Smoked Brisket Chili – 5 Different Ways

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Smoked Brisket Chili – 5 Different Ways

a photo of a large bowl of chili topped with fritos, cilantro, and diced onions.

Our chili recipes are some of the most popular out there, so it was time to share our mega tasty Traeger smoked brisket chili! And we are sharing 5 different ways to make it – stove top, oven braised, smoker, slow cooker or Instant Pot.

The smoky flavor of the brisket with those bold chili flavors ands spices makes for an outrageously good bowl of chili. I love to top my bowl with shredded cheddar cheese and some sour cream.

I mean, where do I even start? This smoked brisket chili recipe has been living in my brain for probably the past 5-6 years and it has taken me all this time to get it down on “paper”. How weird that we rarely use paper anymore. Remember all those calendars on walls and sticky notes of reminders?

5 Different Ways

Anyway, I always have leftover brisket, those things are huge and my children are small. Therefore, brisket chili. And you don’t need a ton for this recipe…just 1.5 lbs.

I want to help you out so there will be five different versions explained. Please don’t get bugged! I will get questions about making it different ways so I’m just trying to anticipate that and help. The five different ways are stove top, oven braised, smoked, slow cooker and Instant Pot. Then there will be instructions for both uncooked brisket and leftover brisket for each method. Make sense? Sheesh, I hope so! Here we go…

First, I will start by explaining how to brown uncooked brisket if you’re going to go that route…

How to Brown Brisket for Chili

  1. Cube the pieces of raw brisket meat – Trim any hard fat as that will not melt away in the cooking process. Remember, the size of the meat is what you’ll be eating so we want no bigger than 2″ pieces (these will break down so you can smash them a bit, creating smaller pieces once cooked).
  2. Season the brisket with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat oil in the bottom of a cast iron dutch oven or large pot until shimmering. Cook the brisket in batches, never at once or it will end up cooking in liquid, aka boiled meat. Remove to a plate and proceed with the recipe of your choice, oven braised, smoked, or stove top. 

 Using Leftover Brisket for Chili

If you have leftover brisket either from our smoked brisket recipe or our slow cooker brisket, your steps will be fewer…

  1. Because your meat is already prepared, start by cooking the veggies and seasonings first. 
  2. Add cubed

Friday Faves 1.12

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Hi friends! How are you? I hope you had a wonderful week! It was the kids’ first week back at school (wah) so we’re back in the routine and I’m already counting down the days until Rodeo Break. <— it’s an Arizona thing but we always look forward to a couple of days off in Feb

What are you up to this weekend? We’re going to do a sushi and movie night, get in a hike, and meet up with some friends in Scottsdale. I hope you have a fun weekend!

I started a 14-day EquiLife detox before I head into the CBO protocol. I’ll be doing a full post about everything, but let me know if I can help with any questions or include anything in the post.

21-day Dr. Cabral detox recap and recipes

It’s time for the weekly Friday Faves party. This is where I share some of my favorite finds form the week and around the web. I always love to hear about your faves, too, so please shout out something you’re loving in the comments section below.

Friday Faves 1.12


Liv is 12! I can’t even believe it. She’s officially a *tween* and so bright, intelligent, hilariously sarcastic, and I love her passion for dance, skincare, and music.

She asked for a homemade cake instead of a bakery cake, so P and I made this for her:

We spent the day at the mall for shopping, boba, and ramen with her best friend, and then had cake with my mom and nana. Disneyland was her big celebration, so we had a lovely low-key day on her actual birthday.

Italki! I was googling ways to practice Spanish and this had excellent reviews. The short story is that my mom’s side of the family speaks Spanish, but growing up, I’d always answer in English. I minored in Spanish in college, and would read novels and write essays, but we spent very little time actually speaking. So while I understand it really well an

my thoughts on the Apple Watch vs. the Fitbit Alta

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Hey hey! How are you? I hope you’re enjoying the day so far. Today, I’m re-sharing this post with updated info – comparing two fitness tools: the fitness alta and the apple watch. They no longer make the Alta, but the Luxe is similar here. 

Apple Watch vs. the Fitbit Alta

Something that has helped a lot with my motivation to get moving and stay active throughout the day has been my Apple Watch. I’m a huge fan of fitness trackers – I’ve used multiple Fitbit models, the Tom-Tom Spark 3, Garmins, Polars, I’m kind of a nerd about fitness trackers – and the latest fave is the Apple Watch. It’s sporty but cute enough to wear every day, and the stats and interface are amazing.

Apple watch review - How the the Apple Watch stacks up against the FitBit Alta | | #applewatch #applewatchreview #fitnesstrackers

When I switched over to the Apple Watch, I’d been wearing a Fitbit for the most part, and most recently the FitBit Alta. I like that the Alta is much smaller than other fitness trackers and it gave me similar stats (plus the heart rate model tracks your heart rate). I’ve been a Fitbit fan for years and have consistently used the Fitbit as an effective way to track my steps and workout stats. I’d been eyeing the Apple Watch for about a year, but wasn’t sure if the cost would be worth switching over.

When we first moved to Valdosta, we attended an auction for Liv’s new school, and on one of the tables was an Apple Watch. I decided to put it into destiny’s hands. A couple of mint juleps later, and lurking around the auction table, I was the proud new owner of an Apple Watch (and a pair of Prada sunglasses. Yolo. <— do people still stay that? hah)

Apple watch review

Here’s my review of the Apple Watch vs. Fitbit Alta:


The Fitbit interface is simple. It tells you everything you need to know (steps, distance, calories burned) without any extra bells and whistles. If you log into the app, you can also track data on sleep, which can be extremely insightful.

The Apple Watch takes things to the next level. Your goals for the day are split into little circles: move goals (calories burned), standing (I think it’s move for 5 minutes of every hour), and workout (30 minutes of activity per day). It’s SO satisfying to see the circles build throughout the day, and an easy way to glance and check how you’re doing.

Lemon Sorbet

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Fresh lemon sorbet is a light and refreshing treat that is a terrific addition to any meal.

At first glance, a scoop of sorbet is unlikely to grab your attention and impress. However, at first taste, you’re certain to be won over immediately.

gold ice cream scoop with container of lemon sorbet

Lemon Sorbet

My sister and I often talk about that “unforgettable bite.” A special meal or fancy dinner out that you remember fondly often contains a certain food or combination of flavors that simply wows you.

It never fails to impress me when a small number of ingredients are combined to create something truly amazing. I tasted a lemon sorbet for the first time while on a cruise with my sister Jenny and we found ourselves talking about it repeatedly over the next few days.

I got back home from our trip on a Saturday night and on Sunday I was in the kitchen mixing this sorbet together. I simply had to recreate it for my family.

Sorbet Palate Cleanser

While I typically choose a rich ice cream, a fruit cobbler, or a chewy fudge brownie for dessert, believe it or not, there are times when I crave something lighter.

Whether you’re serving this sorbet as a palate cleanser, a light dessert, or a fancy after-dinner treat, I’m willing to bet that you’re going to love it every bit as much as we do.

gold ice cream scoop with container of lemon sorbetRead more

White Chocolate Banana Bread

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White Chocolate Banana Bread

a stack of sliced white chocolate banana bread

We’ve only given you 50 Banana Bread recipes, so why not make it 51 with this moist white chocolate banana bread full of white chocolate chips and banana flavor!

STOP! Before you read this post, have you read our post on The Very Best Banana Bread? It’s essential before you make this white chocolate banana bread recipe. The batter is really simple, but you’ll want to follow a few tricks to make it turn out perfect.

Especially if you choose to make muffins like our Crumb Banana Bread Muffin recipe because muffins that are over mixed are flat topped.

This is a recipe our daughter created when she was only 7 years old and it was the perfect opportunity for me to teach her about the banana bread rules.

Banana Bread Rules

  • Ripe Bananas- This is a tricky one as everyone claims a banana to be ripe at different points, but I would look for medium bananas that are starting to brown and are heavily covered in freckles. Once the banana has gone black its sugar and water content is different and can lead to a lame finished product.
  • Use a regular loaf pan instead of a very large one and I’ve found that metal actually works best.
  • If you’re not comfortable with the tap test to be sure it’s cooked through, gently insert a toothpick into the center and it should come out clean.
  • All purpose flour is best here, but you can experiment with half whole wheat as well.
  • Sweet White Chocolate melts down in the loaf and disappears a bit so don’t be shocked if you don’t slice the bread and find chocolate chips everywhere.

After we created our best moist banana bread recipe (you guys, it literally took us years and years, no joke) we were dying to take a break, er I mean try even more recipes, haha.

Ok, it was a balance of both. On the one hand we really did need a break from banana bread, but on the other our minds were suddenly bubbling with ideas. After breakfast one Saturday, our youngest daughter asked if she could create a white chocolate banana bread recipe, and how could you ever turn down that?

Secret Ingredient

The banana bread is super moist thanks to the oil and mashed bananas, but what’s really awesome about it is that it almost has a slight churro flavor with the hint of cinnamon and those creamy white chocolate chips. My goodness, she nailed it!!