bbq burgerI love me some barbecue. Real barbecue -- the smoky, melting-off-the-bone kind of barbecue that comes from hours and hours on a flame. Not being a master BBQ griller myself I have to rely on my local restaurants. But every once in a while I wonder if I can just cheat a little and get that same flavor at home without the hours at the grill.

Why not try with hamburgers? Here are four simple ideas for giving your burgers that smoky, barbecue flavor -- just in time for the weekend! Hope yours is sunny and warm enough for grilling.

Top with barbecue sauce: All right, let's start with the obvious. Just put your favorite sauce on the burger! You'll want that sauce to cook into the patty a little, though, to really get that flavor. I recommend pouring some on after you've flipped the burger while it's finishing.

Barbecue sauce mix-in: Here's a recipe for mixing the sauce right into your burger meat. You'll want to be careful here -- if you add too much sauce your patties won't hold together. But what I like about this recipe is that it adds spice rub in as well.

Make your own spice rub: Or you can make your own spice mix by lifting it from a barbecue recipe. Here's a spice-rubbed grilled pork chops recipe. It's a recipe for six to eight chops, so figure on adding the same amount of spice mix to your meat for six to eight burgers, give or take depending on how spicy you like your burgers.

Add wood chips: You can get some of that smoked flavor by switching-up your fire. If you're using a charcoal grill, throw in some smoking wood chips or mesquite briquettes. Instead of using lighter fluid (which will cover up your lovely BBQ flavor with eu de gasoline) use a chimney starter or TK

Bacon: Not to belabor the bacon obsession, but it's already smoked (or something depending on what kind you buy). So topping your burger with a slice or two always helps.

And now, a public service announcement. Every time someone eats a grass-fed beef burger an angel gets its wings.

Have you ever tried mixing barbecue sauce into your burgers?

 

Image via Phillie Casablanca/Flickr