The smoked burger is a great spin on the most ubiquitous fast-food meal in the world. You can count on your good old pellet grill to make your favorite fast-food taste even better with the best burger recipes. First, you will understand the ins and outs of making burgers before moving on to surprisingly scrumptious variations that everyone will admire.
The good news is that there are also fantastic sides that you can try out besides buns. These sides will be explored later on.
All-American Classic Smoke Burger
You can begin your burger epicurean escapade with an amazing recipe that is sure to be a winner since it was created by a winner. This recipe was perfected by none other than the BBQ grand champion Miron Mixon himself. With just one bite you will understand why this sizzling burger is an all-American classic. It’s going to be love at first bite.
The secret to making amazing burgers is that you smoke them first. Miron Mixon follows up this crucial step with quick searing using butter. This process not only preserves and seals the moisture, but it also improves the flavor. Once you start cooking this way, it will be hard for you to revert to your old way of cooking burgers.
Miron Mixon has a penchant for generously sized burger patties. Therefore, this recipe is for king-sized burgers that weigh half a pound. If you find this too formidable, you can always proportion your patties to smaller sizes.
- 1 pound ground beef (see heading below for selecting the best ground beef)
- 2 slices of sharp cheddar cheese
- Dry ranch dressing mix (recipe is given below)
- 3 tablespoons beef rub (recipe provided below)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 white burger buns
Beef Rub Recipe
- 1 teaspoon dried onions (granulated)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
- ½ cup kosher salt
- Ripe tomato slices
- Iceberg lettuce
Making these burgers is a fairly straightforward procedure. The secret to their success lies in the unique cooking style. As you can see, the garnish or the seasoning does not call for exotic ingredients or elaborate preparation.
Once you have all the ingredients ready, you must fire up your pellet grill to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using a medium-sized bowl, combine the beef rub, ranch dressing, and ground beef. Mix all ingredients thoroughly with your hands but do not overdo it. Mix it as much as is needed to ensure uniformity. This is enough to make 2 large patties. You can also make smaller patties out of this recipe if the size is too big for you.
Place the patties in a pan and put it inside the pellet grill. When you cook for 30 minutes, the patties will be medium-well. After you have smoked these burgers for half an hour, remove them from the pellet grill and allow them to rest. This will allow the taste to develop and enhance.
Melt the butter in a skillet and add the patties. Use a spatula to flip over the burgers when they are well done on one side. Do not press down on the burger patties with the spatula. This will just waste the moisture and thus reduce the taste and moistness. Heat each side of the burgers for 3 minutes. They should have a crispy crust and nice-looking sear.
Put the burgers on a platter and top them with cheddar cheese slices. Cover the burgers lightly with aluminum foil and allow then to rest.
Toast the buns with some butter in the skillet. After you take them out of the skillet, spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on the insides of the buns. Place the burgers, tomato slices, and lettuce slices. The burger is now ready to serve.
You can also add other items like onions, pickles, and tomatoes as per your liking.
For variety, you should try smoking other tantalizing burger recipes.
Here are more great recipes for the most irresistible tasting burgers.
The Showstopper Steakburger
The burgers that you will make with this recipe will, if done right, turn out to be rich, flavorful and juicy. They will taste so good in fact, that you may even like to eat them plain just to relish their deeply exquisite taste.
If more people start making this recipe then there will be no need to visit the steakhouse ever again – unless you are too lazy to cook. Say goodbye to exorbitantly priced steak burgers once and for all. More than the fat, it is the price of these burgers that sends your blood pressure soaring. The burgers that you will learn to prepare are not only cheaper, they are also much more delicious for reasons that you will soon learn. It is worth the effort to learn how to make the best burger recipes.
The burger patty is ¾ of an inch thick and at a weight of 8 ounces. It will hardly leave any space inside your burger bun. The salty rich crust has an aroma of well-grilled tallow which will take your grateful taste buds on an unforgettable joyride. As you sink your teeth into the burger, a profusion of molten fat and rich juices will pour forth to reward you. This is more than just a burger. It is a delicacy that only the select few can make and enjoy. The good news is that you will start cooking the best gourmet steakburgers very soon with the simple instructions outlined below.
Before going any further, you need to be aware that your pellet grill must have a sear box for direct heating. Without this key feature, maintaining a high degree of temperature precision may be problematic.
You can purchase this very fine sear box. Not only will it help you to make the best steak burgers, but it will also serve you well for other barbecue recipes. With this accessory, you can turn just about any pellet grill into a versatile all-in-one culinary platform. It will be possible for you to quickly sear your slow-smoked food to get a deliciously dark and rich crispy crust.
The recipe makes ¾ inch thick burgers for two. The width of the patties is 4 inches.
- 1 pound chuck steak or ground short rib meat (around 30 percent fat for maximum flavor)
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper (ground)
- 2 buns
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 wide slices of tomato
- 2 slices of red onions
- 2 romaine or iceberg lettuce leaves
- Burger sauce (recipe mentioned below)
- ½ cup ketchup
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon Tabasco chipotle
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Blend the ingredients of the burger sauce indicated above within a bowl, till you get a uniform mixture. The best burger sauce requires nothing more than mixing some commonly available ingredients. You can also experiment by changing proportions of some ingredients as per your taste.
For the meat, beef short ribs are a great choice. However, you must process it to get the best ground meat. You must remove the silver skin, cartilage, and bones. If you want something simpler but still very good, you can resort to chuck. Just make sure that it has a high-fat content of 30 percent for maximum flavor and moistness.
Please be sure that the fat content is not less than 30 percent otherwise you will not get the flavor that you seek.
The grilling process will deploy 2-zone cooking. The two zones are the direct heat zone and the indirect heat zone. The reason for these two zones is that the compounds present in food react differently to varying levels of heat. The 2-zone cooking method will give you the control that you need for grilling steak burgers perfectly. In the direct heat zone, there is direct radiant heat for quick searing. The indirect heat zone is suited for slower grilling that is typical of indirect heat grills.
There are no problems with pellet grills can as far as the indirect heat zone is concerned. The reason for this is that pellet grills primarily employ indirect heating to cook food. You will need the sear box mentioned above for direct heating capability.
Just make sure that you take it easy with the direct heat. If not careful, you might end up with tough hockey pucks in place of steak burgers.
The indirect heat zone temperature should be around 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
First, mix the garlic, onion, and pepper powder. Don’t yet add in the salt. Spread the ground meat on a clean plate and sprinkle spices evenly over it. Make balls of meat 2 inches in diameter. Their weight should be around 8 ounces. Make sure that the patties have a smooth surface. Close up any crevices that you find on the surface because they will allow the heat to penetrate the core too quickly. Press them to form 4 inch disks that are ¾ of an inch thick.
Don’t use a hamburger press to form your patties. The burgers should have small air pockets that will accumulate molten fat and juices to keep these burgers moist and tender.
When the burgers are ready, you can transfer them to the pellet grill. Begin by first heating them indirectly. You will need to smoke them for 10 minutes.
You must carefully follow the temperature of the burgers to ensure that they are cooked well for the best possible taste and texture. First, don heat resistant gloves. Push the heat probe into the meat surface and penetrate the full depth of the burger. Adjust the depth of the heat probe till you get the lowest possible reading. You should also feel the burger to get an idea about the firmness of the meat at various temperatures. This way, you can cook other burgers up to the same temperature without the need for a heat probe for each.
Feeling the firmness of the burger to gauge the temperature is a good way of maintaining fairly good heat control. You might notice that some of the burgers are heating up faster than the others. You will be able to tell this by their greater hardness. When the heat probe registers 105 degrees Fahrenheit, you should flip the burgers over. Carry on smoking for another 10 minutes. Gently poke the burgers again to see how the heat level is climbing. Do not flip the burgers of open the grill lid too often. Not only will you lose smoke, but the results may also not be that good. The key to maintaining control is to flip each burger just once.
Wait till the temperature of the burgers is 20 degrees below the target temperature. The temperature should be around 205 degrees Fahrenheit for the next step. When the burgers reach this temperature, sprinkle a generous layer of salt, cover them with a layer of vegetable oil and move the burgers towards the direct heat zone. The covering will serve to seal the juices, fat, and moisture while adding a flavor of its own.
You may toast your hamburger buns if you prefer. You can put the buns on the indirect side. But you should be careful since they can char quickly if you neglect them for even a while. With a pellet grill, cooking on the indirect heat side means that you will not be able to use butter to toast the insides of the buns to a delicious crisp. You can use the sear box accessory for this purpose.
While quick searing on the direct heat zone (that is, in the sear box) you must flip the burgers every minute. This is necessary so that the sides become crisp and well-done while the interior remains soft and tender. The goal here is to keep the burger core temperature below that of the crust so that it can remain moist, juicy and tender at the center.
When the core reaches a temperature of 220 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the burgers from the sear box.
The burger patties are now ready. You just need to apply the sauce and garnish for your burger to be ready to serve.
The trick to using the sauce is to apply it to the lower bun rather than the upper bun. The burger will remain in place as a result since its weight is pressing down on the lower bun. The weight causes the burger to adhere more firmly to the sauce. The sauce thus acts as a glue.
You can now place the burger on the lower bun. Apply garnish like tomato and lettuce for a wonderful juicy burger that is now ready to serve.
The only problem with this burger is that it is so succulent that you will have to be careful to prevent the juices and sauce from staining your clothes.
It will prove to be a runaway success with your friends, neighbors, and family. Drive-thru burgers will appear just plain unappetizing and even steakhouse burgers will feel bland in comparison. You won’t be able to find this level of taste and quality in even the finest BBQ houses since they do not have the time for such two-zone cooking and smoking. Commercial establishments have to use faster cooking techniques to feed hungry and impatient customers. There is a subsequent decline in quality, but not for your home-made burgers.
The burgers are so tasteful and delicious, that they can go well with side dishes just like any other barbecue item. Thanks to the rich smoky flavor, they are nothing short of a well-smoked steak. You can do away with the bun and try out this fantastic side dish instead of your burgers.
Potato and Egg Salad
No barbecue meal can be complete without a generous helping of a filling creamy potato salad. Adding a touch of carbs is a great way to balance out the barbecue into a full meal.
- Red potatoes
- Yellow mustard
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
Use a pressure cooker to boil the potatoes. The pressure cooker can be a kitchen life-saver since it will reduce your labor substantially. The good news is that you can also add in the eggs so that they also cook alongside the potatoes. You do not need to boil eggs separately.
You just need to cook these two items for four minutes on high pressure. Bring down the temperature of the eggs and potatoes to a warm heat level. Otherwise, the high temperature will ruin other ingredients that you will be adding.
Cut potatoes into small cubes that are typical of salads. Mix the mayonnaise and spices inside a large mixing bowl. Add the potatoes. Peel and dice the eggs and then add them in as well. Gently mix to spread every ingredient evenly.
That’s it! The side dish is as simple as that. It can also serve as a tasty, filling and appetizing snack on its own.
You are now in a prime position to smoke the best burger recipes that will leave your guests hungry for more and turn you into an overnight grilling sensation.