A smokehouse burger... just the name says thick, juicy, and smokey. An incredible smoked burger that worthy of being served in a smokehouse, but now you can do it at home on your gas grill.
Based on a 2008 Cook's Country recipe, I did only a few changes for taste. As usual, American Test Kitchen recipes turn out great, but this one is also simple.
Start with a good burger. I usually use a ground chuck or sirloin. Mix with your favorite BBQ sauce. I used my favorite Gate's of Kansas City, but American Test Kitchen likes Bull's Eye.
Spice with some salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powder. You can easily change this, but this is a very nice combo.
Most importantly these are smoked. I used hickory but use the wood of your choice. I no longer soak my wood chips since I don't think it matters much.
A nice solid 5.
Start with a good burger. I usually use a ground chuck or sirloin. 80 to 85% fat will generally stay moist, but leaner will be drier.
While this would be fine with ground turkey or chicken, they will tend to dry more on the surface due to the thickness of the patties.
For burgers, you generally want the grill as hot as it will go. It can be gas or charcoal.
If your grill is super hot (like mine), you will need to leave a cooler area of the grill to move nearly done burgers to finish if the surface of the patty is getting done early.
Smoking on a gas grill
One of the main features of this recipe is smoking the burger. I like to use hickory but you can use the wood you like.
Many people like to soak wood chips. Most experts no longer do this and I have stopped soaking, also.
Many grills have an attached smoker box. You can also use a cast-iron smoking box or an aluminum pouch. You only need about 10 minutes of smoke. More detailed discussion on smoking with a gas grill.
These are big thick burgers. About ½ pound each and almost 1 inch thick.
I wrote the recipe for four, but I only do 3 (as you can see in the pictures) This obviously can be easily scaled to the amount you need.
Since this is a thick burger, you may not be able to get it done properly just over direct heat. You may need some indirect time to finish and get to the desired temperature.
Health Warning: do not consume or serve ground meat that has not been cooked to 165°.
Preheat grill to the maximum and leave a cooler area that may be needed near the end of cooking. Of course, clean and oil grates.
Mix 1 teaspoon each of coarse salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Mix 2 pounds of a good burger (80-85%) with three tablespoons of your favorite BBQ sauce, one teaspoon of coarse salt, and one teaspoon pepper. Mix just enough to combine and distribute.
Get the smoke going on your grill. I have an attached smoker box. You can also use a cast-iron smoking box or an aluminum pouch. You only need about 10 minutes of smoke. More detailed discussion on smoking with a gas grill.
Form the burger into 1 inch thick patties. That will be about 3 ½ to 4 inches in diameter. Dimple the center 1 ½ inch by about ⅛ inch each side.
Give both sides a good sprinkle of the spice mixture.
Place over the hot side of the preheated grill. Grill each side for about 5 minutes until nicely brown.
Continue to grill until you reach 165°. The total time was about 12 minutes but will vary some by the thickness and your grill. If your burger is getting done on the outside before reaching 165°, move it to the cooler area of the grill until done.
Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Do you want more recipes from 101 Cooking for Two? Sign up for the newsletter and get all posts delivered straight to your inbox!
Editors Note: Originally Published June 15, 2014. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.