How to Cook Over the Top Chili on Your Traeger Grill

June 11, 2024 3 min read

How to Cook Over the Top Chili on Your Traeger Grill

Over the Top (OTT) Chili is an innovative dish that merges the robust flavors of smoked meat with the classic, hearty components of chili. This recipe, perfected by Traeger, utilizes a unique cooking method where a giant meatball is smoked above a simmering pot of chili, allowing the meat drippings to enhance the stew with rich, smoky flavors. This guide will walk you through the steps to create your own OTT Chili, offering tips on ingredients, cooking techniques, and serving suggestions.

Ingredients and Preparation

For this recipe, you'll need a mix of ground beef and pork, along with a variety of spices and vegetables. Here’s a detailed list:

  • Chili Base Ingredients:

    • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
    • 1 medium red or green bell pepper, diced
    • 2 tablespoons Traeger Spicy Fajita Rub
    • 3 cans (16 oz each) of mixed beans (pinto, great northern, kidney), drained and rinsed
    • 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
    • 4 cups beef broth
  • Meatball Ingredients:

    • 1 pound ground beef (preferably 80% lean)
    • 1 pound ground pork
    • 2 tablespoons Traeger Spicy Fajita Rub
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder (optional)
  • Optional Toppings and Sides:

    • Shredded cheddar cheese
    • Sour cream
    • Chopped chives
    • Diced red onions
    • Chopped avocado
    • Crumbled queso fresco
    • Chopped fresh cilantro
    • Fresh or pickled jalapenos
    • Cornbread
    • Steamed rice
    • Baked potatoes
    • Tortillas or tortilla chips

Cooking Instructions

  1. Prepare the Chili Base:

    • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large enameled Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper, cooking until softened (about 3-5 minutes).
    • Season with 2 tablespoons of Traeger Spicy Fajita Rub, then add the beans, tomatoes, chilies, and beef broth. Bring to a simmer.
  2. Prepare the Meatball:

    • Mix the ground beef and pork with 2 tablespoons of Traeger Fajita Rub and chili powder, if using. Form into a large ball and coat lightly with oil to prevent sticking.
  3. Smoking Process:

    • Preheat the Traeger Grill to 225°F. Place the chili pot on the bottom grate and the meatball on a rack above it, ensuring the drippings fall into the chili pot. Smoke for 90 minutes.
    • Increase the grill temperature to 350°F and continue cooking until the meatball reaches an internal temperature of 160°F (about 2 hours).
  4. Combining and Simmering:

    • Carefully crumble the cooked meatball into the chili pot, mixing well to combine the flavors. Let the chili cook for an additional 30 minutes.

Serving Suggestions

Serve your OTT Chili with a variety of toppings and sides to cater to different tastes. Popular choices include shredded cheese, sour cream, chives, and tortilla chips. The versatility of this dish allows for creative presentations, making it perfect for gatherings and family dinners.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

OTT Chili can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a few days or frozen for up to 2 months. Reheat on the stovetop, in the oven, or using a microwave. For a quick meal, repurpose leftovers as toppings for nachos, chili dogs, or loaded tater tots.

Conclusion

Over the Top Chili is a delightful twist on a classic dish, offering a depth of flavor that comes from the unique smoking process. With its combination of smoky meat and savory chili, this dish is sure to become a favorite. Experiment with different meats, spices, and toppings to create your perfect version of OTT Chili. Enjoy!


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