[ED (Seth): Again I explain the new feature. We picked up Joe Pichey from MMMGoBluBBQ to share his tailgating recipies. We can do this now because Stubb's offered to sponsor it. This is one of those things where we really liked their BBQ sauce, and it turned out their CEO really likes this blog, and we like Joe's recipes, and any real expenses are covered by our cardiovascular systems.]
I need something spicy to rid this bad taste in my mouth. Maybe something XXX-TRA spicy will do the trick. A few months ago, I decided to try smoking (reverse sear) my burgers instead of the usual grilling method and just like my cousin Nick said when he visited Columbus a few years ago, “I WILL NEVER GO BACK”. This is my favorite way to make burgers, hands down! Trust me on this, you will not regret giving this a try. If you are not into super juicy and flavorful burgers, this recipe is not for you, otherwise, read on.
• 85/15 or 80/20 Ground beef (Yes, use the fatty stuff)
• Cheese (Your choice) I like Swiss or White Cheddar
• Pretzel Bun or Onion Bun
• Stubbs Hatch Chili Marinade to taste
• Condiments of your choice
[Prepare thineself for preparation, then hit THE JUMP.]
It’s time to set up your smoker or grill for indirect heat. While the grill is heating up to 250 degrees, start mixing your ground beef with your marinade. Use as much or as little as you’d like, depending on your heat level preference. I poured half a bottle in the 1.5 lbs of ground beef along with a little salt and pepper. Form into 1/3 to ½ pound patties and make a dimple in the middle of the patty with your thumb. This is very important.
This will help keep it flat during the extended cooking process. The larger patties are needed so that they can smoke for a bit and still retain their spicy juices. If they are too small, the burgers will finish before getting any smoky flavor. The reason we are using the fattier meat (85/15 or 80/20) is due to the longer cooking time. The meat will lose some juices over the 45-minute cook, so we need a little more fat. The more fat, the more flavor we will have in the finished burger. FAT IS FLAVOR!
Once your smoker/grill is up to temp, add some hickory wood chunks. Hickory pairs perfectly with red meat and will not be overpowering or leave a bitter taste. Add the burgers to the smoker/grill and kick your feet up with a good cigar. These tasty treats are about 45 minutes from completion.
After about 30 minutes, grab your trusty thermometer and give it a poke. We are looking for an internal temperature of 140-150 degrees. I like mine medium, with a little pink in the middle, but If you prefer yours a little less or more well done, adjust the cooking time accordingly. I added some Sticky Sweet BBQ sauce to help offset some of the heat from the Hatch Chili Marinade. The combo of these two sauces is very tasty. After a few minutes, the sauce seeps into the burger and adds some extra juiciness.
After about 40 minutes, we should be nearing the 140-145 degree internal temperature mark. Remove the top on the grill and let the charcoal flare up. This is where I add my cheese. I like to finish them over an open flame to get some char on the meat.
This will also get the temp up to a “perfect pink centered” medium. Leave the meat over the flame for about 60 seconds. Once the cheese is melted, pull the burgers and let them rest for about 7-10 minutes. This will help keep the juiciness and also satisfy the meat temp sticklers that claim “instant death” if we don’t cook it to 165 degrees. LET IT REST! If you like to crisp up your buns, toss em on the grill for a few seconds. I love a crusty bun!
Top with you favorite condiments and you are ready to roll. This is my new favorite way to cook a great burger. Even if you don't like the heat of the Hatch Chili marinade, give this method a try using just meat, seasoning and cheese. I promise, you will not be disappointed in your smoked (reverse sear) burger.