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Jerri's Version of Wendy's Chili

Smoke and Awe

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I'm not a fan of hot or very spicy chili, and I enjoy Wendy's when I don't have time to make my own.  Now I make it on the kamado, so here's my version of this mild chili.  You can spice it up as much as you like though!


1 lb. ground beef, or mixed pork and beef

1 - 15 oz. can tomato sauce

1 can diced tomatoes and chiles

1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes (or crushed if you prefer)

1 15 oz. can kidney beans w/liquid

1 15 oz. can small red beans, w/liquid

1/2 med onion, diced

1/2 green pepper, diced

1 rib celery, diced

2-3 cups beef broth



1 tsp. cumin

1-2 TBS chili powder

1/2 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 1/2 tsp. paprika (I like smoked if you have it)

1 tsp. black powder

2 tsp. salt


Brown and crumble hamburger in dutch oven over kamado grate.  Add spices and remaining ingredients, simmer uncovered in pot for 3 hours; cover if liquid is evaporating too much.  Recommend light apple or pecan smoke


link to Small and Mini Kamado thread please.





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Recipe looks solid.


Thanks for posting it.




Nicely done Jerri, that looks really great. I love chili but have never tasted Wendy's version.



It is really good.....certainly way better than I ever expected to get from a fast food joint.

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Nice.  I actually like Wendy's Chilli.  Will get a large bowl for lunch when it gets cold outside.  But I do add about 1/2 of one of their hot sauce packets to it.  I like just a touch of spice, but not over powering.  So I will give this one a try too now that it is turning to fall and is Chilli Cooking Weather.

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Looks awesome, and I have just about all the ingredients so that might be dinner tomorrow. While it's not Wendy's like I'll be adding cinnamon and dark chocolate as those are two of my killer chili additions (the other is peanut butter, but that wouldn't be right for this type of chili)

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1 tsp. black powder



How do you prevent it from exploding over heat? ;)  That's supposed to be "black pepper" right?


I also typically add cinnamon and cocoa to my chili, but I've never made it on a Kamado before.  I just went out within the past 30 minutes and borrowed a small pot from a friend to make some today on the Joe Jr. It's not CI unfortunately, but I'll be using the deflector to make sure I don't kill it. 


Now I have to run out and get some ground beef as we're all out and at the same time grab a few pieces of Apple wood from another friend.

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Ok, I think I may have found the way I will forever make Chili from now on. Not necessarily the recipe, but it's a nice simple one that's tasting great so far, but the Kamado and smoke. OMG.

I had to step out to buy the meat, but I should have checked what other ingredients we were missing… No diced tomatoes and no kidney beans. So I had to double up with black beans and used only my own crushed tomato puree that I typically can every year or so. I sautéed the onion and green pepper with some garlic in olive oil first. I also added the same amount of raw onion and green pepper to the pot once everything had been combined. There was way too much liquid at that point as I used about 2 liters of tomato, plus the other liquids the recipe calls for.

In all I had about 2x as much as would fit into the small pot I borrowed to use on the Kamado, so I'm actually making two pots, the second one on the gas kitchen range.

Outside the pot has been cooking at about 300 indirect for 2.5 hours - I open it up every now and then to give it a good stir. Two Apple wood chunks on RO charcoal - I probably should have only used one as it was smoking like a forest fire for more than the first hour. :) I took a tiny taste test however and I'm loving it.

If it ends up having too much smoke I can always cut it with some of the batch I've cooked inside the house. I've already had dinner, but i definitely plan on a real taste test sometime later tonight after it's come off and had a chance to sit a bit. I'll probably go out and buy a small CI pot specifically to fit the Joe Jr. tomorrow. ;)

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