Best smoked burgers recipe (YES, even on a pellet grill!)

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  August 22, 2022

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A great grilling technique starts with a great grill.

If you’re looking to get a smoker that smokes your burgers to perfection, you really can’t go wrong with a pellet smoker. Pellet smokers are so named because they use pellets made out of compacted wood and sawdust that add a smoky taste to your food that’s out of this world.

Best Smoked BBQ Burger recipe

If you’re looking to get a great taste for your burgers, here’s a rundown on how you can use a pellet smoker to achieve a high-quality flavor.

Tips for making a great pellet smoked burger

There are several meats that you can grill on a pellet smoker, but these grills are known for grilling a hamburger to perfection.

Here are some tips and tricks that’ll help you grill the best hamburger possible.


The ideal temperature for grilling burgers on a pellet smoker is 425-450 F. This way, it’ll be cooked through, and you’ll get a nice sear and a smoky flavor.


The outer layer of the burger will get a reddish appearance as it smokes. This is known as a smoke ring (read our FULL guide!) and it’s perfectly normal.

Use a thermometer

Using a meat thermometer will be the best way to tell if your burger is done. If you cut into it, you’ll lose some of the juices and you may dry out the burger.

It’ll be around 160 F when it’s done. An instant read meat thermometer is recommended.

Don’t open the cover too often

If you open the grill cover too often, it’ll lose heat. So you’ll want to minimize the times you flip the burger.

It’s ideal to flip the burger after 8-9 minutes, then allow it to grill for 8-9 minutes on the other side. This may seem like a long time, but it’ll be just enough to allow the burger to become infused with the smokey taste.

Go for high-quality meat

Of course, you can use frozen, premade patties, but high-quality meat will get you the best results. An 85/15 ratio of meat to fat is ideal, but 80/20 will make a juicier burger.

Use strong wood chips

Mesquite, hickory, and oak are recommended for infusing burgers with a great smokey flavor.

How to cook burgers on a pellet grill

Cooking burgers on a grill is something that might be new to you, so I’ve come up with this “how to cook burgers on a pellet grill” guide to help you out.


Things you should know when you cook burgers on a pellet grill

Ground beef

Remember that the quality of your meat will make or break your hamburger. This is why it’s extremely important that you choose the ground beef well.

Ground chuck is highly recommended due to its tenderness and rich flavor. The meat also has a moist texture, which is perfect for hamburgers.


Season your ground beef well before you form them into patties.

If you want juicy and tender patties, it’s best to add salt and pepper just before you toss the patties into the grill. This is to allow for the meat to absorb the seasonings well before it even dries out.

You can add more seasonings depending on the taste that you want to achieve.


Be generous with the patties. But don’t make them so large that your guests won’t be comfortable biting into them.

Ideally, they should only be slightly bigger than your buns since the meat has a tendency to shrink when cooked.

Use your thumb to make indentations in the patties before grilling. This helps to keep the patty in shape and for them to remain flat and not shrink.

How long does it take to cook a hamburger on a pellet grill?

Patties that are about ½ inches thick should be cooked for around 4-8 minutes on each side.

When flipping the patties, flip only once at the middle. Try not to squish the patty using a spatula because doing so could make the delicious juices spill out.

For rare burgers, cook for 2 minutes on each side. Medium rare should be 3 minutes on each side while medium is 4 minutes. If you want them well done, cook for 5 minutes.

Related: How long to grill frozen burgers

How do you cook hamburgers on a Camp Chef pellet grill?

Start by shaping your burgers to about half an inch bigger than the buns. As mentioned, the patty has the tendency to shrink while being cooked.

Season both sides of your burgers with whatever seasonings you prefer. If you want the old-fashioned way, simply season with salt and pepper, and perhaps a small amount of garlic powder.

How do you cook burgers on a Pit Boss pellet grill?

If you prefer to cook burgers in a Pit Boss wood pellet grill, then here are the steps that you need to follow:

  1. Start the grill and put it on smoke mode. Leave the lid open for about 3-7 minutes. Preheat the grill to 400 F.
  2. Prepare your patties in a bowl. Combine the ground chuck, pepper, onion, garlic, salt, and other seasonings. Form them into burger patties.
  3. Apply a small amount of oil to the grill’s grate. Grill each side of the patties for up to 5-8 minutes or until they’re cooked according to your preferences.
  4. When the patties are cooked, remove them from the grill and place them in the buns. Add tomatoes, cheese, and other fixings that you fancy. You can choose to add 2 smoked hamburgers if you prefer to serve a double burger to some of your burger-loving guests!
  5. Enjoy!

Benefits of smoking with a pellet smoker

Smoking with a pellet smoker provides the following benefits:

  • No flare-ups
  • Great smoky flavor
  • Easy to use
  • Very fuel efficient (burns 1 pound of pellet for every hour of cook time)
  • Weather won’t affect your smoker’s grilling temperature
  • No heavy propane tanks needed
  • Very versatile
  • Set and forget controls
  • Low maintenance so it’s great for busy people
  • Won’t over-smoke food
  • It’s a grill and smoker in one, so users get more bang for their buck

Smoke your next burgers on a pellet grill

If you love burgers and haven’t had a pellet smoked burger at least once in your life, you may be missing out. These smokers provide a unique flavor that can’t be beaten!

What are your favorite pellet smoked burger recipes?

Also read: this is the best wood for smoking meatloaf

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.