RECIPES: How to Smoke a Burger (with BBQ sauce)

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For a story in our summer issue, we spent an afternoon at the beach with an Edible Icon, George Motz, talking burgers. Instead of grilling, Motz schooled us in his method for smoking burgers, and wow, were they delicious! In addition to smoked burgers, featuring Motz’s homemade barbecue sauce, we also feasted on marinated grilled shrimp, ocean corn and summer shandies. Our cups, plates and pages overfloweth; for that reason, we are sharing all of his methods and recipes here.

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Method for Smoking Burgers

Presoak small hickory chips/shavings for up to 2 hours. Prepare a Weber grill with hot coals pushed to one side.

Form FRESH GROUND 80/20 chuck into 6-ounce patties. Just before placing on grill, salt both sides of the patties (if you sale too early your burger will stiffen). Place patties on the OPPOSITE side of your coals (usually not past half of the grill surface). Add a handful of the wet hickory chips to the hot coals and cover immediately. Open both top and bottom vents. Check coals and condition of chips and add chips every 15 minutes or so. Resist the temptation to open the grill top in the interval—precious smoke will escape.

Flip patties after 25 minutes. Cook for approximately 45 to 55 minutes and serve immediately with BBQ sauce, pickles (we used Divine Brine’s Bread and Butter Pickles) and sautéed onions ONLY on a toasted white squishy bun or potato roll.

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Motz’s Homemade BBQ Sauce
1 cup ketchup
½ cup apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, pressed
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup Sugar in the Raw
3 tablespoons Steen’s Pure Case Syrup (or good molasses)
3 tablespoons yellow mustard

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan, stir frequently over low heat for 20+ minutes until reduced, thick and brown. Store in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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Motz’s Easy Idiot-Proof Shrimp Marinade
(Great for chicken, too, or just about anything to hit the grill)
In a ziplock bag add:
8 cloves pressed garlic
2 cups orange juice
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons olive oil

Place shrimp in the bag, and squeeze sealed bag to mix contents. Store in fridge for up to 4 hours before grilling. Skewer and toss on hot grill, cook for 5-7 minutes.

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Ocean Corn
“Half-husk” ears of fresh corn (leave half of the husk ON) and cut off silk. Soak ears in a big clean bucket of ocean water for 2 hours. Place wet ears on hot grill for up to 15 minutes, rotating frequently. Husk and add butter, lemon, salt, cayenne…whatever. Enjoy.

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