These smoked burgers are juicy with a perfect char and are easy to make with only 4 ingredients. If you’re looking for the best burger in town, give these burgers a try.
If you haven’t ever had a smoked hamburger, then you’ve been missing one of the greatest tastes of summer. Smoking hamburgers gives them a special smokey taste that reflects the wood you used. If you try this recipe, you may never go back to pan-fried burgers again.
You may be thinking, but why bother? Isn’t it a lot of trouble for burgers? I say, no way!
It’s actually less work because you just put those patties in the smoker and wait for the best mouth-watering burgers you’ll ever have.
Although smoking burgers takes more time, it really is left up to the smoker to do all of the work. Cooking slowly at low temperatures is the best way to allow the flavors of the wood to infuse into the burgers.
So put the burgers on and relax with a pineapple margarita, take a cat nap in the shade and wait for the juiciest charred burger you’ll ever taste.
- 80/20 ground beef
- Salt and pepper or beef seasoning
- Hamburger buns
- Whatever else you want on your burger
How to smoke burgers:
- Form the patties
- Dash with salt and pepper
- Make a thumbprint in the middle of the pattie
- Smoke for 1 hour
- For a quick sear, turn up the heat and cook for a couple of minutes, flip
- Top with cheese and serve
- Smoking causes meat to turn a bit pink, meaning the color is not an indication that the burgers are not ready. Rather it’s indicative of a great smoked burger.
- You’ll get the best flavor and juiciness from 80:20 beef. If you go lean, you’ll miss out on the great taste of smoked meat.
- Don’t press out all of the fats, or you’ll have dry burgers! Just leave those patties alone and let the smoker do the work for you. No worries, no fretting, just nicely smoked amazing flavor without the effort, perfect, right?!
- No need to flip them either until the end when you turn up the heat for a nice finished sear.
- For a great sear, once the burgers reach an internal temperature of 135 °F (58 °C), turn the heat to 400 °F (205 °C) and sear the patties over direct heat for 1-2 minutes for each side.
- Add cheese once you’ve flipped them, and you’re almost ready to serve!
- Want to spice it up? Add some whole jalapenos to the smoker and keep them there through the sear, slice and top for a spicy, smoked burger.
What kind of wood to use?
Hickory is a fabulous wood when smoking burgers. It’s not too strong or harsh and gives them a nice hearty flavor.
But Mesquite is always a rival when it comes to smoking meats. It will lend to a robust taste that pairs well with some spicy BBQ flavors. Oak is also a great wood to smoke meats.
You can experiment with a mix of different wood to make it a signature smokin’ burger perfect for your taste.
No matter whether you use wood or pellets, experiment with different wood flavors because I guarantee you’ll be making smoked burgers again and again.
Be sure to soak the wood chips for an hour before stoking the smoker. Just drain it off and begin.
How to form the patties:
Form the burgers into round patties that are about 1 inch to 1 ½ inch thick and 1 inch wider than your hamburger bun to get the best-sized burger. Don’t overwork them though.
Lightly season the patties with salt and pepper. No need to add seasoning to meat prior to making the patties because it will dry out the meat. The flavor of the wood will infuse with the meat to create a delightfully seasoned burger with minimal effort.
With your thumb press down in the middle of the patties, so that the burgers don’t bloat and become meatballs. 😉
Place them on the grate and get smoking.
How long do you need to smoke burgers?
Depending on the thickness of the burgers, it will take between 60 to 90 minutes. The internal temperature should be 160 °F (71 °C), so you definitely want to use a thermometer to know when they are done.
How to get a good sear:
Reverse searing is a process of searing after the meat has been cooked. Once the burgers reach an internal temperature of 135 °F (58 °C), crank the heat to 400 °F (205 °C) and sear the patties over direct heat for a minute or two.
Flip to sear both sides, add cheese, or wait to add the cheese once you take them off the grill.
You’ll get a crunchy outside and juicy burger, but they shouldn’t be burned.
The internal temperature should get to 160 °F (71 °C) for the burgers to be done. It’s always best to use a thermometer.
Cook the burgers to temperature, not to color. Smoking meats lend to a pink hue, so it’s best to use a thermometer to ensure doneness.
What should I top my burger off with?
- While your smoker is hot, try adding jalapenos for a little spice. You can leave them even through the searing process.
- In a pan add some bacon for an extra crispy treat. You’ll want to put them in the smoker 13 to 15 minutes before the burgers are done.
- Sauteed mushrooms and onions always add an incredible taste.
- Like BBQ burgers? 15 minutes before the burgers are done, brush on your favorite BBQ sauce and cook the remaining time.
- And of course, there’s always the traditional lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle toppings.
What to serve with smoked burgers?
This Panzanella salad is a Tuscan-style staple loaded with fresh ripe tomatoes, spicy arugula, crunchy cucumbers, sweet red onions, and zesty capers and makes a great side dish.
Try these air fryer carrot fries for a healthy treat that won’t heat up your house.
These air fryer tater tots are fun and are easy with a frozen hashbrown shortcut.
Or for extraordinary fries, try these air fryer garlic fries! They’re garlicky and cheesy with parmesan cheese on top.
This Italian tomato salad is colorful, flavorful and super easy.
If you’re interested in a cool dessert, try this cheesecake mousse, it’s like cheesecake in a jar and super easy to make ahead, so it’s ready when you are.
I’m super excited for you to try these burgers because I know they’re terrific. Don’t hesitate to drop a comment and let me know what you think.
If you try these smoked burgers or any recipe you find on the site, I would love to see pics and hear about your experience. Just tag 📸 and follow #fooddoodlesrecipes so that I can find them easily. You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
- 1 1/4 pounds (570 grams) 80/20 ground beef
- salt and pepper or beef seasoning
- 4 slices cheese
- 4 hamburger buns
- whatever else you like to eat on your burgers
- Preheat the smoker to 225 °F (107 °C). Use either hickory or mesquite chips that have been soaked in water for 1 hour and drained.
- Form into 4 burger patties, with each one being about 1" wider than your burger buns.
- Right before placing on the smoker, season each side with salt and pepper (or beef seasoning, if you have one you like). You don't want to add seasoning to the ground meat and then mix it up into patties as it'll dry out the meat during smoking.
- Press your thumb into the middle of each patty. This is done to prevent them from plumping up like meatballs during smoking.
- Place on the grate.
- The smoke time will be about 1 hour but will depend on the thickness of your patties. You don't need to flip them.
- Once they reach an internal temperature of 135 °F (57 °C), turn the heat to 400 °F (205 °C) and sear the patties over direct heat for 1-2 minutes per side, adding the cheese after you flip them, or until they get a nice crunch to the outside (but they should not be burned).
- Cook to an internal temperature of 160 °F (71 °C). Make sure to use a thermometer. Smoking causes meat to turn a bit pink, meaning that the color is no indication of the burgers not being ready.
- Refrigerate cooled leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.