Pit Boss Email - How to Smoke the Perfect Burger


Staff member
May 10, 2019
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Austin, TX
Thought I'd pass on this email that I received from Pit Boss along. Do you agree with this method for smoking burgers?

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How to Smoke Burgers
First, set your smoker to 225°F. For wood, we recommend using either hickory or mesquite. Hickory will give you a nice, bacon-like taste and aroma, while mesquite will give your burgers a steak-like quality. If you’d like the best of both worlds, the Pit BossClassic Blend Hardwood Pellets combine 100% all-natural hickory, mesquite and pecan hardwood without any additives or fillers. Your choice lies in your personal preference.

We highly recommend that you don’t pre-season your patties while you are forming them as the salt can draw out moisture and dry out your burgers. Wait to add your seasoning until you are ready to throw the meat on the grill. Also, if you are forming your own patties, remember to leave a thumb-sized imprint on the top before you put them on the smoker. This will help prevent them from puffing up into a meat ball.

How Long to Smoke Burgers
At 225°F, a quarter-pound patty should take about an hour to get rare-medium rare. If you want the sear the outside for a nice crust, allow another 2 minutes for each side.

Do You Flip Burgers When Smoking?
As long you are smoking your burgers on the grate and not in a pan, you don’t need to flip them until it is time to sear both sides over direct heat.

Smoked Burgers Tips and Tricks
Here’s 5 tricks to ensure the burger you know and love stays that way after a smoke:

1. Don’t Use Lean Burger Meat
The smoking process can dry out meat, therefore it is important to use a fattier cut. Opt for ground meat with no less than 15% fat. Not a fan of beef? Try a 50/50 mix of turkey and ground pork or lamb.

2. Use a Temperature Probe
Smoking meat can turn your patty pink, which may fool you into thinking that it hasn’t finished cooking. The best way to ensure your burger has been cooked to your liking is to use a meat probe to read the internal temperature. Aim for 135°F for rare/medium rare.

3. Try a Frozen Flavor Bomb
Here’s a neat little hack that will keep your burgers moist and infuse some umami flavor. Create a mix of Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and red wine vinegar and freeze into cubes (the smaller the better) overnight in an ice tray. Remember when we talked about making that indent with your thumb on your homemade patties? After you place the meat on the grill, place the ice cubes into that indent. As the ice melts it will dissolve into your burger, leaving it moist and tasty.

4. Smoke Your Toppings
While your burger smokes away, it’s not a bad idea to smoke your toppings as well, especially your cheese (add slices to the burger about 15 minutes before they are done), bacon, mushrooms, peppers, onions, garlic, etc. Whether or not you plan of sautéing these toppings, let them smoke beside your burgers first.

5. When They are Just About Done, Unleash the Fury
When your desired temperature is about 5 degrees shy of being done, turn up your Pit Boss to 400°F, open your flame broiler plate and sear both sides for about 2 minutes each. Wait until this step to apply cheese if you choose to sear.