Go Back Email Link
+ servings

Smoked Smash Cheeseburgers with Bacon and Buffalo Ranch

Simple-but-delicious Smoked BBQ Source smash burgers with crispy bacon, caramelized onions and homemade ranch dressing.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 889kcal
Author Phen Pavelka


For the Burgers (yields 4 burgers):

  • 8 slices thin-cut bacon
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1.3 lb ground beef at least 80/20 fat ratio
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper ground
  • 4 slices Havarti cheese
  • ½ cup water
  • brioche hamburger buns
  • dill pickles
  • 1 head butter lettuce

For the Buffalo Ranch:

  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise I used Duke's
  • cup flat-leaf parsley minced
  • 2 tbsp green onions green parts only, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill minced
  • ½ tsp distilled white vinegar
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • tsp cayenne to taste
  • ½ cup buttermilk


Buffalo Ranch Sauce:

  • In a nonreactive bowl, pour the salt over the chopped garlic.
  • Use a fork to mash the garlic into a paste.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, except the buttermilk, and whisk to combine.
  • Slowly add the buttermilk, stirring until you get a smooth consistency.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Bacon and onions:

  • Preheat half the griddle to medium heat and the other half to medium-low heat.
  • Put the bacon strips on the medium heat side at least an inch apart.
  • Let the bacon fat render and spread some to the medium-low side of the griddle.
  • Toss the onion slices in the bacon fat and toss to coat.
  • Sprinkle salt over the onions and leave them alone until they start to brown on the bottom side.
  • Flip your bacon when it’s to your desired crispiness on one side. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate when it’s to your liking.
  • Flip the onions over and let the other side caramelize fully until they are a golden brown throughout and limp. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.

Smoke the Burgers:

  • Set smoker or grill for indirect cooking at low temperature 160°F - 180°F.
  • If using traditional smoker, add smoking chunks.
  • Divide the beef into 4 and roll loosely into balls.
  • Place the balls directly on the smoker racks and let smoke 30 - 40 minutes or until they slightly darken in color.
  • Remove the meat from the smoker and let sit at room temperature.

Smash the Burgers:

  • Wipe excess grease from the griddle with paper towels and increase heat to high.
  • Once the griddle top starts to smolder, place the four balls of beef on the cooktop.
  • Smash the burgers down on the griddle for 3 - 5 seconds with a burger press. Slide the burger press slowly off the top of the meat being careful not to tear the meat.
  • Season the burgers liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Let cook until you see juices start to pool on the top of the burger and the outer edges are brown, roughly 2 minutes.
  • Use a spatula to flip the burger. Be careful not to rip the sear from the burger. You’ll need to apply pressure to the spatula and scrape the sear from the griddle top so it stays with the meat and not stuck to the cooktop.
  • Season flipped side with salt and pepper.
  • Place one slice of havarti cheese on each burger and drizzle water around the edges. The steam will help melt the cheese onto the burger.
  • Let cook undisturbed until cheese melts and burgers are medium-rare, another 1 - 2 minutes.
  • Remove burgers and tent with foil while you prepare the buns.

Dress and serve the Burgers:

  • Start with the heel of one brioche bun. Spread about a teaspoon of Buffalo Ranch on the bottom bun.
  • Add 3 - 4 dill pickles that touch the edges of the bun.
  • Place a burger patty on top of the pickles.
  • Add caramelized onions, two slices of bacon and finish with a leaf of butter lettuce.
  • Spread more buffalo ranch on the top bun and place it onto the burger.
  • Serve immediately.


Calories: 889kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 77g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 175mg | Sodium: 1122mg | Potassium: 741mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2213IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 271mg | Iron: 4mg