Let our pitmaster teach you how to easily take your burger to the next level by using your backyard pellet smoker. Smoking infuses your basic ground beef patty with the rich, smoky flavor from your choice of wood pellets that’s simply magical. Whether you stick to our classic recipe or make fun additions like jalapenos, green chiles, or bacon bits, smoking your burgers make them simply irresistible! Using an 80/20 blend of ground beef ensures that each patty stays juicy. Get ready to wow your family and friends with these next-level smoked burgers that are juicy, flavorful, and oh-so-delicious.

If you really want to take your smoked burger over the top, use bang bang sauce or our crazy good comeback sauce as your main condiment. Holy yum!

Why Our Recipe

  • Our pitmaster will teach you how to easily take your burger to the next level by using a pellet smoker.
  • This method can be used with any of your personal favorite burger blends, or make some fun additions to our recipe.

A close up view of a smoked burger on a black plate.

Chef Cayt is our resident pitmaster smoking expert. Her love of grilling and smoking knows no bounds with an entire collection of smokers in her backyard. With her instructions, you’ll be cooking up the juiciest, most flavorful smoked burgers in no time. Her years of experience achieving the perfect smoke make this recipe downright foolproof.

Ingredient Notes

An overhead view of the ingredients needed to make smoked burgers.
  • Ground Beef: Go for an 80/20 blend. The fat is flavor, and it helps keep the burger juicy. If you’re using leaner beef, like 90/10, add a tablespoon of shredded cheese or a tablespoon of softened butter to keep it moist.
  • Egg: helps bind everything together to make sure your patty holds it’s shape on the grill.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: is all about adding a splash of flavor.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: essential for flavor. You’ve got to salt that beef!
  • Garlic Powder and Onion Powder: even more flavor. Don’t be bland!

Fun Add-Ins

Finely chopped jalapenos, green chiles, bacon bits, or minced fresh garlic can take your smoked burgers to the next level. Just be careful not to overdo it! Aim for about 1/4 cup of add-ins per pound of ground beef. Too much can make the patties fall apart, so keep it balanced to maintain that perfect burger shape and texture.

Pellet Flavor Choices

Hickory: A classic choice that provides a strong, smoky flavor. Perfect for those who love that deep campfire flavor.

Cherry: Adds a slightly sweet and fruity flavor to your burgers. It also gives the meat a beautiful mahogany color.

Pecan: Adds nutty flavor that pairs wonderfully with beef. It’s a bit milder than hickory but still full of character.

Oak: A versatile wood that provides a medium smoky flavor. It’s a great all-around choice that complements the beef without overpowering it.

An overhead view of smoked burger patties before and after cooking.

The Red Color

Don’t fret if your smoked burgers come out with a reddish hue, especially when using cherry wood. This isn’t a sign that they’re undercooked. It’s how they are supposed to be! The red color comes from the smoking process, where the wood imparts its color to the meat through the smoke. It’s the beautiful indicator of a well-smoked burger.

Patty Sizing

Shrinkage happens! To ensure your burgers fit perfectly in your buns, aim to make your patties about 1/2 inch wider than the buns all around. This accounts for the inevitable shrinkage that happens during cooking, giving you a perfectly sized patty that fills the bun from edge to edge. A little extra width now means a perfect fit later!

A smoked burger patty sitting atop a bun on a plate ready to be sandwiched into a smoked burger.

Smoking Time and Temps

For the juiciest smoked burgers, it’s all about hitting the right internal temperature. In the US, it’s safe to cook burgers to medium, but keep in mind that recommendations may vary in other locations. Since we can’t give exact cooking times due to variations in smoker models and weather conditions, it’s crucial to use a temperature probe or an instant-read thermometer to ensure accuracy.

In the US, it’s safe to cook burgers to medium, but keep in mind that recommendations may vary in other locations:

Medium: This gives you the perfect juicy center that’s slightly pink. For the best results, remove the burgers from the smoker when they reach 140°F and let them rest for 5 minutes. During this time, the temperature will rise to 145°F.

Medium Well: For those who prefer just a hint of pink, aim for an internal temperature of 150°F and let the burgers rest until they reach 155°F. This will typically require an extra 1 to 2 minutes per side compared to medium.

Well Done: For a fully cooked burger with no trace of pink, cook to an internal temperature of 160°F or higher. Be aware that well-done burgers can be less juicy and a bit drier, but if that’s your preference, go for it! This usually means about 8 minutes per side.

Remember, using a meat thermometer is the best way to ensure your burgers reach the desired doneness without overcooking. Most pellet smokers come with a built-in temperature probe, so make sure to utilize it for perfect results every time.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Refrigerate cooked patties in an airtight container. They’ll stay good for up to 3 days.

Reheat patties in a hot skillet over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes per side until warmed through.

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