It’s the big night full of fun costumes, trick-or-treating, and, most importantly, some family time. We want everyone to have the best night possible, and one way to help guarantee that happens is by leaving the house with a nice full belly! We’ve put together a recipe collection to help you make a healthy meal and do it quickly so you can get back to painting faces, adding accessories, and making sure everyone has their candy bucket ready to go.
Because just getting out of the house is hard, here is a recipe you can take on the go. Put the ingredients out on the table buffet style, let everyone add what they want and then head out to go collect candy!
And if getting a meal in before trick-or-treating is just not going to happen, offer this delicious and easy snack full of protein and other nutrients. It’ll keep everyone fueled up for the night and not because of the sugar.
Reposted from the Chiles and Smoke blog found HERE. Brad Prose is a Phoenix-born family man, professional recipe developer, food writer, and culinary photographer – the force behind Chiles and Smoke™. His combined passion for fine dining and BBQ shines through his presentations and cooking style. Brad uses social media, the website, and his brand to share his passion and story to inspire new ideas.
If you smoke it, they will come. Smoked Burgers should be the official smell of the summer. There’s something magical about the way the smoke lightly permeates the rich beef. It’s that added ingredient you never knew you were missing.
Burgers cooked on the grill already induce that Pavlovian response. Burgers enveloped in a mysterious hug of smoke will make you the new king of the hill and backyard hero. This will break down the process of burgers on a pellet grill, gas grill, and charcoal grill.
Whether it’s happened to you, or you’ve witnessed the pyrotechnics of someone else grilling burgers, we’ve all seen them get torched. These easy-to-follow steps will give you juicy burgers packed with flavor every single time. Here are some of the reasons you’re going to convert to smoked burgers:
Smoking burgers keep them juicy while adding another layer of flavor.
This method works on any type of grill or smoker.
Precise timing allows you to plan accordingly.
Customize the flavor profiles with both your choice of wood and toppings.
Less likely to burn as they are cooked indirectly.
This method works for a few burgers or if you decide to smoke burgers for a crowd.
HOW TO MAKE SMOKED BURGERS
Whether you’re looking for how long to smoke burgers or learning how to cook hamburgers in a smoker, let’s bite into the meat of it all. The process to make smoked burgers starts the same regardless of what you are going to smoke your burgers on. This step can be done the night before.
PREPPING THE BEEF FOR SMOKING
Form your ground chuck into four equal-sized patties, careful not to over-press the meat. Use your thumb to lightly press down in the center of each burger patty to create a divot. This will prevent the smoked burgers from swelling in the center during the cooking process.
Chill the beeffirst. Place each individual patty onto a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Allow them to refrigerate for at least an hour up to overnight. Letting them set up will help them keep their shape while also giving them a red smoke ring on the outside that will impress your family and friends.
Form the patties about 1/2-inch wider than the bun. They will shrink on the grill, so make sure you use a bun to measure the size if you need.
Is there anything better than a juicy cheeseburger dripping down your arm as you go in for that cheesy bite? It doesn’t take many ingredients for these smoked hamburgers to have you rolling up your sleeves and going in for the burger hunch. You could go with a typical salt & pepper blend and have success, but if you’re looking for a deeper flavor profile, here’s a suggestion:
Espresso Steak Rub
This rub provides a balance of earthy, bitter, warm, and savory flavors that compliments the ground beef without overpowering it. In addition, it also works well with the flavors of barbecue sauce.
One of the best things about this recipe is that you don’t have to sweat over having the right equipment. Any grill or smoker will work for making smoked burgers, as long as you have the wood chips for it. They are SO affordable and allow you to mix and match.
Using the Pellet Smoker
Make sure your hopper is filled with pellets.
Preheat your grill or smoker to 250-275°F. Make sure your grates are clean.
Place your burgers onto the grates and close the lid.
Using a Charcoal Grill
Prepare your charcoal grill for 2-zone cooking, aiming for about 250-275°F. This means you are going to bank your charcoal to one side of the grill creating a hot zone and cool zone.
Add a handful of wood chips over the top of your charcoal, making sure to evenly distribute them. This will prevent any flare-ups.
Place your burgers on the cooler side, making sure to monitor the ones closest to the coals.
Using a Gas Grill
Create a foil pack. Tear off a piece of foil large enough to accommodate about 1 cup of wood chips that are spread out. Fold all the sides over to create an envelope. Use a fork or knife to carefully pierce 2-3 holes in the top of the foil pack so the smoke can escape. Be careful not to pierce all the way through both sides of the foil, and also don’t create too many holes.
Preheat your grill to 250-275°F. Place the foil pack on top of a burner turned to high heat. Allow the wood chips to smolder as it comes to temperature.
Place the prepared burger patties on the cool side of the grill and close the lid.
ADDING FLAVORS WITH WOOD CHIPS
If you’re using a charcoal grill or a gas grill, wood chips come in handy for an affordable way to add smoke.
Use a stronger wood flavor, such as mesquite, pecan, hickory, or oak. These smoked hamburgers don’t take too long, and beef can really soak it in. My personal favorite is a combination of hickory and mesquite, giving it that nice smokey bacon profile. This is the time to infuse it with flavor!
Check out the video tutorial below for a highlight of the benefits and uses:
Important Tips for Maximum Flavor
Use beef with at least 15% fat. The low and slow process of having your burgers in a smoker can cause the beef to dry out if it’s too lean. I typically recommend either 80/20 or 85/15, whichever you prefer.
Don’t season your burgers ahead of time. Salt can draw out the moisture in a way that will cause the textures and flavors to be off with burgers. Season the hamburger patties right before you place them into the smoker or grill instead.
Monitor the temperature of your smoked hamburgers. An instant-read thermometer is a great way to ensure you reach your desired temperature. If you are looking for a slightly pink color, you’ll want to smoke the burgers until about 135°F before searing (if you choose to), or just cook them until about 160°F temperature and allow the burgers to rest.
Searing your burgers is not necessary. Not only is it an extra step (and potentially much more work depending on your grill) but you run the risk of overcooking. However, if you would like more of a crust on your burgers, begin searing them when you are about 20 degrees from your desired temperature.
Rest is best, even with burgers. Allow the smoked hamburgers to rest for 5-10 minutes, loosely tented with foil. This is a great time to toast your hamburger buns.
IDEAL TOPPINGS FOR YOUR BURGERS
When it comes to building the ultimate smoked hamburger, you always want to think about how flavors and textures play together, as well as temperatures. Because these burgers have a hint of sweetness from barbecue sauce, something acidic is a nice counterpoint.
There should never be too much of any one thing because you want to taste each burger topping while also having them all work together. These are just some suggestions for this smoked burger, but let the burger be your canvas and make it your own.
Gouda cheese: mildly and creamy, it has an ideal melt factor while not overpowering the smoke flavor. Muenster, Havarti, and the classic American cheese are other options.
White onions: The sharp freshness of the onions cuts through the richness of the beef and cheese. They also offer an irresistible crunch.
Pickled jalapenos: The heat and acid balance the sweetness of the barbecue sauce while adding a kick to every bite. The white onion and pickled jalapenos are a traditional pairing with Texas BBQ which compliments the barbecue sauce.
Good quality mayonnaise: Spread it, slather it, smear it. Nobody likes dry buns. Mayo is the ideal condiment for this burger. It doesn’t overpower anything while offering up just enough tang to liven everything up.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why should I smoke burgers?
Smoking burgers allows you to infuse your burgers with the additional flavor of smoke while keeping them juicy. Cooking them at a lower temperature keeps them juicy and helps prevent flare-ups.
Do I need to sear my smoked burgers?
No. This process uses a lower temperature to cook the burgers more gently. However, you can sear them if you want the additional texture; you just risk overcooking them.
Do I need to soak my wood chips for smoked burgers?
No! There is no need to soak your wood chips for either use on a charcoal grill or gas grill. Not only does it drop the temperature for charcoal grilling, but it also affects the flavor.
What type of wood should I use for smoked burgers?
Have fun playing around and discover what you like. Any type of oak, mesquite, or hickory is all great options.
Celebrate National Cheeseburger Day on September 18th with a few of these great-tasting recipes created just for you by the culinary team over at Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. You will find a recipe for everyone in this collection, from the Lean Mean Cheeseburgers to the Classic Cheeseburger recipe. Check all of these out, and have a great National Cheeseburger Day!
It’s that time of the year: when we patiently wait for the Arizona temps to drop, pumpkin spice is now in every coffee cup, and the Friday night lights kick on along with our favorite teams competing on Sundays. Whether you’re at the stadium tailgating or entertaining at home, nothing brings people together like a little party with a lot of beef. Check out some of our favorite Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. recipes for tailgating season.
Celebrity chef Hugh Acheson shares one of his favorite snacks, perfect for an at home tailgate, with this “as seen on GoodMorningAmerica.com” recipe that pairs chicken-fried Strip Steak with a hot sauce gravy.
National Fajita Day is August 18th this year, but in reality, any day is a good day for fajitas! They are easy, convenient, and oh so delicious. We didn’t even talk about their versatility! To help you celebrate this important day (or any other day), we’ve put together a collection of beef fajita recipes sure to satisfy any craving. This recipe collection has everything from quick and easy to traditional to boundary-pushing! Check it out, save the link for later, and enjoy!
Do a little bit of prep and tomorrow’s dinner is basically ready to go. Marinate Flank Steak overnight in lime juice and garlic, then chop up a zesty pico de gallo while the beef is on the grill. Be sure to slice steak against the grain for max tenderness.
Got a hankering for just classic beef fajitas? This recipe is every bit as easy as ordering from a restaurant. Marinate and grill beef Flank or Skirt steak, serve with peppers and onions. Easy as that.
While beef fajitas are already packed with loads of nutrients, if you want to up your veggie intake just a little more, this is the recipe for you! All the flavors of Flank Steak fajitas served on a crunchy bed of greens make for a colorful and peppery salad.
Hot days are here, and lighter dishes that utilize the grill are preferred by many during these warmer summer months. Save the link to this post because you are going to want to reference these beef recipes that are on the lighter side and use the grill. So you keep the heat outdoors, where it belongs. Check out some of our favorite salad recipes and even a special recipe to help use leftover hamburgers from your family cookout in four ways.
Could this recipe get any better? Grilled steak and grilled watermelon? We don’t think so. Watermelon and steak are grilled and served with a bright and colorful salad. This recipe is perfect for summertime.
Denver, CO (June 30, 2022) – Dressing in red, white, and blue and rounding up the sparklers is all part of the fun of Independence Day, but what’s really going to light up the holiday – is steak on the grill. With the holiday falling on a Monday this year, Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner., funded by the Beef Checkoff, is here with ideas for using leftovers from the Fourth for delicious meals to keep the celebration going all week long.
If you’re looking for something light and fresh after a night of watching fireworks, this Grilled Steak and Watermelon Salad recipe makes for the perfect meal. Grilled watermelon, cherry tomatoes, and red onion give it color, but grilled slices of steak from the night before pack this salad with protein. Just toss it together with your favorite dressing and some feta cheese and you instantly have a hassle-free, summertime favorite.
Another mouthwatering meal to make use of those Fourth of July leftovers are these Sirloin Sandwiches with Red Onion Marmalade. A hoagie bun filled with slices of grilled top sirloin steak with creamy goat cheese and homemade red onion marmalade will get your tastebuds booming with flavor.
And to top off the week, this Pesto Steak & Arugula Pizza gives a delectable new take on everyone’s favorite pie. Featuring slices of grilled sirloin steak, pesto, tomatoes and arugula, this pizza aims for new heights when it comes to repurposing a nice, juicy steak.
So, fire up the grill and plan to hang on to those leftovers, because these three recipes are just a few examples of how you can celebrate big.
Generation Z (ages 9-24) and Generation Alpha (under 12) are growing quickly and shaping social movements, pop culture, and purchasing habits. It’s important to reach this generation of the next decision-makers early and share with them on the importance of including beef in a healthy, sustainable diet. To do this, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, has developed resources and partnered with leading media among youth. This work has so far included developing games, videos, and graphics on the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner kids sustainability page, plus print and digital articles and interactive quizzes with Scout Life, The Week Jr., Sports Illustrated and Sports Illustrated Kids, Popsugar, and Thrillist.
Life on a cattle ranch is beautiful yet challenging and sharing that experience with others is one of the best ways to show how ranchers care for our land, cattle, and the people who love beef. The Greenlee County Cowbelles and Graham County Cattlewomen recently held an event to do just that, called “Ranch Days.” Fourth-grade teachers were invited to bring their classrooms on either March 10th or the 11th to the Menges Ranch on the historic Black Hills Back Country Byway to learn about how cattle are raised and the importance of beef in their diets. Four school districts signed up, but one was not able to attend due to a bus driver shortage. Almost 300 students spent a day with cattlewomen from the two groups and other volunteers from the Duncan Women’s Club, the Safford Women’s Club, and the Greenlee and Graham Cooperative Extension offices. Bags were provided by the Arizona Beef Council and were filled with educational games and information about beef, as well as a collection of byproduct examples so the students could identify the many items that come from cattle.
The real fun began on March 10th when the Thatcher and Duncan Elementary students showed up at the Menges ranch. They spent the day with various cattlemen and women as they rotated around to different stations across the ranch. Station One focused on the equipment ranchers use on the ranch, including tack and ropes. The students even had a chance to throw a rope to see if they could catch the calf! Station Two taught the students all about the byproducts that come from cattle. Station Three focused on the different breeds of cattle and the equipment used to work cattle, like chutes and corrals. The students saw what a cow sees when in a chute as they walked through the system. The importance of a squeeze chute, which is used to hold an animal still for various treatments, was also explained.
Station Four was all about water and how ranchers build water systems to move water to many areas on a ranch. This helps to ensure cattle move around to graze and don’t stay in the same place all the time. It’s also essential for wildlife! Station Five discussed the need for branding, a vital task in Arizona. Students learned how to read a brand and came up with one for themselves. Station Six introduced the students to ranch horses and how they help ranchers do their work. Many of the students had never been close to a horse, so that was exciting. Then they learned about the parts of a horse and the importance of proper care. Station Seven showed how ranchers preserve the history of our state by protecting artifacts and structures left by our ancestors.
The students thoroughly enjoyed the day and shared their gratitude in heartfelt and adorable thank you notes. This tour gives teachers and administrators a great incentive to work with ranchers to attend tours because it provides their students a hands-on opportunity to learn about a major industry in Arizona. With many volunteers from the local communities participating, this tour was simple to put together and can be easily replicated in other areas of Arizona.
Three ranchers share their sustainability practices in celebration of Earth Day
Denver, CO (April 21, 2022) – The U.S. is home to some of the most beautiful land in the world along with beef farmers and ranchers who have spent decades dedicating their work to preserving it. Because of their dedication, the U.S. produces the most sustainable beef in the world.
In honor of Earth Day, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, is sharing the stories of three ranchers who represent the thousands of cattle producers across the country who implement sustainable practices every day.
While water may be scarce in the deserts of Southern Arizona, conservation efforts are flourishing thanks to cattle rancher Dean Fish. As Ranch Manager for the Santa Fe Ranch Foundation in Nogales, Fish isn’t a stranger to finding innovative ways to discover, retain and distribute clean water effectively and sustainably.
Being sustainable runs in the family as Fish’s father, Ron Fish, was first to implement the changes to the ranch’s concrete open ditch irrigation system. In its place, Fish’s father installed an underground pipe with valves designed to direct water exactly where it needs to go more effectively and with less evaporation or leakage.
The ranch also utilizes windmills and solar pumps to provide water, not just for livestock, but to additional wildlife species in the area.
Thanks to the sustainable and innovative practices, a once desolate piece of land is now home to a successful cattle ranch. And Fish is not alone as he has educated hundreds of other ranchers on conservation practices to help them be successful in raising cattle and caring for natural resources.
While these three ranchers live in different areas of the country with very different resources and challenges, they share a common goal of producing high-quality protein and conserving their local environments.
“I enjoy the opportunity to educate others coming into the area on what land conservation in Florida looks like,” said Jim Strickland. “It’s important to make the connection of how cattle ranching protects our wildlife. There’s a lot to look out for and we’re improving every day.”
“When you’re sitting back watching television shows based in Montana and think ‘Wow, it’s so beautiful’ most of what you see is someone’s private farm or ranch,” said Jake Feddes. “We’ve gotten more efficient and have been able to raise more cattle on the same amount of land as we did decades ago, and the scenery here tells part of that story.”
“It’s all about preserving the wildlife and natural resources,” said Dean Fish. “Here in southeast Arizona, it’s too hot to farm fruits or vegetables on this land so a sustainable cow-calf operation is a great way to use the landscape.”
The cattle business comes as second nature for sixth-generation rancher Jim Strickland. As owner of Strickland Ranch and managing partner of Blackbeard’s Ranch in Manatee County, Florida, he’s dedicated his life’s work to conserving the land, waterways, and surrounding habitat of the Myakka River Valley. In 2019 Blackbeard’s Ranch was recognized with the national Environmental Stewardship Award for that work.
With thousands of new residents moving to the area every day, Strickland saw the opportunity to educate newcomers on the importance of ranch lands. Not only that, but he also led the effort to designate one-third of Blackbeard’s Ranch into a permanent conservation easement, making it so that land stays untouched by development and continues to restore and protect native waterways.
In addition to preserving open space and natural resources, Strickland utilizes wind and solar energy to provide cattle with clean water and execute an effective rotational grazing plan. Strickland has also initiated mini damns across thousands of acres and miles of creeks to hydrate and store more water on the ranch, helping the water quality before it reaches the oceans surrounding Florida.
As if it weren’t already clear that Earth Day is near and dear to Strickland’s heart, it’s also his birthday.
Picturesque views and a hub for tourism are a few words you could use to describe the north end of Yellowstone National Park, but to cattle rancher Jake Feddes it’s home. Feddes is a third-generation cattle rancher who, along with his father, runs Feddes Red Angus in the Gallatin Valley. In addition to selling high-quality beef, the Feddes family is known for their efforts to promote healthy soil. For example, they develop and follow a grazing plan to ensure cattle are constantly grazing on and fertilizing different areas of the land. Through this dedication to grazing and land management their cattle actually help improve overall soil health.
Like most of the west, water is a precious commodity at Feddes Red Angus. That’s why Feddes and his family grow cover crops to help retain moisture in the soil and prevent erosion. When they’re not growing hay, they’re growing other perennial forage plants that cattle can graze on. Not only does this help with moisture, it helps to preserve the area’s natural landscape.
Tourists that visit the Gallatin Valley come to appreciate the outdoors and mountain views but leave knowing a little more about how proper conservation practices keep it looking beautiful and serving a greater purpose.
About the Beef Checkoff The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The Checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States may retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.
About NCBA, a Contractor to the Beef Checkoff The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program. The Beef Checkoff Program is administered by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, with oversight provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.