It will take a while, but it’s definitely worth smoking your burgers instead of grilling them. By smoking them, you get great juicy burgers with an intense smoky flavor that you simply don’t get when you grill them.
The only thing you have to consider is that your family is not going to expect you to produce a hamburger within 10 minutes. With this burger, you are at least busy for 3 hours.
We use smoked garlic for the sauce. At the end of a barbecue session, we always throw a whole bulb (or two) on the grill. You can store this smoked garlic and use it on and in everything.
You cut the head of a whole bulb of garlic. Pour some olive oil over it and some salt. Then put the bulb in the grill until the cloves are soft. Then you can easily squeeze them out of the bulb and puree them.
With a few of those cloves of garlic, we made an excellent sauce for the burger. The sauce also includes pimenton. Pimenton is an easy, and delicious way to give a smoky flavor to a dish. Pimenton is made from a spicy type of bell pepper. These are then smoked for weeks, after which they are ground into powder. And you can taste the effort.
These will be large burgers of 250 grams each. We also make them nice and thick because some moisture disappears during smoking. But you don’t have to worry that the burgers will get dry.
We mix all ingredients with the minced meat except for the salt. The salt makes the structure of the burger a lot tighter and we like a looser structure in our burgers. We sprinkle the salt over the meat just before they go on the grill.
As you can see, these are not dry burgers. Above 65°C (150F), the moisture starts to expel, and the hamburger is done at 70°C (158F). That’s why we don’t cook them any further. We measure this with our Thermapen. This way, you can see very quickly whether the burgers are ready. These burgers do not have grill stripes. If you want some grill marks, you stop smoking when they are around 65 degrees and grill them on piping hot grill grates.
In the Netherlands, we are blessed with delicious bread. Of course, we can make our own hamburger buns, but every supermarket, in every village, has great rolls. We toast the sandwiches briefly, and then we start building.
The order is entirely up to you. We start with the sauce, then the burger, a thick slice of smoked bacon, a generous spoonful of sauerkraut, slices of pickle, and jalapeño pepper. Keep napkins nearby or take a shower afterward.
- 1 kilo ground beef
- 1 tbsp garlic granulate
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 4 thick slices of bacon
- 200 grams of sauerkraut
- slices of pickle
- 1 jalapeño pepper
- 4 hamburger buns
- 4 generous tablespoons of mayonnaise
- 2 tsp pimenton
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Mix the ground beef with the garlic granulate, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper. Divide this into 4 parts and make round balls.
- Press the balls into discs an inch larger than the ones you bought.
- Prepare a barbecue for smoking with a boiler temperature of 100 to 120°C (210 to 250F). We used 2 chunks of oak wood for smoking. Place 1 chunk on top of the hot coals and the other just next to it. This way, you can smoke for hours.
- Sprinkle the burgers with some salt. Place the bacon slices and burgers on the grates and close the lid. The bacon can be removed when it is golden brown, and the burgers are ready when they have reached a core temperature of 70°C (158F).
- In the meantime, you make the sauce by mashing the garlic cloves and mixing it with the mayonnaise and pimenton. Stir well.
- Cut the buns in half and toast them briefly. Cover the sandwiches with a generous tablespoon of sauce, the burger, a slice of bacon, a little sauerkraut, a few slices of pickle, and jalapeño.