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!
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!
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 Burger Recipe
- 1.5 pounds ground chuck 80/20
- 4 slices cheddar cheese optional
- 4 burger buns
- assorted burger toppings
- 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F.
Shape your ground beef into 4 patties, about 1/2 inch larger in diameter than your burger buns.
Combine the burger seasoning in a small bowl and sprinkle on both sides of your burger patties.
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.
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.
Check the temperature of your burger patties for desired doneness. The FDA recommends 165 degrees F for a well done burger.
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.