Introduction: Smoked Turkey Chili

Do you like flavour? Do you like beans? What about ground meat? If you answered yes to any of these 3 questions then this chili is for you.

I guarantee, my smoked chili will impress even your fanciest of guests. And if not, you don't want those people around anyway.

Step 1: Ingredients & Materials


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 med to large jalapeno pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cans of beans (I'm using six bean mix and red kidney)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • Pinch of tarragon
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Sriracha sauce
  • 2 tbsp. BBQ sauce
  • About 1/8 cup of Franks hot sauce
  • 1/4 quinoa (optional)


  • BBQ or Smoker
  • Cast Iron Pot
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Stirring spoon
  • Strainer
  • Can opener
  • About 2 cups smoking chips (I'm using hickory with Maple lump charcoal)

Fun Fact: If you or someone in your family is anemic, cooking in a cast iron pan can add extra iron to your meals. The beans will also help.

Step 2: Soak Wood Chips

Soak your wood chips 15 minutes or more. I actually like to soak mine overnight so that they're ready when I need them. I'm using hickory, but I've also used oak, and maple. Maple gives a sweeter flavour (if you're interested). The hickory is a little nutty and has more smell to it.

Step 3: Prep Time!


Chop up your onion in course chunks.


Finely chop your jalapeno.

Tip: Don't put your fingers in your eye after.


Slice off the ends of the garlic to make it easier to peel. Once it's peeled, crush and dice your garlic.

Step 4: Brown Turkey

Cook turkey until it's brown on medium heat. Don't forget to wash your hands after.

You're able to do this step on your bbq as well. I typically get everything up to temperature on the stove because it's faster and easier.

Step 5: Add Garlic & Onions


Clear out space in the middle of your pot. Add your chopped onions and cook until semi-transparent. This usually takes about 5 min. Once it's cooked, stir the onions into the meat.


Do the same for the garlic. The garlic won't take as long to brown, maybe 30 seconds. Once it's done, mix it into the meat and onions.

Step 6: Add Spice to the Meat

Add spices and stir.

  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • pinch of tarragon

I added the seasoning salt and club house vegetable spice to taste and smell. I didn't actually add any garlic powder, this time, the garlic I used was strong enough to do the trick.

Fun Garlic Fact: It's thought to have the ability to reduce cholesterol. This is probably only is true when the garlic is fresh.

Step 7: Add the Rest

Add both cans of tomatoes and both cans of strained beans. I like to add a little extra Franks to give it a little bit of a sweeter kick. Add your pre-cut jalapenos and stir it in.

I like to add about 1/4 cup of quinoa. It thickens up your chili while also giving it a nice texture. I add it in its raw state and let it cook while the chili simmers.

Step 8: Get Your (Charcoal) BBQ Ready

Light your charcoal. I build a small fire underneath the charcoal until it catches fire. Once your charcoal is lit, transfer it to the bottom tray.

Close the lid and bring your BBQ up to temperature. I smoke at around 275 - 300 degrees F.

Safety Tip: Use a charcoal chimney. It's much safer than my approach.

Step 9: Start Smoking

Once your BBQ is up to temperature, bring out your chili. Strain your wood chips and add about 1/2 cup on top of the coals.

Once you've added your chips, slide your chili over top. I leave the lid of my chili open so it can really absorb the smoke flavour. An hour of smoking will do, but I like to smoke for 3-4 hours.

Close your lid and open your BBQ's bottom vent.

You'll want to add more wood chips every 20-30 minutes. When you add your chips give your chili a stir.

Step 10: Serve and Enjoy

It's hot coming off the BBQ so use caution. Top with cheese and enjoy. It will definitely taste better the next day, so bring some to work and make everyone else jealous.

It may not look like much, but this smoked chili packs a huge punch. The nice thing about smoking your chili is that you don't need to make it very spicy for it to have a lot of flavour.

If you make it, let me know how it turns out!

Outdoor Cooking Challenge 2016

Runner Up in the
Outdoor Cooking Challenge 2016