The Classic Hickory Smoked Barbecue Burger

Serving Size: 4

People talk about “thirty-minute meals,” and I’m thinking, “I can make a delicious dinner in ten.” And this is how:

Note that I like a big, juicy burger: If you don’t, instead of four big burgers, make six smaller ones. Either way, don’t handle the meat too much: The looser it is packed, without falling apart, the juicer the burger becomes. You want to just combine it with the mustard and the rub so that the flavors are worked in properly, but don’t over-handle it or you’ll get a tough burger. Have a light touch, move quickly, and you’ve got yourself dinner.

Barbecue Burger

  • 1.5 Pound ground beef, preferably ground chuck with at least 20% fat, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Only Rub*
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns, split
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 Tbsp Only Sauce**
  • Lettuce, tomato, and any other toppings you like
  1. Heat a charcoal grill or gas grill to medium-high heat.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the beef with the mustard and rub, gently kneading into 4 to 6 equal patties, about ¾ inch thick each. Season the burgers very generously with salt and pepper and transfer to a plate lined with plastic wrap. Brush the cut sides of the buns with the melted butter.
  3. Grill the burgers directly on the grill for about 10 minutes, turning once, for medium. Move the burgers away from the heat to rest on a warm (but definitely not hot) part of the grill and grill the cut sides of the buns for about 1 minute, until toasted.

Makes 4-6 burgers

Only Rub*

  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp mustard powder
  • 2 Tbsp onion powder

In a large  bowl, combine all the ingredients. Stir thoroughly to combine. You can store this rub in an airtight container for up to 1 year.

Only Sauce**

  • 2 Tbsp onion powder
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 6-ounce cans tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp paprika
  • 0.67 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 0.25 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and  pulse a couple of times to thoroughly combine. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir continuously until the sauce is heated through, but do not allow it to come to a boil. Remove the  pan  from the  heat. Use the  sauce immediately as you like, or, if reserving for a later use, allow  the  mixture to cool, then pour it into a large bottle or container and store, tightly covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 year.