Big Green Egg: Over the Top Chili Recipe

Our Oak Hill store just became a dealer of the Big Green Egg this year, and let me tell you, we have never had so much fun cooking! After setting up and using our store's large BGE that we'll use for events and demos, our store manager (and my husband) Tyler was so excited about it he took it to the next level and got a Mini Max for our house. There's a bit of a learning curve but we found this amazing Facebook group and watched a lot of YouTube videos and let me tell you - there is no turning back now. We've been cooking 3-4 times a week on the BGE since we got it, everything from seafood to pulled pork to pizza to cornbread to steak and more. We eat almost every meal at home and, for the last 10 years or so, I'd say I did about 95% of the cooking. Not because Tyler can't do it, but is doesn't really interest him and I, for the most part, enjoy it.. With his newfound love for outdoor cooking in this ceramic beauty, Tyler has taken on at least half of the weekly meals. This is a fringe benefit I wasn't expecting when he brought the Mini Max home! Something to think about if you're considering buying one for your household :) 

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For those who are already familiar with the Big Green Egg, see the recipe below and let us know how your chili turns out! For those who have yet to take the leap, see if this entices you to add one of these versatile outdoor cooker to your patio. Check back on the blog for more recipes as we continue to experiment, learn and perfect all things BGE! 

Over the Top Chili

The general idea of this chili is to smoke the ground beef above the chili pot, letting those juicy drippings fall into the pot of beans, tomatoes, peppers and spices before breaking it apart and adding it in. This gives the beef a beautiful, smokey flavor that really adds to this dish.

 Ready to start!

Ready to start!

For the chili:
1 white onion, diced
2 jalapenos, diced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pepper - green or red
2 cans (15 oz each) of black beans
6 cups of strained crushed tomatoes

Put all chili ingredients in pot. Put platesetter in BGE legs up and put grate on top. Put the pot on the regular grate, and then put a smaller grate on top of the pot. This is where the meat ball is going to sit (see below).

For the meat:
1 1/2 lbs of ground beef (we used 85/15)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp onion flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 clove of garlic
salt and pepper

Mix by hand and form into a ball. Put the ball on top of small grate over chili pot. Cook at 275 degrees until medium or 140 internal temp. When meat is done, break up into chili and mix. Serve with cheddar cheese and sour cream, optional.

 After about an hour of smoking.

After about an hour of smoking.

 Topped with cheddar and sour cream.

Topped with cheddar and sour cream.

A couple of notes:

  • We use the Weber iGrill digital thermometer (check out iGrill 2 and 3 as well) to track the internal temperature on the BGE. This thermometer connects to your phone via Bluetooth. You can set the desired internal temp and it will alert you when you're getting close and when the temp has been reached.
  • We had use of a large BGE so we used that grate for the bottom to set the chili pot on, and we also have a Mini Max, so we used that grate to set over the pot and put the meat on. Any grate will do. 
  • We used a Martha Stewart dutch oven purchased at Macy's. It's great for this kind of cooking, in the oven, on the stove - for this and delicious homemade breads!
  • Some people. via the Facebook group we're part of, have mentioned not liking the idea or flavor of the drippings going directly into the pot. You can always put a drip pan under the ball instead of the pot, and either cook the chili on another surface or wait and do it after the meat is done (or vice versa). We used an 85/15 beef mixture that didn't seem greasy or overpowering at all.

Any questions? Comment here or hit us up on Facebook or Instagram. We love sharing what we've learned! We're proud to bring the best brands to our customers and this is definitely one we can get behind. We offer delivery and assembly and even a little tutorial on how to use it when you purchase any size from our store. We want you to love it as much as we do! 

- Rebecca

Aged Terra Cotta Pots

This weekend I FINALLY got around to making a terra cotta pot wreath I had seen on Pinterest - a country chic sort of Fixer Upper style spring wreath with succulents. (No green thumb here - I opted to make mine with fake plants.) I sucked it up and braved the weekend crowds to pick up the rest of my materials and headed home to get started. I wanted the pots to have an aged looked so I turned to my new favorite paint, Amy Howard One Step Chalk Paint. This is a water-based paint that adheres to almost anything and with little to no prep. These pots didn't require any prep work at all, but for other pieces all you need to do to prep an item for painting with AHOS is use a degreaser and clean with water. No sanding. Yes, you read that correctly. NO SANDING. It dries with a beautiful, chalky finish that looks just like a pot that's been weathered in the garden for years. {This paint is great for reviving, refinishing and antiquing furniture along with AH waxes, milk paint, sealer, crackle, and more!)

First, I covered my kitchen table with craft paper and laid out my materials:

  • Amy Howard One Step in Bauhaus Buff
  • clay pots - (12) 3 in and (10) 2 in for a 24" wreath
  • a cup of water
  • chip brush
  • paper towels

Depending on how you want your "aged" pot to look, you could repeat this process below with a gray paint as well, to give it a bit more dimension. I was happy with how white looked by itself, so I didn't introduce any gray this time.

Dip the tip of your brush into the water, getting just the ends of the bristles wet. Tap the brush into the paint lightly, again just on the tip of the brush. (You can use the paint in the lid to have a little more control over how much is getting on your brush.

Off-load some of the paint on your craft paper or a paper towel, so the brush isn't too wet or too full of paint. As you start to work on your pots, you'll find a sweet spot of how much water/paint and how much to wipe off before painting as you perfect the look you want. 

Lightly brush the outside of your pot - don't forget the bottom! - adding more water and paint to your brush as necessary. 

I just wanted a little bit of aging, so I didn't go too heavy on the paint or water. Once you're happy with it, set it aside to dry, which literally takes minutes, and pick up the next one!. Note: If you're thinking of putting this outside, consider spraying pots with a matte sealer before assembling your wreath, or if you're using this technique on pots for a different use that will be outside.

After these were dry, I got together the rest of my materials for the wreath:

  • 24" grapevine wreath
  • floral foam
  • fake plants - succulents and stems (I got a couple of single succulents and a few various stems - sage, some other light green greenery, spider plants. grass, similar color tones - and removed the leaves from the stems)
  • Spanish moss in brown and light green
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • brown wire - I found some nice natural looking wire pre-cut in 12" lengths at Michael's but on a roll works just as well (if you like the look of twine you could use that as well, it just might not be as secure)

Thread a piece of wire through the pot and arrange the pots on the wreath in alternating directions. It doesn't have to be perfectly symmetrical - some up, some down, some left, some right - do whatever looks good to you.

Once they're all in place, put a piece of floral foam in each pot. Now the fun part - arrange the plants! I filled all of the pots before starting to glue anything in case I need to rearrange. I got a few stems of different leaves and such at Michael's. pulled everything off the stems and put in the pots as if they were their own plants - I also filled in around some of the bigger plants with more greenery to make the pot look nice and full. After I was happy with them all I started adding moss to cover up the foam, securing with hot glue and poking down into the pot with a leftover chopstick I found in my silverware drawer. 

It's pretty heavy so make sure you secure it properly wherever you're hanging it. And that's it! What do you think?

Hi, I'm Rebecca!

Hey there! My name is Rebecca Wood and I'm the new full-time Marketing Manager for Oak Hill and Dunstan Ace Hardware. I handle all of our advertising, special events and classes, in-kind donations, our Ace Rewards program, website and social media, and more. The hardware store has been a part of my life since I was little and I'm looking forward to working with my family (Anne, Dan, Nate and Tyler - and Rivet!) and getting to know you, our customers. Ace is known as The Helpful Place One so one thing in particular I'm excited about is expanding our DIY class offerings and sharing how-to tips for common household projects, DIY projects and techniques, and new products. We've had great success with our Amy Howard DIY classes and hope to build on that with more topics and new know-how from our knowledgable employees and experts in our community. Stay tuned to this blog for updates and come by and say hi at Dunstan (636 US Rt 1) where I will be spending most of my time along with Indiana, a very exuberant, friendly and hard-working Catahoula Leopard Dog who is showing me the ropes. See you soon!

PHOTOS: Rebecca and Sookee, who will also be making appearances at Dunstan from time to time; Indiana; Dunstan store; DIY'er at our Amy Howard DIY Class last March