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“Grilling” Chili

When it comes to cooking at home, I have a motto: “Take it outside.”  If it can be cooked in the kitchen, chances are pretty good it can be grilled outside.  Better yet, it is guaranteed to taste better, too.  It is the magic of the grill.  Take chili for instance.

While some dinners are easy to visualize “outside,” others are not.  Take chili for instance. For years, I made chili on the stove.  One day I realized I needed to follow my own advice.  I took it outside.

Chili and stews are easily adapted to cooking on your Weber grill, and I’m not talking side burners here, I’m talking grills!  This is full on grate action.

Keep in mind the only real change from the kitchen to the grill is cookware.  I find a cast iron dutch oven the easiest “pot” to use.  Kitchen cookware might have plastic parts easily damaged under the heat. For outdoors, I want something robust.  With cast iron, you can never go wrong.

For the kettle, light a chimney full of charcoal, and make a single zone fire.  After allowing the grill to heat up, remove the kettle lid and place the dutch oven on the grill to sweat the vegetables, and brown the meat. 

Add the remaining chili ingredients, put the kettle lid back on the grill, and use the vents to reduce the temperature to somewhere under 300 F. Let the chili simmer for about an hour, and then serve.

Words cannot begin to describe the sweet, smokey richness the grill adds to the chili.  It really is something to behold, and makes me wonder why I didn’t attempt this years ago.  Next time you plan on making chili, take it to the grill, and see what you think.  I bet you will love it too!

Recipe by Jamie Purviance Chili on the Grill