An Easy Guide For Smoking Ground Beef

Last Updated on by What’s Smoking

If you are new to smoking and smoking ground beef you may be asking, can you smoke ground beef. The answer is yes and this article will walk you through some of the steps and ways that you can smoke ground beef. I have done several different versions of ground beef on the smoker and each one has been done differently and been distinct with its own recipe.

Let’s check out some dishes made with ground beef, on the smoker.

Smoked Ground Beef Recipes

In this article I am not going to go through specific recipes and ingredients but I will briefly touch on some recipes I have used smoked ground beef for. The list if probably longer than you might think and these are just the ones I have done:

In each case of these recipes, I smoked each one differently. When I smoked the ground beef, I also did it on my Weber Kettle and/or my WSM. Because we are talking high level, for the most part this should all apply if you are using a Kettle, WSM or pellet grill. Let’s dive into those in more detail now.

Smoking Ground Beef For Chili

So when I did my smoked ground beef chili recipe, I flavored it with the different spices and formed it into what you could basically call a big meat ball. I then place it on a rack over the chili and let the grease and combination of flavors drip into the chili. This was a relative easy method for a few different reasons. There is no reason to worry about what you are setting the ground meat in, because it is being set over the Dutch oven on a grate. This eliminates any concerns around clean up in the smoker.

WSM Smoked Drip Chili

It is also easy to track your IT. For ground beef you are always looking for an IT of 165° so in this set up it is real easy to get that probe in there to check the temperature. Once the meat was done it was a matter of breaking it up and putting in the chili.

If you are looking for a high quality probe at a reasonable price I highly recommend the ThermoPro TP20. Perfect for those one meat smokes.

So this method of big meatball, over chili in particular is one method for smoking ground beef.

Smoking Ground Beef For Meatloaf

Smoking meat loaf is not that dissimilar from what you might see in the chili but you are going to want to want is a means to transport it on and off the smoker. When smoking ground beef as a meatloaf my secret tip for this is smoking it in a grilling basket. It is great for transport on and off the smoker but it is also great for ensuring as much smoker penetration as possible. The meatloaf shape lends itself for temperature monitoring. If you like to coat your meatloaf with some BBQ sauce or some other style of glaze, while the basket does not catch everything it still will capture some of the drippings.

Smoking Ground Beef for a meatloaf

You still may want to use some kind of drip pan under the meatloaf but again smoking a meatloaf is pretty easy and in a many cases, is great for when you are short on time but want some ground beef with some smoke flavor.

The takeaway on this method is the grilling basket, makes it easy transport and maximizes the ability for the smoke to penetrate the beef.

How To Smoke Ground Beef Burgers

Smoking ground beef burgers is an easy one. Once you get the burgers formed you just need to place them on the grate. The burgers are easy to check temperature with a probe and there are no concerns with moving the hamburgers around as they should not fall apart. You will want to ensure you have a drip pan to catch any liquid (if you look closely, I admit I forgot a pan for these burgers) but these are an easy one, as they can be treated as your standard burgers once they are on the smoker.

Smoked Ground Beef For Sloppy Joes

The method I used for smoking ground beef is a little different than some of the other ones. Instead of smoking this in a large meatloaf style form, this gets spread out in the foil pan or cast iron skillet. The goal of this was to increase the smoke flavor but to also allow for the ground beef to be broken up once the sauce is added to the pan. If you are looking to track an IT, this method makes it a little more difficult but because it spread thin, it should cook without any issues.

Doing this recipe in a foil tray makes clean up easy. Because you are trying to spread this thin, you would not want to use a grilling basket, like we did with the meat loaf. An upside to smoking ground beef with this method, it speeds up the process and gets you completed much faster.

Additional Recipes Using Smoked Ground Beef

We gave you some methods and some of our recipes but we also compiled some additional recipes to use your ground beef. Enjoy these additional options!

Smoked Meatballs view the full recipe here
South African Bobotie View the full recipe here
Smoked Lasagna View the full recipe here
Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls view the full recipe here
Mexican Tex Mex Topped Zucchini Bites view the full recipe here
Stuffed peppers with ground beef view the full recipe here

Thanks for being here and checking out this Easy Guide For Smoking Ground Beef. I hope you enjoy it! We always appreciate comments, 5 star recipe rating and social media shares. As always, keep that smoke rolling!

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2 thoughts on “An Easy Guide For Smoking Ground Beef”

  1. I used to supply all the major hotels on Jamaica’s north coast with cold-smoked Marlin.

    I ran into an ever-changing payment schedule, however, which wrecked our small biz.

    At present, am preparing a smaller, caster-equipped smokehouse to serve my immediate area, and I was

    wondering if ground beef could be cold smoked then formed into patties. and frozen for future use …
    You have cleared that up.

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