Looking for a different way to make your Labor Day burgers this year? Why not try smoking them!
That’s right, take your regular burger recipe up a notch by adding delicious smoke to the equation. Don’t worry, you don’t need a smoker, just your regular grill, some Great Value Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil, and a bag of Jack Daniel’s Smoking Chips.
What are Jack Daniel’s Smoking chips? Well–Whiskey (or bourbon–there’s some argument) is aged in oak barrels, and Jack Daniels only uses NEW barrels–so once a barrel is used, it isn’t reused for whiskey again. Some of the barrels are then sold to Scotland to be used for Scotch Whiskey (yup, they take JD’s hand me downs!), some of it goes to the Tabasco company to age their hot sauce, some are used in Jamaica for rum, some are cut and sold as planters. . . and finally some are chopped up and used for smoking chips. Now this sounds like it would be an expensive item to purchase, but a 2.94 Liter Bag cost just $4.96 at Walmart. Bargain!
When I cracked open the bag of chips and took a whiff. .. they smelled SO GOOD. Seriously-I’m not particularly into drinking whiskey (or bourbon!) but these chips smelled heavenly. I just stuck my nose down into the bag and took a couple of deep, heady breaths. Mmmm.
Using the chips is not complicated, and you don’t need a smoker (although of course you can use one). There are directions right on the back of the bag. You simply put 2 or 3 handfuls onto a piece of foil, wrap it up in a packet and punch a few holes in it. You don’t have to soak the chips, just use them dry.
Then start your grill, put the packet in and close the lid. Check on it occasionally until you can see and smell that it has started smoking. Then you are ready to put your burgers on!
Now I really wanted to be able to enjoy the flavor of the smoke, so I didn’t want to load my burgers up with a ton seasonings and additions. I made a very simple burger mix with 80% lean ground beef from my local Walmart:
1 1/2 Lbs Hamburger
1 TBS of Soy Sauce
1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
1 sm Onion, Diced
Salt & Pepper
Mix it all together and make your patties. Put a dimple in the middle of each patty using your thumb, just like I learned from Adam Richman in this video:
Of course you can use any kind of burger mixture and seasoning you like–or even buy preformed burgers at Walmart to keep your life simple.
Once your burgers are ready and your chips are smoking, it’s time to combine them! Turn your grill down if necessary to whatever temperature you usually cook your burgers at. Move the smoker packet to the side of the grill, and put your burgers on. Then close the lid–you want all that yummy smoke to stay in there.
After a few minutes check inside the grill. Flip when necessary and keep an eye on the burgers, but don’t keep the lid open any more than necessary. When you are done, the chips inside the foil packet will be partially burned and your burgers should be a lovely mahogany color.
Delicious! So there you have it, a simple way to add some wow to your Labor Day (or any other day) Barbeque! Of course Walmart sells all kinds of smoking chips–Applewood, Mesquite, Cherry Wood, and many more. Since they are inexpensive to purchase and easy to store (hey–they are just wood)–why not buy a couple of different kinds and experiment?
Looking for more great Labor Day ideas?
- Lemony Basil Orzo Pasta Salad
- How To Plan An Easy Labor Day Picnic
- Salami Chopped Salad
- Frozen Berry Lemonade
- Mac-N-Cheese Deep Fried Bites
- Creamy Chicken Artichoke Casserole
- DIY Patriotic Frames
- Red, White and Blue Burlap Bandana Wreath
- Red, White & Blue Angel Fluff
- Key Lime Pie
- Mango Chicken Skewers
- Patriotic Paper Petal Wreath
- Simple Summer Side Dishes
- Easy Labor Day Chips and Dips