I’ve developed a habit this summer that I can’t seem to kick. Every week, sometimes more than once, I find myself pressing out ground beef patties and slipping them inside my electric smoker out on the deck. I tried smoking burgers a few months back and discovered that they were the best I’d ever had – and so I became immediately hooked. Fortunately, my family shares my addiction.
The thing I love most about these is that you don’t have to use expensive ground meats for them to taste like you did. The process of slow heat and smoke helps to create a tender and juicy burger with just about any old run of the mill ground beef. Seasoning is simple and cooking is as easy as placing them in the rack and going back inside to wait it out in air conditioned comfort.
Today I thought I’d share with you my perfect smoked burger. In addition to smoking the patties, I also add in slices of onion and let them cook low and slow in my smoker. Once finished, I top it off with provolone cheese, a little bit of mustard, and a new product I’ve discovered this summer: Vlasic Farmer’s Garden Pickles. Although, I should say Farmer’s Garden Veggies because there is more than just pickles in that jar! You’ll be able to easily find these because they stand out among the rest for a few reasons.
First of all, they come in a vintage designed jar. This is one that you’ll definitely want to reuse in your kitchen (Am I the only one who reuses pickle jars and such these days? Please say no!). The other thing that caught my eye was the assortment of veggies in the jar along with the pickles. Slices of carrot, strips of peppers, whole garlic cloves, and herbs and spices. It looks like something my Grandmama would have canned – and tastes like it, too. All of the ingredients are natural, harvest at the perfect time, and are even pickled using traditional canning techniques. I was going to include some photos of the carrots with my burger but as soon as I set up this shot, my mother (who was visiting for the day) ate all of the carrots I’d put on the plate! “I’m gonna tell you what, those carrots are good!”. Note to Vlasic: I think you need to start selling pickled carrots.
Check out the bottom of this post for a special offer from Vlasic and a coupon for $1.00 off a jar of these pickles so you can try them, too!
Here is what you’ll need: Ground beef, shaped into hamburger patties*, Provolone cheese, Large onion along with a beef bouillon cube and a pat of butter, Season All, and some Vlasic Farmer’s Garden pickles*.
*I usually make my patties into doughnut shapes, leaving a hole in the middle that helps them to get cooked evenly and closes up once they are done. That isn’t needed with smoking because they cook so slow and low anyway.
*There are five different varieties of these pickles: Zesty Garlic Chips, Bread & Butter Chips, Kosher Dill Spears, Kosher Dill Halves and Dill Chips. I’m using the Zesty Garlic but you can use your favorite.
To prepare the burgers, I just sprinkle them liberally with seasoned salt.
Season All is a wonderful flavor enhancer for just about anything and contrary to popular misconception, it does not contain MSG (just heading that one off at the pass because I’ve been around the block enough to know it was coming!). Now there may be brands that do have it but the ones I use don’t. Not that I’m personally opposed to old monosodium glutamate, but I know it is an issue with a lot of folks for various reasons. So back to my point, Season All does not contain MSG.
To prepare your onion, cut it into wedges, add a pat of butter, and a beef bouillon cube, and place it in foil.
That bouillon gives it an extra oomph of flavor. My mother says it makes it taste kind of like French onion soup. I say it makes it taste like a really good onion. 🙂
Now put everything in your smoker.
I preheat my smoker to 250 and cook my burgers until the internal temperature reaches 155-160. You can take them out at 150 but I like to cook them a little longer just to make sure it doesn’t “Moo” at me when I go to take a bite.
My Masterbuilt smoker has a temperature sensor that sticks into one of the piece of meat and then there is a little button I can press on the outside of the smoker to tell me what the temperature is at any given time during cooking. This makes it easy to know when my burgers are done. There is even a remote that you can just keep with you and check on the temperature from inside the house but y’all know I lost that a long time ago :). Organization is not one of my spiritual gifts. They generally take around an hour but it is important to cook until they get to the desired temperature rather than go by a timer.
These are my soaked hickory chips. You can buy a bag of them at the grocery store and one bag usually lasts me approximately ten forevers 🙂 I load them up in my little thingiemabobber here on the right.
And then I insert the Thingiemabobber into the Whosiewhatsit and turn it upside down to unload the wood chips. I like to add more chips about half an hour later but you certainly don’t have to. Whenever I am smoking chicken, which takes around two hours or so the way I do it, I add wood chips two or three times.
This smoker has wheels on the back of it so I just wheel it outside when I need to use it and wheel it back into the house or garage when I’m done.
These are our super juicy burgers once they are done smoking. They are literally bursting with juice and delicious smoked meat flavor.
And here is our burger, all loaded up and ready to devour!
- 4 Hamburger Patties hand shaped, using your preferred ground beef
- 4 slices Provolone Cheese
- Season All
- Large Onion with a beef bullion cube and a pat of butter
- Vlasic Farmers Garden Pickle Chips
- Preheat electric smoker to 250 (if you don't have a smoker, prepare the burgers using this method). Liberally sprinkle each side of the patties with Season All.
- Slice onion into wedges and place in center of foil square along with bullion cube and butter. Seal well in foil.
- Place patties and onion inside smoker. Cook to an internal temperature of at least 150, I prefer 155-160.
- To serve, top with cooked onion, provolone cheese, mustard, and Pickle Chips.
Farmer’s Garden is celebrating the authentic taste of #FarmToJar with the Savor Simplicity Sweepstakes running through 7/31/14. You can visit their website to enter for a chance to win a weekend cooking adventure or summer entertaining package, each worth $1,500. One winner will be chosen each month. Once you enter, you will receive A $1 off coupon immediately following entry!
Special thanks to Vlasic #FarmToJar for sponsoring this post! All opinions contained herein are my own but I appreciate them compensating me for my time and sending me free pickles, even though my Mama ate most of them.Yum