Don't serve another basic burger at your next cookout. Up the flavor ante by doubling the beef patties and using this signature smoky, spicy tomato relish.
Smoked Ketchup (makes about 2½ cups; optional)
- One 20-ounce bottle ketchup
Smoky tomato relish (makes about 1 cup)
- 1/3 cup chili sauce, preferably Heinz
- 1/3 cup smoked ketchup, store-bought or homemade
- 1/3 pickle relish
- Eight 3½-ounce burger patties
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 slices sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 burger buns
- Butter, softened
- Iceberg lettuce, shredded
- 8 pickle slices
- 1 cup smoky tomato relish (recipe above)
- 4 ounces mayonnaise
For the smoked ketchup:
Preheat smoker to 200 degrees. Pour the ketchup into a heat-proof shallow dish.
Place the dish on the top rack of your smoker and smoke for 2 hours. Stir a couple times during the smoking.
For the smoky tomato relish:
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
For the burgers:
1. Heat the grill to medium-high heat.
2. Season burger liberally with kosher salt and black pepper.
3. Place the burgers on the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. When the first red juices start to come out of the top of the burger, place one piece of cheese on top of each patty.
4. When corners of cheese just start to turn down, pull the burgers off of the grill and let rest.
5. Butter the top and bottom of the buns and toast on the grill to warm (don't do this ahead or the bread may dry out).
6. Place a small handful of iceberg lettuce and a couple pickle slices on each bottom bun, top with cheese-covered beef patties followed by the smoky tomato relish. Dress the top bun with mayonnaise and serve the burgers.