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Have to agree with @Golf Griller here, I've never experienced meat, especially beef disintegrating. I'm assuming that maybe that means it becomes stringy? That I could see. Anyway, I use a combination of ground and of chunks...

 

I whole-heartedly agree with John about the BBQ competitions, etc. I achieve smoke rings without trying really. But, if I ate someone's cue and it was fantastic, I'm not going to score them lower due to a lack of smoke ring, etc. All our tastes are different but, I have tasted chili sans beans and with. With is infinitely better- being from Texas or no... :-D

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I'm no purist or connoisseur by any means, I'll make chili with ground beef or turkey, usually with beans. Two of the best most recently were made with:

grilled chopped chickens thighs that were seasoned with dizzy pig mole rub, then using all my regular chili fixin's, was really good! Great flavor from the mole.

Chopped the brisket I made recently into chili, that turned out really good too. Held together very well, no doubt a testament to some lack of tenderness to begin with :-D

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7 hours ago, John Setzler said:

 

I will definitely take some of your advice here :)

 

There are no rules about ingredients that I can find in this competition.  I'm not gonna sacrifice what *I* think is great chili to satisfy anyone.  This is why I never participate in BBQ competitions.  I hate cooking for someone else's expectations.  At least with a chili cookoff, I won't have but a few bucks in ingredients and not much hands on time to make it happen :) Maybe they will like it :)

 

I agree with you, I cook for "us" not them but I do observe what goes on.  I am also guilty of having a narrow expectation of chili.  Your recipe looks good, your pot above looks great, sending good vibes your way!  

 

Beans are good with chili, I like it.  If I put beans in chili everyone I know suddenly starts calling it "chili beans".  It's got to be the part of the country.  I always add meat to my beans and they are just "beans".  Funny world.

 

Good luck!

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