When you purchase the meat, I recommend going for ground beef with a high fat content.. I usually use 80/20, 78/22 or even 73/27 depending on what's available. The first number is the percentage of lean meat and the second number is the percentage of fat. Remember, more fat = more flavor.
Divide the meat up into portions of whatever size or weight that you like.. you can eyeball it or use a small kitchen scale.
Make the meat into patties and season each one with the Texas style rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) on the top and the bottom.
In addition to the outside of the burgers, you can also mix some of the Texas style rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) into the meat if you like. Use about 1 TBS per pound of meat.
Note: Another option for burgers is to stuff them and wrap them with bacon.. I did an article about this last year.
Hotdogs, Boudin, Brats and Sausages
Remove from the package and place into a bowl or container.
If you want to add some of my original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) to the hotdogs, it's very delicious!
Just put some of the rub on a flat surface and roll the hotdogs in the rub.
Another option for hotdogs is to spiral cut them.. it looks really cool and is incredibly easy to do. Check out my instructions for that here.
And then there's bacon wrapped hot links.. don't even get me started!
I like to cook burgers and hotdogs at normal indirect smoking temperatures of about 225-240°F.
Have enough smoking wood for at least 1 hour of smoke but more than that is fine.
Make sure you use the water pan if your smoker is so equipped.
Once your smoker is preheated and up to temperature, it's ready to go.
Place the brats, Boudin and sausages on the smoker first as these will usually take about an hour longer than burgers and hotdogs.
Smoke them for about 1 hour then place the hotdogs and burgers on the smoker grate.
I used a Weber grill pan to make it easy to transport the meat back and forth from the smoker to the kitchen. Bradley racks also work great if you have them.
About 20 minutes before the meat is done, brush some of my delicious barbecue sauce (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled sauce) onto everything except the boudin if you like.. it's really good that way and the kids seem to love it especially well.
The boudin skin crisps up best if you just leave it alone, no sauce.
Burgers, hotdogs etc. are really good when just done on the smoker but if you want to put a little crisp on the burgers, a little sizzle on the hotdogs, brats and sausages, then just move them to a grill preheated to high and ready to go about 20 minutes before they are due to be done.
I usually move them over to the hot grill before putting on the sauce. The high heat together with the sauce gives them a perfect finish.
Here's the cooking times/temperature that I recommend:
- Burgers: 1 hour or 160°F in the center
- Hotdogs: 1 hour or hot in the center and browned on the outside
- Brats: 2 hours or 160°F in the center
- Sausages: 2 hours or hot in the center and browned on the outside
- Boudin: 2 hours or browned outside and crispy skin
Note: Be sure to use a digital remote meat thermometer like the Thermoworks “Smoke” or an accurate handheld thermometer like the Thermapen or the ThermoPop on the burgers and brats to make sure they reach the perfect temperature without overcooking them.
And remember, if you need to get these done fast, there is nothing wrong with cranking up the temperature and just cooking them until they are the correct temperature or color.