Smoked Sloppy Joes

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We all remember growing up and eating sloppy joes for dinner. Now we are all grown up and we are making smoked sloppy joes. Back then they were an easy and cheap meal to make. Fortunately they are still easy and cheap to make, with some added smoke flavor and will be enjoyed by kids and adults. The difference is now we just get to have fun making them on the smoker.

Smoked Ground Beef

We are going to start with the ground beef. This is a simple set up, I used my Weber Kettle but feel free to give this a go on your WSM, or pellet grill. Regardless of what you are using this recipe will work. Get your smoker up and running to a temperature of 250°. I used hickory wood with this recipe. While you are getting up to temperature, you can start with the ground beef. Your seasoning with minimal for the ground beef.

Before we tackle that, I would suggest using a 90/10 lean ground beef. 80/20 will work but you may end up with a bit too much grease in the beef when its done. I have done both and the 90/10 is the better option.

There are a couple of ways you can smoke the ground beef. You can make it into a large meatball/meatloaf shape and smoke it that. If you do, it may make breaking it apart later a bit more difficult. The method I used was to kind of flatten it out in a tray and break it up as much as I could before I started on the smoker. You will see later why I did it this way.

This method allows for more smoke, it does smoke it faster but with that being said, it is still on long enough to get enough smoke on the meat. When I did this, all I did to the beef was add the following:

  • 2 lbs of ground beef (90/10)
  • 1/2 tsp. of chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. of ground black pepper
Ground beef, laid out and ready for smoked sloppy joes

I mixed this all in together, placed it in the tray and put it on the smoker. As best as I could I inserted my ThermoPro TP20 to keep an eye on the meat temperature. The goal temp on ground beef is 165°. Because this is spread so thin, you can get a good idea on how it is being cooked, without using a probe. While that is on the smoker we are going to move onto the next part of this recipe.

Sloppy Joe Recipe

We are going to start on the sloppy part of this sloppy joe recipe. While the beef is smoking, we are going to make the sauce. You will need the following ingredients:

  • 8 oz of tomato sauce
  • optional – 2 tablespoons of tomato paste (this will help thicken it up a bit, you can leave this out if thickness of sauce is not of concern or you feel its good enough as is)
  • 2 tbsp. of Worchester sauce
  • 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce (use your BBQ sauce of choice, I went with Blue Hogs Kansas City sauce)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 tbsp of minced garlic (you can also substitute with fresh cloves of garlic or garlic powder. If you have seen previous recipes, garlic powder is always the last resort)
  • 2 habanero peppers
Red bell peppers, white onions and habanero peppers for the smoked sloppy joes

We are going to dice both types of peppers (remove the seeds on the habanero) and the white onion. Once that is done we are going to use about a tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the peppers, onions and garlic, in a cast iron skillet. Once they start to soften up over medium heat, we can add the liquid ingredients of the tomato sauce, Worchester sauce and BBQ sauce. This process should only take about 15 minutes, maybe 20 at most. Once this is done you can put it off to the side.

Combining Ingredients For Our Smoked Sloppy Joes Recipe

We have the ground beef on the smoker and our sauce is now done. When the ground beef gets to about 100° IT or about 30-40 minutes in you are going to add the sauce to the ground beef. You will want to stir it in and try to break up some of the ground beef into smaller pieces. Now that the ingredients are combined we will want to let the beef finish off and get to that IT of 165°. Again a little hard to check but do the best you can.

Smoked Sloppy Joes on a Kaiser bun

The entire smoking process will take a about 90 minutes. In theory if you time it right, adding the hot sloppy joe sauce to the ground beef should help move these smoky sloppy joes along.

Now that they are done you can serve them. Call them old fashioned sloppy joes but I always remember eating them on a hamburger bun. I served these smoked sloppy joes on a Kaiser roll but you go with what works for you. I added some French fried onions as a topping. If you want to add some more spice, you can top with some sliced jalapenos or maybe add some bacon and/or cheese.

I promise you will love this and when you are looking for a quick easy meal on the smoker this is one you can go to very easily. Thanks for being here and checking out this Smoked Sloppy Joes recipe. I hope you enjoy it! We always appreciate comments, 5 star recipe rating and social media shares. As always, keep that smoke rolling!

If you are looking for some other ground beef smoker recipes take a look at some of these suggestions and other ideas as well:

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Smoked Sloppy Joes

Smoked Sloppy Joes

We all remember growing up and eating sloppy joes for dinner. They were easy and cheap to make and enjoyed by all. Now we are all grown up and we are making smoked sloppy joes. Still easy to make, cheap and will be enjoyed by kids and adults. We just get to have fun making them on the smoker.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of lean ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp. of chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. of ground black pepper
  • 8 oz of tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp. of Worchester sauce
  • 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 2 habanero peppers

Instructions

  1. Heat up your smoker to a temperature of 250°, using hickory wood
  2. Combined your ground beef with the salt, pepper and chili pepper
  3. Place in a foil tray and place in the smoker
  4. While the beef is on the smoker, we are going to dice both peppers (remove the seeds on the habanero) and the white onion
  5. Using about a tablespoon of olive oil sauté the peppers, onions and garlic, in a cast iron skillet, until soft.
  6. Then add the liquid ingredients of the tomato sauce, Worchester sauce and BBQ sauce
  7. Stir until well combined
  8. At approx. 100° IT on the beef, add the sauce mixture to the beef, break up and stir in well with the ground beef
  9. Smoke the beef and sauce until an IT of 165 on the beef
  10. Once done, remove and serve on buns of your choice
  11. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 258Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 477mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 27g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 7/12/2022

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