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Where There’s Smoke

Mary Burich | November 12, 2018


Smoky goodness seals the deal in HORMEL® Chili contest

Smoke Showin’ Origins

Eddy’s recipe for Smoke Showin’ is a nod to them via a firefighting term that means smoke from the blaze is visible on the street. It’s also a tribute to his mom. Among other things, she gave Eddy her 20-year-old tried-and-true formula.

In answer to a friendly challenge from a neighboring fire department three years ago, Eddy took her recipe and added his “love of barbecue.” It came in the form of smoked beef brisket, chipotle peppers (i.e., smoked jalapenos), smoked corn on the cob and bacon. “That’s how we got to where we are,” he says, grinning.

Smoke Showin’

  • Hands-On Time

    1 hour
  • Total Time

    24 hours
  • 1 pound HORMEL® BLACK LABEL® Cherrywood Bacon
  • 3 medium onions, diced
  • 1 head garlic, pressed
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 3 (28-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 3 (40.5-ounce) cans light red kidney beans
  • 2 (1-pound, 13-ounce) cans black beans
  • 2-3 pounds smoked beef brisket (at least six hours, cherrywood)
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1/3 cup chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 small can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, pureed
  • 3 ears smoked fresh corn (30 minutes)
  • to garnish red onion
  • to garnish cilantro
  • to garnish sour cream


Smoke brisket and corn the night before. Fry bacon, remove. Sauté garlic and onion in bacon fat, add ground beef and brown. Drain fat leaving just a few tablespoons. Add tomato sauce beans, brisket and bacon. Add spices, tomato puree, chipotle pepper puree, corn (cut from cob), and simmer for at least one hour. Garnish with chopped red onion, cilantro and a dollop of sour cream.

Jason George, who plays physician-turned-firefighter Ben Warren on “Grey’s Anatomy” and its spinoff, “Station 19,” was a guest judge. In addition to Eddy, four other finalists came to New York City to test their mettle, each one representing a region of the United States.

Jason George

Jason George at the America’s Best Firehouse Chili judging

Recipes were judged on originality, flavor and inspiration behind each submission.