My quick and easy Smoked Hamburgers are the best way to satisfy any of your bold and flavorful burger cravings! Seasoned with my delicious, savory burger seasoning, and dressed with BBQ sauce and loads of toppings, these burgers are truly next level!
These incredible Smoked Burgers are savory, saucy, and juicy treats that are going to be a new favorite!
Just because summer is coming to an end doesn’t mean that you can’t keep using your grill or smoker! These smoked hamburgers are the perfect way to get that summertime flavor all year long.
I love using a good quality smoker like a Traeger smoker for this recipe, because it cooks the patties low and slow to infuse them with smoky deliciousness without drying them out!
These juicy burgers are seasoned with my delicious burger seasoning! It combines paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder with a hint of brown sugar a touch of sweetness and cayenne pepper for a little spice.
It’s an incredible mix that works not just for burgers, but any grilled meat!
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
- Ridiculously Easy! All you have to do is season the meat, form the patties, and set them on the smoker! Once they’re done, load them up on buns and get ready for the deliciousness!
- So Unique! Smoking burgers is an amazing way to prepare them! It keeps them juicy on the inside, crisp on the outside, and smoky all the way through.
- It’s Customizable! I top these burgers with cheddar cheese, red onion, pickles, and lots of BBQ sauce, but you can add whatever toppings you like to make it your favorite.
Shake up the humble hamburger with this smoked version! It’s such a unique way to make a tasty burger!
- Ground Beef – I like to use ground chuck, around 80% lean, 20% fat to keep the burgers juicy! (See Tips & Recipe Notes)
- Bacon – Who doesn’t love a bacon cheeseburger? Fry up a couple strips of your preferred bacon to top these delicious burgers.
- BBQ Sauce – This is optional – you can use whatever your favorite condiment is, like ketchup or mustard. I like to use a sweet & spicy style BBQ sauce.
- Red Onion – You’ll want to thinly slice the onions for this recipe. Red onions have crunch and a fresh, bold bite!
- Dill Pickles – I love crunchy, zippy dill pickle slices for this burger to add some extra flavor!
- Cheddar Cheese – You can use your preferred cheddar cheese here, but I love sharp cheddar for these burgers.
- Burger Buns – Use whatever buns you like! Brioche, potato, or classic sesame are perfect options. (Optionally you can try my pretzel buns or Kaiser rolls they are fantastic and better than store bought.)
The Burger Seasoning
- Paprika – Paprika is a perfect base for this seasoning. It adds a subtle, sweet flavor and beautiful color to the seasoning.
- Kosher Salt – Kosher salt is perfect for this recipe because the flakes of salt evenly cover the meat.
- Black Pepper – I love freshly-ground black pepper for this recipe, but use whatever you have on hand.
- Brown Sugar – Brown sugar gives a touch of sweetness to the seasoning. You can use light or dark brown sugar –whatever you prefer!
- Garlic Powder – Garlic powder gives an awesome savory flavor to the seasoning.
- Onion Powder – Onion powder is the perfect complement to garlic powder!
- Cayenne Pepper – Cayenne pepper adds a touch of spice! There isn’t much in this recipe, but you can skip if intolerant to spice.
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
Smoking these delicious burgers really elevates them to something new and exciting for dinner! Make sure to preheat your smoker so the burgers don’t take any extra time to cook.
- Mix the burger seasoning. In a small bowl add 1 tablespoon of paprika, 1 ¼ teaspoon of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, ½ teaspoon of brown sugar, ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, ½ teaspoon of onion powder, and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Mix well. (makes enough for 6 to 8 burgers, store the leftover in an airtight container for up to 3 months in a dark, cool place).
- Preheat the smoker. Preheat the smoker to 180°F (82°C). You can use any smoker here or even a grill with a smoking function.
- Form the patties. Using 2 lbs. of ground beef, form nice ⅓ lb. burger patties, about ½ inch bigger than your burger buns (burgers will shrink a little while smoking). Sprinkle generously with the burger seasoning.
- Smoke the burgers. Place patties on smoker or grill and smoke at 180°F (82°C) for approximately 2 hours or until desired level of doneness.
- Finish the burgers and toppings. (Optional) While burgers are smoking, fry enough bacon to top your burgers. If a sear is desired, sear the burgers in the smoker or on a frying pan. (See notes below.)
- Melt cheese. (Optional) Then, if you wish, add cheese slices to the burgers in the last 15 minutes of cooking time or after searing.
- Rest the burgers. Remove burgers and allow them to rest for at least 10 minutes prior to serving.
- Finish. While the burgers are resting, add BBQ sauce or desired condiments to the buns. Then, add the burgers, sliced red onions, bacon, and pickles. Add the top buns, and serve!
These amazing smoked hamburgers are perfect with my air fryer French fries, air fried pickles, or onion rings! You can also serve these with potato salad, pasta salad, any other classic barbecue side, and for dessert peanut butter cookies. Enjoy!
💭 Tips & Recipe Notes
When looking for burger meat, look for a fat content of at least 15%.
- Having a fat content of 15 to 20% in your burger meat keeps the burgers moist and juicy while still having a good amount of lean protein!
You can give your burgers an optional sear at the end of cooking!
- If desired, you can reverse sear the burgers by increasing the temperature of your smoker to 400°F (204°C) when the burgers are within 10°F (-12°C) of your desired temperature. When the burgers have reached desired temp, they’re done!
- You can also remove the burgers when they’re within 10°F (-12°C) of your desired temperature and then sear quickly in a frying pan.
While the FDA recommends burgers be cooked to 165°F (74°C), some might prefer their burgers cooked to medium or medium-rare.
- For medium rare, cook to 130°F (54°C) to 135°F (57°C), and for medium or medium-well, cook to 150°F (65°C) to 155°F (68°C).
🥡 Storing & Reheating
These juicy beauties can be kept as leftovers if you have extra! Store the cooled patties in an airtight container and they’ll keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
You can also keep the smoked patties wrapped tightly in plastic cling film, then placed an airtight container, or in a freezer Ziploc bag for about 4 months! The more well-wrapped they are, the better the quality will be.
To reheat these wonderful burgers to keep them juicy, I recommend using the stovetop or an air fryer. Let the burgers come up to room temp for 20 minutes for the best results.
For the stovetop, fry the burgers for about 3 minutes on each side over medium heat until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
If you have an air fryer, preheat the air fryer to 400°F (204°C). Place the burgers in the air fryer basket and air fry for about 5-10 minutes or until the burgers reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
Absolutely! You can make these burgers with turkey, pork, or chicken. But note that with turkey and chicken, there will be a lower fat content, which may produce a drier result. I would start temping the burgers after 1 hour and make sure they don’t go too much over 165°F (74°C) so they don’t dry out.
I love to use hickory, mesquite, or oak to smoke these burgers! These woods all give that incredible earthy, smoky sweetness and the flavors penetrate the burgers well.
During the smoking process, the smoke turns the meat a bit pink (think the pink ring you see on smoked brisket). If you’re using a thermometer, once they’re cooked to the recommended temperature, they’ll be safe to eat!
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- 2 lbs ground beef (I prefer a ground chuck 80% °lean)
- 6 Tbsp barbecue sauce (optional, or ketchup & mustard)
- ½ red onion (sliced)
- 4 dill pickles (sliced)
- 6 slices cheddar cheese
- 6 burger buns
The Burger Seasoning
- 1 Tbsp paprika
- 1 ¼ tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Mix The Burger Seasoning
- Add all seasonings into a small bowl mix well. *Makes enough for 6 to 8 burgers, store in an airtight container for up to 3 months in a dark cool place.1 Tbsp paprika, 1 ¼ tsp Kosher salt, 1 tsp black pepper, ½ tsp brown sugar, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Smoking The Burger
- Preheat your smoker to 180°F (82°C).
- Form evenly portioned ⅓ lb burger patties about ½ inch bigger than your buns (burgers will shrink a little while smoking). Sprinkle both sides of the patties generously with the burger seasoning.2 lbs ground beef
- Place patties on smoker grill and smoke at 180°F (82°C) for approximately 2 hours or until desired level of doneness.
- (Optional) While burger is smoking cook a few strips of bacon to add later.
- (Optional) Add cheese in the last 15 minutes of cooking time.6 slices cheddar cheese
- Allow burgers to rest for at least 10 minutes prior to serving.
- While burger is resting add condiments to the buns, place the burger, onions, and bacon on the bun. Serve and enjoy!6 Tbsp barbecue sauce, ½ red onion, 4 dill pickles, 6 burger buns
- Burger meat should have at least 15% fat content to prevent your smoked burgers from super-dry results.
- No need to flip the burgers while smoking.
- Smoke with hickory, mesquite, or oak.
- Allow burgers to rest 10 minutes before serving.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!