Smoked Cheeseburgers


Nothing screams Red, White, and Blue like a big fat juicy all American cheeseburger at a summer cookout to celebrate Independence Day while chillin’ and grillin’ with family and friends.  It’s also great not having to work and getting a day off in the middle of summer to relax and keep your mind off the craziness going on in your daily life as well.

There are so many different ways I think cheeseburgers can be made delicious. But lately, I’ve been craving for a thick smokehouse style burger.  The kind of burger that is big, moist, juicy, infused with smoked flavor, and juices dripping down your hands messy with every bite.  You know, the kind that makes you unbutton your pants so you can breathe better afterward.

For this recipe, I bought two pounds of ground beef chuck and formed it into four big and thick 1/2 pound patties.  I seasoned it simply with SPG (salt, pepper, and garlic) and smoked it over indirect heat at 275 degrees with a few applewood chunks for smoky goodness that I know even Smoky the Bear would approve.  I admit, 1/2 pound burgers are a bit more than I can handle these days, but the burgers did not shrink too much from the original size and the flavor was amazing and worth it.

I listed several toppings and condiment options that my family likes, but after you smoke the burger patties, dress up the burgers the way you like!

Cheeseburger Ingredients:
2 pounds ground beef chuck
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
4 pretzel buns

Grilled Onions Ingredients:
2 large sweet onions, finely diced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt

Burger Topping Options:
butter lettuce
1 large tomato, sliced
American cheese
Kosher dill pickles

Burger Condiment Options:

4 ounces Applewood wood chunks for smoking


Form Burger Patties – Loosely form four round burger patties without overworking the meat. Make an indentation in the center of each burger patty. Season both sides of the burger patties with kosher salt, pepper, and granulated garlic.  Refrigerate burger patties for at least 30 minutes.


Make Grilled Onions – Heat a large skillet on medium-low heat. Add vegetable oil and diced onions. Stir occasionally for about 45 minutes or until onions are caramelized and golden brown.

Prepare Smoker – Set-up smoker to 275 degrees for indirect cooking. Add wood chunks over the hot charcoal.

Smoke Burgers– Place the burger patties on the smoker. Smoke the burger patties with the lid closed at 275 degrees. Smoke the burgers for 25 minutes or until the internal temperature of the burger patty reaches 135 degrees.  Open the lid and place one or two slices of American cheese on top of each burger patty.  Close the lid and smoke the burger patties for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the internal temperature of the burger patty reaches 145 degrees.

Assemble Burgers – Spread the preferred burger condiment(s) and add a layer of grilled onions on top of the bottom bun. Top the bottom bun with the cheeseburger patty. Spread burger condiment(s) on the bottom of the top bun. Add butter lettuce, a tomato slice, and 2 pickles.  Top off the assembled cheeseburger with the top bun.



  • If the ground beef chuck is unavailable, regular 80/20 ground beef works too.
  • Brioche buns work great for this recipe as well
  • Top cheeseburgers with your favorite condiments and toppings

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