smoked hamburger recipe
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Best Smoked Hamburger Recipe

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Get ready to take your burger game to the next level with our Smoked Hamburger Recipe. These flavor-packed, juicy burgers are a mouthwatering delight, and you won’t need a long list of ingredients. 

All you require is quality ground chuck, a dash of salt, a sprinkle of black pepper, and your preferred wood chips or pellets for that irresistible smoky flavor.

This easy smoker recipe is perfect for your next camping trip or backyard barbecue. We won’t be surprised if it becomes one of your favorite recipes!

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From Basic to Smoky Goodness

simple burger recipe no breadcrumbs

This easy recipe elevates our popular Simple Burgers Recipe by transforming traditional burgers into delicious smoked burgers. It all comes down to the type of ground beef and adding a good smoke flavor.

These burgers are often called Traeger burgers since many RVers use a Traeger smoker, like the Trager Tailgater or Traeger Ranger. But, of course, you can use any smoker to smoke burgers. 

Preview Product Price
Traeger Grills Tailgater Traeger Grills Tailgater $479.95Amazon Prime

Preview Product Price
Traeger Grills Ranger Traeger Grills Ranger Amazon Prime

A Quick Recipe Rundown

You can scroll down to the recipe card, but we know some readers prefer to review it in expanded form first. We’ll still make it quick, though, with the following recipe rundown…

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of mesquite wood chips or pellets (or your favorite type of wood for added smokiness)
  • 1 pound of ground chuck (with 80-85% fat content for the juiciest results)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 4 slices of cheddar cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Your choice of toppings (lettuce, bacon, grilled onion, and more)

1. Preheat Your Smoker

Fire up your electric, gas, charcoal, or pellet smoker and set it to 225 degrees Fahrenheit, using mesquite wood chips or your preferred wood flavor to infuse your beef patties with that smoky goodness.

2. Prepare Perfect Patties

Divide your ground chuck into 4 equal portions and gently shape them into thick, juicy patties. Don’t overwork the meat, and press a dimple into the top of each patty for even cooking.

3. Seasoning for Flavor

Sprinkle your patties evenly with salt and black pepper. If you’re a fan of bold flavors, feel free to season both sides of the patties.

4. Smoke ‘Em

Place your seasoned patties in the smoker. To ensure the ideal doneness, insert a meat thermometer probe through the side of one patty and set the probe to 10 degrees Fahrenheit below your desired doneness temperature (see our doneness chart below for reference).

5. Reverse Sear Magic

Once your patties reach that 10-degree buffer, it’s time for the reverse sear. You’ve got two options:

a) Smoker Sear: Cover the patties with foil and turn up the smoker’s heat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Once that temperature is reached, return the burgers to the smoker and sear for 2 minutes on each side. Don’t forget to add a slice of cheese after the flip for an extra burst of flavor.

b) Skillet Sear: Alternatively, transfer the patties to a preheated skillet over medium-high heat. Sear each side for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches your desired doneness. Add cheese after the flip for that perfect melt.

6. Bun Beautification

While your burgers are cooking, take the time to toast your hamburger buns in the smoker or directly on the grill grates for that extra layer of flavor and crispy edges.

7. Build Your Dream Burger

It’s time to get creative! Add your favorite toppings, from crispy bacon and grilled onions to your choice of condiments. Make this burger your own.

8. Savor the Ultimate Smoked Burger

Serve your mouthwatering smoked burgers with your preferred side dishes, like Squash Casserole, Roasted Vegetable Medley, or Fruit Salad Recipe with Sweet Dip.

Smoked Hamburger Doneness Chart

smoked burger doneness chart

To get the best results, don’t rely on cook time! Use a wireless meat probe or an instant-read thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the burgers. Then remove them once they reach your personal preference for doneness.

If you rely solely on cooking time, you’ll end up with a too rare burger or too well done burger. Either way, it’s a sore disappointment that even your favorite condiments can’t make up for. 

  • Rare: 125-130°F
  • Medium Rare: 135-145°F
  • Medium: 150-160°F
  • Medium Well: 160-170°F
  • Well Done: 170°F and above

Note that the cooking process in our recipe includes a quick sear of the hamburger patties. After smoking the patties at a lower temperature, you remove them at 10 degrees F below your preferred doneness, crank up the smoker temp, and sear them. This “reverse sear” takes a bit of extra time, but it’s the best way to make a truly delicious burger. 


Don’t Have a Meat Thermometer?

diagram showing doneness related to parts of palm

If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can still determine the perfect doneness by referencing your palm. It’s called the Palm Test, and you can watch this video for a demonstration.

The level of squishiness of different parts of your palm correlates with the level of doneness in your burger. When poked, your burger should feel the same as the correlating part of your palm.

Hold your palm facing up, fingers outstretched. Compare your meat’s squishiness to the following:

  • Rare (red): bottom corner of your palm opposite your thumb
  • Medium-Rare (very pink): bottom corner of your palm next to your thumb
  • Medium (pink): right beneath & between your pointer and middle finger
  • Medium-Well (brownish pink): right under your pinky finger
  • Well (brown): the middle of your palm (USDA recommended*)

Smoked Burger Recipe Card

We hope you enjoy this recipe. Don’t forget to come back to Camping Food Recipes for even more great camping recipes!

Be sure to check out our list of 35 Best Smoker Accessories to make smoking while camping even easier (& more enjoyable).

Smoked Hamburger Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Camping Food Recipes Course: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes

This smoked hamburger recipe combines our simple burger recipe (no breadcrumbs) with a delicious smoky flavor from your smoker. You don’t need a bunch of ingredients! Only quality beef, salt & pepper, and your favorite wood chips or pellets

Ingredients

  • 1 bag 1 wood chips or pellets (we prefer mesquite)

  • 1 lb 1 ground chuck (80-85% leanness)

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 salt

  • 1/8 tsp 1/8 black pepper

  • 4 4 cheese slices

  • 4 4 hamburger buns

  • Desired toppings (i.e. lettuce, bacon, grilled onion, etc.)

Directions

  • Preheat your smoke to 225 degrees with mesquite wood pellets or chips (or your preferred flavor).
  • Divide ground chuck into 4 equal portions and gently shape into patties (don’t overwork!). Press dimple into top of each patty.
  • Sprinkle each patty evenly with the salt & pepper (optional: season both sides).
  • Place the patties in the smoker. Stick a probe through the side of a patty and set the probe to 10℉ below your desired doneness temperature (see doneness chart below).
  • Remove the patties once they reach 10℉ below your desired doneness and reverse sear them by: a) covering patties with foil. Turn smoker up to 450℉. Once that temp is reached, return hamburgers to smoker and sear for 2 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches desired doneness. Add cheese after the flip.
    b) transferring patties to a greased, preheated skillet over medium-high heat. Sear each side for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until internal temp reaches desired doneness. Add cheese after the flip.
  • Toast your hamburger buns (if desired) and add your desired toppings and condiments.

Equipment

Notes

  • Medium-Rare (very pink): 130 °F
  • Medium (pink): 140 °F
  • Medium-Well (brownish pink): 150 °F
  • Well (brown): 160 °F (USDA recommended*)
  • Or, use the “Doneness Palm Test.”

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