Hello and welcome to the July 4th edition of the smoking meat newsletter. With temperatures here in Oklahoma soaring above 100 degrees, I am not as eager as usual to fire up the smoker and stay out there with it for hours on end so I find myself looking for things that get done a little faster with a little less fuss and allows me to be inside at least part of the time.
In this edition, I want to show you how I like to do burgers on the grill with plenty of smoke. They are stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon, dusted with my rub and finished off with a slathering of my barbecue sauce for a glorious finish.
Adding smoke to food in the gas grill requires a little creativity depending on what type of gas grill you have but it can be done and trust me when I say that it makes a world of difference.
Let’s get right into the article but first I want to remind everyone who has not already done so to order my brand new book right away while they are still available. Folks have been ordering these like crazy and the warehouses have been jumping through hoops to keep them in stock. It is also available on iTunes as a digital download and will soon be available on Nook and Kindle.
What You’ll Need
- 3 lbs 80/20 ground chuck
- 2 lbs sliced bacon
- Cheddar cheese cut into 9 cubes (colby, pepper jack, etc. would also work)
- 1 batch of Jeff’s rub (if you don’t have the recipe, buy it HERE)
- Buns, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and condiments
- Toothpicks (handy for holding bacon in place)
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How to Prepare
Divide meat into 1/3 lb balls
Use your thumb to hollow out a hole in the center of the ball
Place a cube of cheese or a Babybel in the hole
Pull the meat up around the top to cover the cheese and seal the meat closed. Press the meat down into a thick patty.
How to Wrap with Bacon
Lay 3 or 4 slices of bacon in a criss cross fashion on a plate, cutting board, etc..
Lay the burger in the center of the bacon slices and wrap the bacon up, and over the burger.
Push a toothpick through the bacon and into the burger to hold everything in place.
Smoking/Grilling the Burgers
How to create smoke in a grill
There are multiple ways to do this and some of this depends on your particular grill:
Foil Packet with Wood Chips: Wrap a handful of dry wood chips (I used grape wood chips that I found at our local Ace Hardware) in a large piece of foil. Poke a few holes in the top using a fork or other sharp object to let the smoke get out.
Place the foil packet above the flame either on the grate just above one of the burners, just below the grate but above the burner. The main think is that it must be above the flame and close enough to the flame to make the wood chips smoke real good.
I have a Charbroil Red Infrared grill with 4 burners so I just place the packet down in the pans or sometimes I just place dry wood chips directly in the pan itself without even being wrapped and both configurations work well. You will have to experiment a little to see what works best with your grill.
A-Maze-N-Smoker: This is a device created by my buddy Todd over at AmazenProducts.com and it works like a charm. It’s a small metal maze that holds wood pellets and depending on what model you get can create perfect thin blue smoke for hours on end. Customer service and products are truly amazing!
Cooking the Burgers
This is a combination of low indirect heat followed by high direct heat and works best using zones. Try to create a side of your grill that is low heat and a side that is high heat that way you can move the burgers around to achieve the desired result. This is especially easy to do with a charcoal grill but is possible in a gas grill as well by adjusting the burners.
I recommend placing the burgers on the low heat side of your grill. Dust them with my rub for loads of flavor and let them smoke for about 25-30 minutes. They can then be moved to the high heat side to help crisp the bacon. The burgers will need to be turned over about 10 minutes before they are done to allow the bacon to crisp on both sides.
To make sure they are perfectly done, I recommend using a thermometer in one of the burgers. When it reaches 160 degrees it is perfectly cooked.
You Don’t Want to Use Bacon?
No problem.. follow the same procedure but you won’t have to worry about crisping the bacon. Use a thermometer and when the center of the burger reaches about 125 degrees, flip it over. It’s perfectly done at 160 degrees.
Make a Sandwich
Use premium hamburger buns, red onions, leaf lettuce, heirloom tomatoes and your favorite condiments (Cheese already included) and chow down!
- Make 1/3 lb ball of 80/20 ground chuck
- Hollow out a hole or area for cheese
- Place cheese in hole
- Pull meat up and over hole to cover and seal
- Place 3-4 pieces of bacon on flat surface in criss-cross fashion
- Place stuffed burger in center of bacon
- Wrap bacon pieces around burger and secure with toothpick
- Place burgers on grill and dust generously with my rub
- Grill with smoke on low indirect heat for 25 minutes
- Grill on high direct heat until burger reaches 160 degrees in center
- Flip burgers and brush with my sauce 10 minutes before they are done
- Remove from heat immediately and serve
- Provide buns, veggies and condiments for the best burgers in town!
Follow my recipe exactly and your guests will be asking you for your secrets to making perfect burgers!
Get the Recipes for Jeff’s Rub and Sauce
***Note: you get the Texas style rub recipe free with your order!
If I could give these recipes away, I would do that. I really want you to have them! But, then, this is how I support the newsletter, the website and all of the other stuff that we do here to promote the art of smoking meat.
Read these recent testimonies:
Love the sauce and rubLove the sauce and rub recipes. So far I have used them on beef ribs, pork ribs, and different chicken parts. Can't wait to do a beef brisket. Texas rub is great as well! ~Peter S.
I tried the rub on a beef..I tried the rub on a beef brisket and some beef ribs the other day and our entire family enjoyed it tremendously. I also made a batch of the barbeque sauce that we used on the brisket as well as some chicken. We all agreed it was the best sauce we have had in a while. ~Darwyn B.
Love the original rib rubLove the original rib rub and sauce! We have an annual rib fest competition at the lake every 4th of July. I will say we have won a great percent of the time over the past 15 years so we are not novices by any means. However, we didn't win last year and had to step up our game! We used Jeff's rub and sauce (sauce on the side) and it was a landslide win for us this year! Thanks Jeff for the great recipes. I'm looking forward to trying the Texas style rub in the near future! ~Michelle M.
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