We wanted to re-create smokehouse flavor at home. For traditional barbecue flavor, we mix barbecue sauce into the meat, cover the patties with a spice rub, and smoke the burgers over soaked hardwood chips.
Why This Recipe Works
Smokehouses feed their cooking fires with hardwood logs, permeating the grill (as well as the restaurant and its patrons) with the unmistakable aroma of wood smoke. Our method for cooking with smoke on a standard gas or charcoal grill is to make a fire with a hotter side and a cooler side, wrap soaked hardwood chips in a foil packet, and set the packet directly over the fire until it starts to smoke. Then the meat is set on the cooler side of the grill and cooked (with the lid on) for several hours. To temper the harshness of the smoke flavor, we seared our burgers for only a few minutes per side on the hotter, smokier side of the grill, and then let them finish cooking on the cooler, less smoky side. For assertively flavored burgers, we added just a few tablespoons of bottled barbecue sauce to season the ground meat perfectly. Making large burgers enabled the meat to absorb more smoke and seasoning; these big burgers fit better on bulkie or kaiser rolls, and toasting the rolls on the grill added even more smoke flavor.