I've been cranking things up quite a bit lately in a pretty fast-paced manner, and while I really enjoyed cooking them all and sharing them with you here, I started thinking this morning that I hadn't paid homage to the lowly burger for awhile...hmm. So, maybe it's time for me to slow down a bit and enjoy the more simple things? Well, OK, just for today, anyway...LOL!!! I thought I'd toss out a kicked-up version of the beef burger to do it proper justice...you see, I even have trouble keeping the simple burger simple...ha-ha-ha!
Anyway, smoked burgers are among the easiest thing you could toss together, but with a little extra touch, they can be in a class all their own. I've grilled-up some pretty wicked burgers over the years, even mixed meats like this, but smoked, well, I seem to keep my rigs pretty busy on other projects. Now it's time to focus on just a really good smoked burger.
4.5lbs 85/15 ground beef, 6oz smoked bacon slices (diced), 8oz medium cheddar cheese (fine cubed) and 6.5 oz chopped canned button mushrooms (store was sold out of fresh) will take up the bulk of the mix, with seasonings from my cherry dry rub for beef? OK, my heart is in it all the way now...may as well kiss the simple burger good-bye! I'm thinking a nice big, thick burger...1/2 lb (no, this isn't going to be fast-food) formed to about 4-1/2" diameter? Yeah, and hickory smoke @ 205-210* for about 3 - 3.5 hours should do the trick for the likes of these...slow enough to keep them juicy, and hold some of the cheese inside.
I think my plan is all set, so, let's get started!
Cheddar, bacon and 'shrooms diced fine...the bacon was frozen and the cheese was straight out of the fridge and still well-chilled, which facilitated an easier dicing...all done with a chef's knife:
I tossed the burger meat with seasoning first, then added the goodies to toss again and bring it all together:
No hand contact with the meat just yet, but it's time to make some monster burgers:
These are the big dogs, at over 1/2 lb each on a cookie sheet:
And some 1/4 to 1/3 lb for the smaller appetites in the house:
I know I'm going to loose quite a bit of cheese from the burger mix even with a lower temp smoke chamber, and I'll guess that the smaller ones will suffer the most lost, but I did start with quite alot, so there should be enough left when the smoke clears.
I'm starting the big burgers first, and will add the smaller ones after an hour:
Man, these are big...6 is a comfy load for the 15" x 23" SV24 grate...8 would be a crowd:
Temp this morning was 25*, has since dropped to 18*, with fog all day, it's been misting for the past several hours, and since I fired up the Smoke Vault it has been spitting tiny little pellets/sleet...do I care? Not one bit. A dry water pan to compensate for temps and relative humidity and we'll be smokin'!
The lil' buggers just into the Vault @ 55 minutes from start-up with the monster burgers:
Hmm, these are holding up pretty nicely so far..cheese is starting to melt as the meat is heating through...I'll cross my fingers:
And the waiting begins...TIC-TOC...TIC-TOC...
I know the flavors will be great together, I mean, bacon, cheddar and mushrooms mixed into beef...how could that not be good...the cherry based seasoning I use for beef is good to go, so I'll be ready when these babies are!
Oh, ambient temps are now 14* and it's still trying desperately to snow.
Finish pics and the results of my labors ASAP! About two more hours of smoke time, so maybe 3 hours or so. I hate these delayed posts sometimes, but it's an upload thing...I gotta get pics up while I can or it can tie me up for half the night.