I know everyone says burgers are best cooked on the grill but those people haven’t tried a smoked bacon cheeseburger before. This is one of my family favorites and there’s a very good chance if you stop by our place on any weekend in the summer I have a batch of these smoking away in the backyard.
I know a lot of you are thinking that the ground beef will dry out in the smoker. Low temp for a long period of time and low fat content do equal dried out meat….But we are going to cook these with bacon right on top. This will do two important things; the fat will render as the bacon cooks and baste the burger meat, keeping it juicy and tender, and its bacon, so it will taste great.
In addition to being incredibly delicious these have the added bonus of being very easy to make, and because they will cook up faster than most other foods you might be smoking you can run them at any common temperature. Once the internal temp gets to 160 degrees your burgers are done. If the bacon still needs to crisp up you could run them in the oven on broil for a couple minutes, but in my experience this is rarely required.
I’ve always used a binder (egg whites and breadcrumbs) in my burgers, but I’ve tried them without and they hold up just fine. If you go this route make sure to use caution taking them off the grate, with the extended cook time the meat has a tendency to form around the rack and getting them off too fast can cause some breakage.
Ingredients for 4 good sized smoked burgers
- 1lb – 80/20 chuck (don’t use the low fat stuff here, it will cause a dry burger that falls apart)
- 1/4 cup – breadcrumbs (I like Italian seasoned but anything you have will work)
- 1 tbsp – Worcestershire sauce
- 1 egg white
- 1 tbsp chopped onion
- 1/2 lb bacon (thicker cut the better)
- 4 buns
- 4 slices cheese – cheddar or your choice
Lets get cooking!
- Get your smoker up to whatever temperature you are cooking your main meats at, if you are only making burgers go for 225 degrees
- While the grill is getting up to temp go inside and start forming the patties. Mix the chuck, breadcrumbs, egg, Worcestershire, and chopped onion up and then form into 4 patties. Each patty should be slightly thicker than a normal grill burger with a small dent in the center on top and bottom.
- Cut the bacon slices in half and place 4 halves side-by-side on top of each patty.
- Load the burgers into the smoker at the same level. If I’m smoking something else I usually put the burgers at the top level so all that bacony goodness can drip down onto whatever is below!
- Let them cook and ad smoke about 30 minutes in. I like to use fruit wood like apple or peach, but that’s up to you. Hickory and mesquite are also great with beef.
- They should take about 45 minutes to an hour and a half depending on your temperature. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness, 160 degree is what you are going for. Put cheese on for 2-3 minutes before you remove from the smoker.
- If the bacon isn’t crispy enough for your liking 2-3 minutes in the oven on broil should take care of that. Generally I find the bacon gets completely cooked in the smoker.
- put them on the buns and I’m sure you know the rest of how to dress and eat a burger