot sauce. Cover it, and let it simmer for half an hour or so.

While that’s simmering, your roast is ready to cut. Slice it very thin, and always slice against the grain. Cut it into small bite-size cuts. Depending on the size of your roast, you’ll probably have about a bowl full of meat.

After your half an hour has passed, stir in the meat. Simmer for at least another hour, and no more than three hours. 

Serve with sour cream, crackers and sharp cheddar cheese.


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