Cheeseburgers on the grill are an American pastime. When you buy a new grill, I’d be willing to bet that one of the first things that you will grill is a hamburger and if you’re feeling ambitious, you will add cheese to it. I’m here to tell you that you can level-up your burger even further by smoking it instead of grilling it! The best thing about it (other than the great flavor), is that a smoke infused cheeseburger is extremely easy to cook! Here are the steps…..
- Ground chuck (80% lean / 20% fat)
- Cheese slices (I like Cheddar or American, use your favorite)
- Brioche or Potato buns
- Assorted toppings (i.e. lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, jalapeño, etc)
- Favorite condiments (i.e. mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce, etc)
- Burger seasoning (right now I’m partial to Swine Life’s Prime Beef rub or Weber Gourmet Burger Seasoning
- Optional: Bacon
1) Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees.
2) While the smoker is coming up to temperature, shape your ground beef into patties and make them about 1/2 inch larger around than your burger buns. Sometimes you can find pre-shaped patties which can make the process go faster. Just make sure to use 80% lean / 20% fat chuck. Choosing chuck with less fat will yield less flavorful and drier patties. Today, I’m using pre-shaped patties from my local Lucky grocery store.
3) Season the patties on both sides.
4) Once the smoker comes up to temperature, place the patties on the grate and let the patties absorb the smoke flavor until they reach around 135 degrees internal. This usually takes around 1 hour but check the temperature with your internal meat thermometer to be sure.
5) If you can, increase the temperature on your grill to 400 degrees or if your smoker has a griddle top over the firebox like my Lone Star Grillz smoker, you can place your patties on the griddle or in a cast iron skillet and sear the patties for around 3 minutes. Now is also the time to put a slice of cheese on top of the patty and let it melt.
I took mine a step further by adding some bacon that I smoked earlier to the patties with the cheese.
The FDA recommends that you cook your patties until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
If you really want to impress, butter the buns and toast them on the griddle or cast iron.
6) Assemble your cheeseburger with your favorite toppings and condiments and enjoy!
Leave a comment if you would like to see my process for smoking bacon.