Meatwad Chili (Drip-off Chili)

Most people call this Drip-off Chili because the juices from the meat “drip off” into the chili. I’ve taken a more literal interpretation to its name. If you’ve seen Aqua Teen Hunger Force, then you’ll get the reference.


  • ~2.5 lbs of ground beef (85% lean / 15% fat)
  • ~2 lbs of ground mild Italian sausage (If you can’t find ground, you can just slit the casings off normal sausage)
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 2 large cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 large cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 large can of tomato puree
  • 1 packet of mild chili seasoning
  • 2 packets of original chili seasoning
  • 5 packets of Sugar in the Raw

To bean or not to bean chili, tis’ the Great Debate between Texans and the rest of the world. I usually prefer my chili with beans, light and dark red kidney beans, usually 1 large can of either, so modify appropriately if you like beans. If you don’t, then just leave them out as I’ve done here.

I’ve also left out garlic and onions. I understand people like them. I do too, however, I’m allergic so they get left out. Add some in if you’d like.


I’m going to assume you’ve got a cast iron Dutch oven and that you’ve got it properly seasoned. If not, do some Googling. I have the 5.5 qt Kamado Joe Dutch Oven and have been very happy with it.

  • Get the Egg going at 250F, indirect heat, with a couple blocks of oak.
  • While the Egg is coming up to temp, chop up the red pepper and the green pepper then drop it into the Dutch oven.
  • Open up all the cans of tomatoes and dump them into the Dutch oven.
  • Pour in 2 packets of McCormick original chili seasoning (or whichever brand you prefer).
  • Pour in 5 packets of Sugar in the Raw.
  • Stir well then set the Dutch oven aside for now.
  • In a large bowl, mix up the ~2.5 lbs of ground beef and ~2 lbs of sausage. Mix well. Your hands will get cold, really cold, so you may want to take the meat out in advance and let it come up a little bit in temp before you start kneading it with your hands.
  • Once it’s mixed together well, start adding in 1 packet of mild McCormick chili seasoning, a little at a time. Mix it in evenly.
  • Once the seasoning is mixed in and distributed evenly, use the curve of the bowl to create a tightly packed meatball.
  • Take the Dutch oven out to the grill once it’s stable at 250F. Lid off.
  • Put a grate or some kind of porous cooking surface over the Dutch oven and put the meatwad on it. Insert a temp probe into the meat.
  • Cook the meatwad until it’s 160F. You won’t need to do much with the meat until it’s ready to come off and get chopped – this is a pretty low maintenance cook compared to other stuff.
  • Once the meat hits 160F, pull it off and cube it up. I’ve found smaller cubes work better than larger ones, but it’s really up to preference.
  • Drop all the cubes into the Goop and let it continue to cook at 250F for about another 2 hours. Stir every 30 minutes. Monitor your temps. The repeated opening and closing the grill can screw with them a bit, but in reality, you really can’t do too much damage to it at this point. You may want to add in another small block of wood at this point, but I’ve found it’s not worth the hassle.
  • All-in-all, my cooks usually run about 6 hours end to end. Roughly 4 hours with the meatwad on top then another 2 hours once it’s in the Goop.


Meatwad cooking over the Goop
Meat getting chopped