Nic’s Smoked Chilli Con Carne


During the autumn of 2014 I did a couple of cooking demonstrations with the Big Green Egg taxi at a couple of the Big Green Egg dealers. They’re great fun to do and it’s always lovely to meet existing customers as well as talk to people who sometimes have never even heard of the Egg before. For my demos I did a themed menu of:

  • Bonfire night - Smoked Chill Con Carne with Jacket Potato
  • Christmas Day - Butter Infused Turkey
  • Boxing Day - Smoked Gammon

Of the three, the chilli got the most feedback with comments like ‘it’s the best chilli I have ever tasted’, ‘I won’t be able to cook my chilli again this is so good’ to ‘you can cook this for me every day'. However because the chilli is smokey it is a bit unusual and so isn’t to everyone’s taste. 

Smoking the chilli on the Egg gives this chilli a real depth of flavour you just don’t get on the cooker hob. That doesn’t mean though you can’t make this on a hob, it just won’t have the full smokey flavour. 


  • 2 chopped onions
  • 3 chopped cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1Kg beef mince (20% fat is good)
  • 2 cans peeled plum tomatoes
  • 2 cans kidney beans (undrained - I use the liquid they are stored in as it has loads of flavour)
  • 100ml Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 diced red peppers
  • 30ml Capsicana Hot Chipotle Sauce (add more if you like it really spicy)
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tsp course ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp Maldon sea salt
  • 3 to 5 chunks of Hickory wood for smoking (yes this is an ingredient even if it doesn’t go in the pan)

Equipment needed

  • Cast iron dutch oven or an equivalent like a Le Creuset
  • Plate setter for indirect cooking


  1. Setup you EGG for direct cooking with the dutch oven on the stainless grid directly over the coals. I usually get my EGG to 200C. 
  2. Add the olive oil, chopped garlic and chopped onions and sweat down. You’ll need to open the EGG every couple of minutes to stir.
  3. Once the onions have softened add the beef mince and continue to stir every couple of minutes until it is cooked. 
  4. Take off the dutch oven and stainless grid, add 3 chunks of pre soaked hickory to the coals, add the plate setter (feet up) and stainless grid ready for an indirect cook.
  5. Add all of the other ingredients to the pan. 
  6. Set your EGG to cook at 180C.
  7. Stir every 10 minutes. You should see quite a lot of hickory smoke.
  8. Once the chilli is simmering cook for a further hour to allow the flavours to develop. 

I sometimes add a couple of extra chunks of hickory onto the stainless grid. These will just smoulder away throughout the cook giving it an even deeper smokey flavour. 

I serve my chilli on Big Green Egg baked potatoes and a dollop of sour cream. For these just bake them alongside your chilli. In the last 30 minutes drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with Maldon sea salt to really crisp up the skins. You’ll never bake a potato another way.

© Nic Williams 2014