Cooking Hamburgers on a Wood Pellet Grill
Cooking Hamburgers on a Wood Pellet Grill requires starting with great hamburger meat. The long and winding road to burger glory begins way before it’s time to fire up the grill. The most important part of crafting the perfect hamburger is actually making sure you’ve got the right meat to get the job done.
When you’re using a recipe to make a burger, you’ll normally be asked to use ground beef – but if you see anything in the store that’s simply labelled ground beef, it’s normally just code for some random collection of cuts that have all been mushed together.
We recommend you go with one of three more identifiable and consistent specific types of ground beef.
Ground Sirloin – this cut will normally give you a tasty and wholesome beef flavor, and because it’s cut from the midsection, ground sirloin tends to give you fat content between 7 and 10 percent. That’s way too low, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Ground Rounds – normally lean and tough. Fat content here can be as low as 10 percent which isn’t really enough to render the best flavor.
Ground Chuck – knowing what we know about ground beef, sirloin, and rounds, that leaves ground chuck as the superior choice. Ground chuck is cut from the shoulder and is normally between 15 and 20 percent fat. This is the perfect fatty sweet spot in order to keep your burger from drying out while giving you the perfect amount of flavor. Ground chuck is tender and it’s way richer in flavor.
Cooking Hamburgers on a Wood Pellet Grill Recipe
Start with a hot grill – the internal temperature of the wood pellet grill is at the desired cooking temperature.
For grilling burgers, set the wood pellet grill to the highest setting; depending on grill model, there may be a “High” setting (temperature will range from 400°F – 450°F ), or your grill will have the ability to set directly to 500°F.
For smoked burgers, set the temperature to 225°F or to Smoke or Super Smoke depending on the grill you are working with. Once you’ve smoked your hamburger patties, take the burgers off the grill and preheat your wood pellet grill to the highest setting before grilling. This will help you get the perfect sear on the outside, creating a caramelized, flavorful exterior, and prevents the burger from sticking to the grill.
Cooking Hamburgers on a Wood Pellet Grill – Cook Time
When you’re ready to sear your patties and with the grill set to the highest setting, the cook time for the perfect burger (1½” thick patties) is about 8 minutes or 4 minutes per side.
When it comes to flipping the burgers, only flip once in the middle of the cook. Once your patties hit the grill, leave them alone. Resist the urge to squish the burger with a spatula as this makes a flat, dry burger.
Cook about 2 minutes per side for rare, 3 minutes per side for medium rare, 4 minutes per side for medium and 5 minutes per side for well-done.
Cooking Hamburgers on a Wood Pellet Grill – Done?
Because cook time will vary depending on the thickness of your hamburger patty, the only sure way to know whether the hamburger is cooked to perfection is to take an internal temperature reading of the burger.
Hamburger Cook Temperatures
Rare – 125°F
Medium Rare – 135°F
Medium – 145°F < the perfect burger temperature*
Medium Well – 155°F
Well Done – 160°F