Smoked Hamburgers

May 30, 2018

Smoked Hamburgers are definitely my favorite way to prepare a burger. So juicy, and just the right amount of smoke with crispy edges and char from the direct heat on my SmokePro SG Pellet Grill. You’ll never go back to regular old burgers again, and drive thru burgers? Forget about it. This post is sponsored by Camp Chef. I’m proud to be a 2018 Camp Chef ambassador!

Smoked Burgers Recipe

How to make Smoked Hamburgers

The key to a great burger starts with the right mix of ground beef. As often as possible, I try to grind my own whole muscles for burgers. I 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 that you’re buying meat that was ground in-house, preferably that day. Select ground beef that is at least 85% meat 15% fat. If you want your burger even juicier, I recommend 80/20.

Once you’ve picked your meat, it’s time to form your patties. I don’t recommend mixing in any seasonings, as the salt can draw some moisture out of the meat itself and change the texture of your finished burger. Press your meat into patties, working it as little as possible. Shape your burgers so they are about 1/2 inch or so wider than the buns you’ll be using. As your burger cooks, you will experience some shrinkage. Season the outside of your burgers on both sides. You can use whatever seasonings you like, but I prefer to keep it simple. Salt, pepper, garlic powder, mixed in equal parts is perfect!

How to Make Smoked Hamburgers

Now it’s time to smoke! I set my smoker to 225 degrees F for this first step. My preferred wood is hickory. It’s strong enough to give you good smoke flavor in the limited time that the burgers will be exposed to smoke. Place your burgers on the grates and close the lid. Depending on the thickness of your burgers, you should be able to smoke them for about 1 hour. For this first step, I want the internal temperature of my burgers to reach 135 degrees F.

Next step is to sear the burgers. This is super easy on my Camp Chef SG Pellet Grill. I simply crank up the temperature dial to High and slide open the deflector tray for direct grilling. Just like that, my burgers are roasting over a wood fire. You want the temperature of your fire at this point to be at least 400 degrees F. Sear your burgers for about 2 minutes per side, or until your desired doneness (FDA recommends 165 degrees F). If you want cheeseburgers, add your cheese after the first flip.

Once your burgers are smoked and seared to perfection, serve them on toasty buns with whatever condiments you like!

**Pitmaster’s Note** 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 internal thermometer, you will know that they are perfectly cooked, so don’t stress about the color!

Smoked Hamburgers

Smoked Burger Recipe

4.63 from 8 votes
Smoked Burgers Recipe
Smoked Hamburgers
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 5 mins
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Smoked Hamburgers
Servings: 4 people
Author: Susie Bulloch (
  • 1.5 pounds ground chuck 80/20
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese optional
  • 4 burger buns
  • assorted burger toppings
Smoked Burger Seasonin
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  1. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F.

  2. Shape your ground beef into 4 patties, about 1/2 inch larger in diameter than your burger buns.

  3. Combine the burger seasoning in a small bowl and sprinkle on both sides of your burger patties.

  4. Place the seasoned patties on the grill and smoke for up to 1 hour, or until the internal temperature of your burgers reads 135 degrees F. Whichever comes first.

  5. Increase the heat in your grill 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.

  6. Check the temperature of your burger patties for desired doneness. The FDA recommends 165 degrees F for a well done burger.

  7. Remove the burger patties and toast the buns over the high heat. Assemble your smoked burgers on your toasted buns with any desired toppings and serve immediately. 

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23 thoughts on “Smoked Hamburgers

  1. You lost all credibility when I saw your brisket video and you cut off all the fat before you smoked it. No grill master would ever advocate removing the fat before it is smoked. That should be done after.

    1. I didn’t cut off all the fat. I trimmed the top fat to an even thickness. And I honestly have only met a handful of pitmasters who don’t trim at all. All of them are cooking in restaurants where they need to produce brisket in massive quantity and they simply don’t have time. I’ve been in this game for years now, and everybody has their opinions. You’re welcome to yours. Not sure it warrants a recipe rating when you obviously didn’t actually cook it, but that’s fine too.

      1. I’ve used your recipe and while I am a huge fan of fat (on a keto diet), I fully agree with you. Cutting the fat to an even thickness makes the meat SO much better (and I just keep the extra fat and fry it up for myself later!).

        Don’t listen to this person, you NAILED that recipe.

  2. I really enjoyed these burgers. First time ever smoking them, and hands down the best I’ve made.

    As for the unrelated and inaccurate comment on trimming brisket, I do it just like you mentioned in your aticle – “Using your super duper sharp knife, trim the fat cap down to approximately 1/4-1/2 inch thick.” And if 1/4″ is good enough for Aaron Franklin, it’s good enough for me 🙂

  3. I’ve spent a good portion of my life in my commercial kitchens, (many years ago), as well as my residential one. I just “burned in” my brand new Woodwind, and I’m about to try out your burger recipe. Just reviewing it, I know it’s a winner, so I can hardly wait. I will surely follow up here! Thanks for sharing, Susie!

  4. Just got my new SG and fired it in. Can’t wait to get started.
    Sometime soon, I will need to cook 20-25 burgers. Can I smoke them all at the same time using the warming racks? I also bought the jerky rack, maybe that would be best.
    What are your recommendations?

  5. I used this recipe yesterday…excellent!
    It was the second “hamburger” recipe I’ve used on my new Pit Boss Pellet Grill. The first turned out hard and dry. Your recipe turned out much better and was immediately put into my “Grill Journal” collection of recipes. LOW AND SLOW IS THE WAY TO GO! Plus, I was able to do some baked potatoes at the same temperature (I did them for 4 hours).

  6. So I am a new electric smoker owner….and Ive been slowly getting the hang of it… I made these burgers this past weekend and my kids were ohhing and awwing over these! My husband naturally thinks the smoker and grill are his domain abut he loved them as well.

    I kept the recipe exactly as close as I could..I used ground sirloin that I had our local butcher grind for me…

    By far the BEST burgers I have ever eaten!

  7. I’m actually going to try these on my SG this week. Do you take them off after the smoke session while the grill heats up or just leave them on? Thanks for the great content and recipes!

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