Smoked Hamburgers

39 reviews

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Smoked hamburgers are a killer way to prepare a burger. By smoking the hamburger, you end up with a juicy result, and the smoke creates crispy edges and great char. You’ll never go back to regular old hamburgers again. And drive-thru burgers? Forget about it!

Smoked hamburger topped with onions, tomatoes, and lettuce with text overlay - Smoked Hamburgers.

Smoked Hamburgers

Cooking hamburgers on the grill is a BBQ staple, and it always results in a delicious burger. But smoking those hamburgers adds a whole new level of flavor and dimension that will blow your mind.

The key to a great hamburger starts with the right mix of ground beef. As often as possible, I try to grind my own meat for hamburgers. I personally love the flavor of ground chuck roast the most. It is just the right ratio of meat to fat.

If you’re buying from the grocery store, make sure you’re buying meat that was ground in-house, preferably that day. Aim for select ground beef that is at least 85% meat 15% fat. If you want your burger even juicier, I recommend 80% meat 20% fat.

Hamburger patties being seasoned with Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub.

How to Smoke Hamburgers

Let’s get into the process of how to smoke hamburgers. It’s a fairly simple technique of seasoning, smoking, searing, and serving. For a detailed, printable recipe card, scroll to the bottom of this post.

  1. Preheat. Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees F. My preferred wood for smoked hamburgers is hickory. It’s strong enough to give you good smoke flavor in the limited time that the burgers will be exposed to smoke.
  2. Prep. Press the meat into patties, working the meat as little as possible. Shape your burgers so they are about 1/2 inch thick and wider than the buns you’ll be using.
  3. Season. Next, season the outside of your burgers on both sides with Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub. If you don’t have any Beef Rub on hand, you can use equal parts salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  4. Smoke. Once your grill is preheated, place the burgers on the grates and close the lid. Smoke until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 135 degrees F. Depending on the thickness of your burgers, aim for this first step to take around 1 hour.
  5. Sear. Increase the temperature of your smoker to around 400 degrees F. Sear the patties for 2-3 minutes. Flip the hamburgers, top them with cheese (if desired), and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
  6. Dig in! Once your burgers are smoked and seared to perfection, serve them on toasty buns with whatever condiments you like!

Hamburger patties on the grill reading a temperature of 125 degrees F.

How Long to Smoke Hamburgers

I’ve found that it takes a little over 1 hour to smoke hamburgers with the smoker running steady at 225 degrees F.

Make sure to use this 1-hour timeline as a gauge only and pay attention to the temperature of the burgers. Smoke until they reach 135 degrees, then sear until they reach a final temperature of 165 degrees F.

Hamburgers on the smoker topped with cheese.

Tips for Smoking the Best Burgers

Smoking burgers is easy and straightforward, but these tips will help you get that perfect, juicy burger every time.

  • Make sure you use ground beef with a decent fat content. The heat and the smoke can dry out the meat, so aim for at least 15% fat in your beef.
  • Use a stronger wood for smoked burgers, such as hickory, oak, or mesquite. These burgers are not on the smoker for very long, so you want the smoke to influence the meat for the entire time it is on the smoker.
  • Cook to temperature, not to color or time. Smoking causes a chemical reaction with the meat that turns it slightly pink. If you smoke your burgers for an hour, they may be pink throughout the entire burger! If you are using an instant-read thermometer, you will know that they are perfectly cooked, so don’t stress about them being too pink once they reach 165 degrees F.

Smoked hamburger topped with onions, tomatoes, and lettuce.

More Burger Recipes

Are burgers your favorite go-to dinner item? If so, check out even more amazing burger recipes below!

Smoked Hamburger Recipe

Follow the recipe and I’ll show you step-by-step how I make these smoked hamburgers at home. I’m all about helping you make memories with your loved ones through amazing backyard BBQ of your life, so check out more of my smoking and grilling recipe videos on YouTubeInstagram, or our Facebook Page. Follow along and let’s make awesome food together!

This post was originally published in May 2018. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.

Smoked Hamburgers

By: Susie Bulloch (heygrillhey.com)
4.93 from 39 votes
Smoked hamburgers are a killer way to prepare a burger. By smoking a burger, you end up with a juicy result, and the smoke creates crispy edges and great char. You’ll never go back to regular old burgers again. And drive-thru burgers? Forget about it!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes
Servings4 people
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Ingredients
 

  • 1 ½ pounds ground chuck 80/20 preferred
  • 2 Tablespoons Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub or equal parts salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese optional
  • 4 burger buns
  • assorted burger toppings

Instructions
 

  • Preheat. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F using your favorite hardwoood.
  • Form the patties. Shape your ground beef into 4 equal-sized patties, about 1/2 inch larger in diameter than your burger buns.
  • Season. Season the hamburger patties on both sides with Beef Rub or equal parts salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Smoke. Place the seasoned patties on the grill and smoke until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 135 degrees F. This will take around 1 hour.
  • Sear. Increase the heat in your smoker to at least 400 degrees F. Sear the burger patties for about 2-3 minutes on both sides. Add cheese after the first flip, if desired. Sear until the meat reaches a final temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • Enjoy. Remove the hamburger patties from the grill and place the buns on the grill grates to toast. Assemble your smoked burgers on the toasted buns with any desired toppings and serve immediately. 

Nutrition

Calories: 664kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 150mg | Sodium: 503mg | Potassium: 541mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 280IU | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 307mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About

FOUNDER/BBQ BOSS LADY

Susie is the BBQ Brain behind the Hey Grill Hey website. Her passion for smoked meats and developing fun, new recipes have landed her on the Food Network, cooking turkeys with Shaq, and on a couple of Guinness World Records. When she’s not grilling, she is hanging out with Todd and their three kids, preferably outdoors!

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Reader Reviews

83 Reviews

  1. Scott says:

    I’m new to using a smoker and this was my first time smoking burgers. I used Hey Grill Hey for Brisket and Tri Tip a couple times and their recipe was fantastic! My burgers turned out tasting excellent but were kind of dry and over cooked. I think that was my fault. Between cooking and searing are you supposed to remove the burgers? I didn’t so that’s probably why they were over done.

  2. LaxLager says:

    Looks like a winner that I plan on trying tonight! I have 1/4 – 1/3 lb pre-made patties. Will this work with them or are there any variations needed? TIA

  3. Wade says:

    Try this with ground brisket patties. AMAZING!

  4. Aryn says:

    We just had these on our Traeger and the results were amazing. Perfect technique. Definitely get the 80/20 if you want the wow factor.

  5. Lars says:

    Saw a place doing smoked burgers on Guy Fieri’s DDD program, and came here for the specifics on cooking time, temps, etc. I mixed 1.6 lb. of 90% lean ground sirloin and 1.1 lb. of 73% lean ground beef to make 8 burgers. Came out perfectly! When my picky high schooler came back for seconds, I knew it was a winner! Best burgers I’ve ever done!

  6. Dave R says:

    I made this today and it was delicious. simple, juicy, and flavourful. The whole family enjoyed these.

  7. Joseph Mark Fister says:

    These are great. I usually do 8 at a time for 35 to 40 minutes, finish what I want on the grill and freeze the others. Then grill them as I want later. Thank you, Love your recipes.

  8. David Myers says:

    This recipe is now the only way we cook burgers at home – takes a little extra time but it’s so worth it! I use 80/20 ground beef and they are the juiciest, most flavorful burgers. After smoking for an hour, I fire up the Weber to about 500 degrees for the actual sear though. So once they hit 135, I take ‘em straight from the smoker to the grill for 1-1/2 minutes per side and they’re perfect.

  9. Riley B says:

    Loved your other recipes I just had a question! New to all things grilling and smoking, so excuse me if this is a dumb question. Do you take the burgers off of the grill after they reach 135 degrees while you wait for the grill to heat up to 400? Or leave them on? Thanks in advance

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      Take them off!

  10. Mike Hadley says:

    We like our burgers cooked more medium than well done so I may try a slow cook to 115 -120 degrees and then turn the grill up to the “riot” temp. and cook for a minute on each side with cheese on the final side. I would like to end up with around 140 degree burger.This is how I cook a steak. Works great!

    1. Gabe Tavenner says:

      Yes I agree, I will for sure try this next time.