I’ve previously produced my article on what I think is the best method of how to cook burgers on a pellet grill/smoker. This article is going to be more specific about cooking burgers on a Louisiana Grills pellet grill/smoker and their recommended methods. We’ll discuss why you might not want to follow Louisiana Grill’s methods below when it comes to food safety and when it comes to getting smoke flavour into a burger on a pellet grill/smoker.
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- Cooking Time Grilling: Typically 15 to 18 minutes
- Cooking Time Smoking: Typically 30 to 45 minutes
- Louisiana Grills Temp: For smoking around 225 F, for grilling 450-500 F
- Burger Internal Temp When Done: 160 F (we’ll discuss this)
- Best Pellets For Burgers: Oak, Hickory, Mesquite, maybe Charcoal pellets
I’m no BBQ expert, my expertise is how pellet grills/smokers work and the range of makes/models on the market. When it comes to how to cook on a pellet grill/smoker, I’ll be referring to the professionals.
Louisiana Grills Approach For How To Cook A Burger
Browsing through the Louisiana Grills website, I came across a Wagyu Steakhouse burger recipe that looked interesting. If you don’t know what Wagyu is, we’ll discuss that below.
Anyway, I then also managed to find the associated video from Louisiana Grills on how to produce these burgers, and I’ve included it below.
The problem I have with the video above this Louisiana Grills burger recipe is the advice to cook the burgers to medium-rare (125 F). Please don’t do this.
We’ll discuss why in more detail below, but please always cook your burgers to an internal temperature of 160 F. That is the only way to make sure your burger is safe to eat.
First though, let’s discuss the different types of ground beef that can be used to make up your burgers and why (if you can afford it) Wagyu beef is the way to go.
1: Your Ground Beef Needs Fat For A Good Burger
No one likes a dry burger, and while you may think that overcooking a burger is the only cause of a dry burger, it may be that the ground beef used to make the burger didn’t contain enough fat.
You see, to keep a burger juicy and tasty, even when its cooked to 160 F, you need sufficient fat within the burger patty meat. But what is sufficient?
Well, ideally, you want at least 20% fat in the ground beef or any other type of ground meat you’re using to produce your burgers.
Ground beef from rounds or sirloin only contains up to 10% fat. Therefore, on their own, if you are not going to add in some bacon etc, these types of ground beef can produce a dry burger.
However, if you can hold of some ground chuck beef which comes from the shoulders of the cow, the fat percentage will be up to 20%, typically branded as 80/20 ground beef.
Above I included a burger recipe from Louisiana Grills for Wagyu burgers. But what is Wagyu, and why can it make such delicious burger patties?
Wagyu is a breed of cattle from Japan that contains 20 to 30% fat. Hence, it can produce excellent juicy and tasty burgers. Well, there are now US-based farms with their own Wagyu cattle.
As Wagyu is top-quality meat, as you would expect, it does indeed cost more than your average ground beef. However, for a special occasion/treat, trust me, its well worth it.
2: Preparing & Seasoning For The Louisiana Grill
So you’ve got ground beef, and its got sufficient fat content (ideally 20% plus), its now time to shape and season the patties, ready to put them on your Louisiana Grill.
When shaping the ground beef into patties, do it gently and literally pat the patties into shape. If you overwork the meat, it will make a tough burger, and the smoke will also struggle to penetrate.
As I reference in my main article on how to cook a burger on a pellet grill/smoker, you then want to push your thumb down in the center of the burger patty.
This will stop the burger pattie from expanding into a ball shape as it cooks. It’s a good trick, and you will be amazed by how well it works if you have never tried it.
You then need to season your burgers. There is nothing wrong with just going with a little bit of sea salt and black pepper seasoning, but you may want to add more flavour.
You could choose to use the Prime Steakhouse Rub above. On top of salt and pepper, it contains coriander, toasted onion and roasted garlic.
What I would say though, is to be careful not to overseason your burger patties. You are not making a smoked brisket. Just a light bit of seasoning for burgers is enough.
3. The Best Louisiana Grills Pellets For Cooking A Burger
To choose the best pellets for cooking burgers, you first need to decide if you are going to smoke your burgers, or are you going to grill to them?
The reason is, when grilling, very little smoke is produced, so don’t worry about using a specific pellet for flavour. However, when grilling, standard oak pellets will actually produce more heat than say, an Apple pellet blend.
If you are going to smoke your burgers at a lower temperature, say 225 F or below, your pellet grill/smoker will produce more smoke and impart more smoke flavour into the burgers.
When smoking, you then have to decide if you are looking for a very bold smokey flavour? If so, your best option would be to go for the Hickory, Mesquite or maybe even the Whisky barrel blend.
If you are looking for a lighter smoke flavour with sweeter tones, then either the Apple or Cherry blends would be the better option.
I would encourage you though to check out my article on the best value smoking/grilling pellets, as its actually the Louisiana Grills sibling brand Pit Boss that provides the best value pellets.
Pellet Usage When Smoking/Grilling A Burger
Generally, Traeger’s at lower smoking temperatures will consume between 1 to 2 lbs of pellets per hour. When grilling, pellet usage can jump up to 3 to 4 lbs per hour.
When smoking burgers, the total cook time will go up to maybe 45 minutes. If purely grilling at a higher temperature, the cooking time will be between 15 to 18 minutes, typically.
Some models in the Louisiana Grills range feature twin-wall insulation, which will see reduced pellet usage as they can better hold onto the heat.
4. Smoking Burgers On A Louisiana Grill
When it comes to smoking burgers on a Louisiana Grill pellet grill/smoker, unlike many other makes, there is not a dedicated smoke setting.
Therefore, besides trying to introduce more smoke with a smoke tube, your best bet for smoke flavour is to use a low temperature, typically around 225 F, but maybe lower.
At lower temperatures, as there is a smaller fire, there will be more smoke/smoulder pellets as a result. Furthermore, the cook will take longer, hence a longer time for the burgers to absorb the smoke.
As shown in the video above, if you want to put cheese on your burgers at the 140-150 F mark, you can slap some cheese on each one, and it will be perfect once the burgers are at 160 F.
Alternatively, if you want to smoke and then grill your burgers, you could up the temperature of your Louisiana Grill to grilling temps when the burgers are around an internal temperature of 140 F.
5. Grilling Burgers On A Louisiana Grill
All Louisiana Grills pellet grills/smokers benefit from direct-flame access. Therefore, you are not going to struggle to get the grate to around 600 degrees plus.
That’s not the case on all pellet grills/smokers, such as Traeger and Z Grill products, where GrillGrates and Charcoal pellets are needed for good grilling/searing performance.
While flame grilling your burgers can be a nice way to finish off a smoked burger, you could obviously just grill your burgers without smoking them for the fastest cook time possible.
However, with such high grate surface temperatures, you do have to be careful not to overcook/burn the outside of the burgers, leaving the inside of the burgers under 160 F.
Therefore, when grilling burgers, you need to be really on point, constantly monitoring how they are cooking, and they will need to be turned over to sear both sides.
6. But When Is A Burger ‘Done’ Cooking?
When it comes to burgers, I don’t mess around with rare or medium-rare and such like, and neither should you. Don’t get me wrong, I love a medium-rare steak.
However, burgers are not steak, and ground/minced meat carries with it an increased risk of E. coli bacteria and potential poisoning.
Therefore, following CDC & FDA advice, I would only ever recommend that burger patties are cooked to 160 F. But at the same time, you don’t want to overcook your burgers.
With a decent/accurate instant-read thermometer, the Thermapen being an example, you can quickly check the internal temperature of your burgers to pull them off just at the right time.
Therefore, they will be safe to eat (160 F) and not overcooked/dry. If you use ground meat with sufficient fat (20% plus), your burgers should not be dry.
How To Cook Frozen Burgers On A Louisiana Grill
Let’s say you don’t have the time to prepare your own burger patties. You’ve simply got to prepare some burgers as quickly as possible, hence frozen burgers.
Well, to keep going with the theme of ‘speed’, don’t bother trying to smoke burgers on your Louisiana Grill, just grill/sear them up to 160 F.
As frozen burger patties are typically pretty thin and, at the same time, dense, they will not absorb smoke readily, so taking the time to try and smoke them is pretty pointless.
However, as I stated above, when grilling/searing, you do need to be careful not to burn the outside of the burger patties before the centre has reached the proper temperature.
Final Thoughts On How To Cook Burgers On A Louisiana Grill…
Cooking good burgers is about starting with good ground beef (sufficient fat), gently forming the patties and seasoning them appropriately.
When it comes to smoking the burgers, the longer the cook time, the more smoke that can be absorbed. Therefore, for smoking burgers, go with a temperature around 225 F, maybe lower.
As Louisiana Grills all benefit from direct-flame access, getting a good sear going on the outside of your burgers for that great flavour/texture is not a problem compared to some other pellet grills.
However, you still need to be careful not to burn the outside of your burgers before the centre get’s to that all-crucial 160 F for the burgers to be safe to eat.
That’s it! Thanks for reading, I hope you found the above information and videos above useful on how to cook a burger on a pellet grill/smoker.
Please check out my Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker Guide to learn more. However, I’ve also produced an FAQ section below, which you may also find useful.