Smoking burgers is a great method to infuse them with flavor while keeping them moist and juicy. However, getting the timing and temperature just right can be a challenge, especially because they are so thin and can become overcooked in a flash.
In this post, we’ll go over how long to smoke burgers at 225°F, as well as some tips and methods for getting the perfectly smoked burgers every time.
Whether you’re using an electric smoker or a pellet grill, you can impart delicious smoky flavor and aroma into your burgers, elevating them to the next level, and it’s not a difficult task. It takes around 1 hour to smoke burgers at 225°F, so it’s definitely worth giving it a try.
You might also want to read about:
- How long to smoke ribs at 225°F
- How long to smoke chicken legs at 225°F
- How long to smoker Brisket at 225
- How Long Do Pellets Last for Grilling and Smoking
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- Smoker – I use a Z Grills 700 series smoker for most of my smoking, though I also have a Traeger grill. You can use whatever smoker you have – they all work the same.
- Wood pellets – There are many types of pellets available. If you’ve already got pellets in your smoker, use whatever you have. I really like Hickory pellets for chicken.
- Meat thermometer – Many smokers have a thermometer built in, but if yours doesn’t, get an instant-read thermometer. I love this Thermapen.
Why Smoke Burgers at 225°F?
The temperature at which you smoke your burgers has a significant impact on their flavor, texture, and juiciness. The ideal temperature for smoking burgers is 225°F because this low and slow cooking procedure allows the burgers to absorb the smoke flavor while remaining moist and tender.
This temperature is also great for breaking down the fat in the meat, resulting in a juicier and more succulent burger. Smoking at a higher temperature can cause the outside of the burgers to cook too quickly, while the inside remains undercooked, resulting in a dry and tough burger.
Second, 225 degrees F is a safe temperature for cooking ground beef, ensuring that the burgers are fully cooked and safe to eat.
What Smokers We Use
Did you know that Traeger created the original wood-pellet grill? The Pro Series 22 is the one most people choose because it’s compact, yet has plenty of space for cooking. You can use any type of wood pellets you like. See the Traeger Series 22 Grill on Amazon.
While the actual time it will take to smoke your specific burgers on your specific smoker will vary, you can count on it taking about 60 to 90 minutes of cooking time at 225°F as a general rule of thumb.
The actual time will depend on a variety of factors:
Thickness and Size
The thickness and size of your burger patties are important factors in determining how long they should be smoked. Thicker and larger patties take longer to cook, but thinner and smaller patties cook faster.
Aim for patties that are about 3/4 inch thick and weigh about 6 ounces each, as a starting point. At 225°F, it should take 60 to 90 minutes for these patties to reach an internal temperature of 160°F, which is the acceptable minimum temperature for ground beef.
The cooking time will also be affected by the type of meat used in your burger patties. Leaner meats, such as ground turkey or chicken, often cook faster than fattier meats, such as ground beef or pork.
If you’re making a mixture of chicken burgers and beef burgers, they may need different smoke times to be considered done.
Frozen or Fresh
It’s always best to smoke burgers fresh, rather than frozen. Smoking burgers from frozen can result in uneven cooking and can increase the risk of foodborne illness.
When meat is frozen, the water inside the meat expands, causing the muscle fibers to break down. This can result in a dry and tough texture once the meat is cooked.
Additionally, when meat is smoked from frozen, it can take longer to reach the appropriate internal temperature, which can increase the risk of harmful bacteria surviving and multiplying.
Therefore, it’s best to thaw the burgers completely in the refrigerator before smoking them to ensure that they cook evenly and are safe to eat.
Desired Level of Doneness
Your desired level of doneness will also influence the cooking time of your burgers. Here are some general principles for determining doneness levels while smoking burgers at 225°F:
- 60-70 minutes for medium-rare (130-135°F)
- 70-80 minutes (140-145°F)
- 80-90 minutes at medium-well (150-155°F).
- 90 minutes or more for well-done (160°F or higher).
Remember that these are merely approximate cooking times and that using a digital meat thermometer is the most precise way to detect when your burgers are done. To achieve an accurate reading, insert the probe into the thickest section of the patty.
How to Smoke Burgers on the Smoker
- Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F.
- Season your burgers with your desired seasonings, like salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Place the burgers on the smoker grates, making sure there is enough space between them for the smoke to circulate.
- Close the lid and smoke the burgers for about 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, check the internal temperature of the burgers using an instant-read thermometer. For medium-rare burgers, the temperature should be around 130-135°F; for medium, 140-145°F; for medium-well, 150-155°F; and for well-done, 160°F or higher.
- If the burgers have not reached the desired internal temperature, continue smoking them for another 15-20 minutes and check the temperature again.
- Once the burgers have reached the desired internal temperature, remove them from the smoker and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.
Keep in mind that cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the burgers and the type of smoker you’re using. It’s important to use an instant-read thermometer to ensure that the burgers are cooked to the appropriate internal temperature and are safe to eat.
Pick the right wood: The type of wood you use for smoking can have a significant impact on the flavor of your burgers. Apple, cherry, and peach woods are perfect for smoking burgers because they offer a mellow, sweet flavor that complements the meat. Hardwoods such as hickory or oak can also be utilized for a richer, more robust flavor.
Preheat your smoker: When you place your burgers on it, check sure it has attained a constant temperature of 225°F. This guarantees consistent cooking and keeps the burgers from drying out.
Season your burgers: Before smoking them, season your burger patties. The natural flavors of the meat will be enhanced by a simple seasoning of salt and pepper. You can, however, experiment with other spice combinations or seasonings to suit your tastes.
Don’t turn the burgers: Unlike grilling, smoking your burgers eliminates the need to flip them. The indirect heat from the smoker will ensure that the burgers are cooked equally on both sides. Turning the burgers may increase moisture loss, resulting in drier, less juicy patties.
Remove the burgers from the smoker and set them aside for a few minutes before serving. This allows the liquids within the meat to redistribute, resulting in a more soft and juicy burger.
Best Wood Pellets for Smoking Burgers
When it comes to smoking burgers, there are several types of wood pellets that can be used to add a delicious smoky flavor. Here are some of the best types of wood pellets for smoking burgers:
- Hickory wood pellets are a popular choice for smoking burgers because they add a strong, smoky flavor that pairs well with beef.
- Mesquite wood pellets have a strong, earthy flavor that can add a bold taste to burgers.
- Apple wood pellets have a mild, sweet flavor that can add a subtle smokiness to burgers without overpowering the flavor of the meat.
- Cherry wood pellets have a slightly sweet, fruity flavor that can add a unique taste to burgers.
- Oak wood pellets have a neutral flavor that can add a smoky taste to burgers without adding too much flavor.
What Pellets to Use for the Smoker?
You’ll also need pellets for your smoker, if you’ve got a pellet grill like we do. Pellets come in many different types that you can choose from. I like to use hickory wood, or cherry wood pellets for mine. They also have a bourbon wood pellet that’s very good. My friend Todd swears by the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey pellets.
Ultimately, the best type of wood pellets for smoking burgers will depend on personal preference and the desired flavor profile. It’s best to experiment with different types of wood pellets to find the one that works best for you.
Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill
For burgers, it’s pretty great to use a Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill, which is a new offering from the kitchen appliance brand that makes our beloved favorites, the Ninja MaxXL Air Fryer and the Ninja Creami. The Woodfire Grill is a portable outdoor grill with 7 functions: grill, smoke, air fry, bake, roast, broil, and dehydrate.
Why I Like It
- It imparts an amazing amount of woodfire flavor into the food with just 1/2 cup of pellets.
- It’s incredibly fast and efficient.
- It cooks faster and with more smoker flavor than my full-size smoker – by far.
- There’s no guessing, especially with the built-in temperature probe available on the Pro version.
- The food comes out with a perfect crispy or seared exterior that’s both gorgeous and super tasty.
- It’s very portable and can be set up anywhere on a sturdy surface with a power outlet nearby.
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Laura is a passionate home cook and grill enthusiast who has spent years perfecting her culinary skills, with a particular focus on grilling techniques and flavor combinations. Her fascination with the grill, smoke, and the mouthwatering results they produce has led her on an exciting journey to discover the best methods for grilling delicious and unforgettable meals.