Montana Grills

Recipes - Beef - Smokin' Chile Cheeseburgers

Hamburger Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground sirloin
  • 3 long green chile peppers
  • 3 finely chopped green onions (the green part only)
  • ½ tsp coarse-ground sea salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 finely chopped medium-sized garlic cloves
  • 4 slices monterey jack cheese (with or without jalapenos)
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 3 sliced plum tomatoes
  • 8 leaves of crisp lettuce
  • Mesquite Smoking Chips soaked in water for about 5 minutes

Mayonnaise Ingredients

  • 3 large fresh red jalapenos
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yoke
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced lime zest
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Mesquite Smoking Chips soaked in water or the liquid of your choice for about 5 minutes


Smoking the jalapenos won't lead to a true chipotle pepper, so you can substitute chipotle peppers from a can or jar if you prefer. Look for chipotle peppers with adobo sauce - discard most of the sauce before adding to the mayonnaise. If you cannot find red jalapenos, use green ones. Wash the jalapenos and remove the stems. Split the jalapenos lengthwise (don't cut all the way through). For more kick, leave the seeds intact. For less, remove the seeds and ribs. Slow smoke the jalapenos with mesquite smoking chips on the grill at about 200° F for about 2 hours. The jalapenos can be smoked ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator in a zip-lock bag overnight.

Chop the smoked jalapenos into ¼" squares. In a food processor, combine the jalapenos, egg, egg yolk, lime juice, lime zest, mustard and salt. Blend until smooth. Keep the motor running at a lower speed and slowly pour in the oil through the feed chute. The finished mayonnaise can be stored in an air tight container for up to two days.

The chile peppers for the burgers can be grilled at the same time as the red peppers for the mayonnaise recipe. Wash the peppers, but leave them whole, with the stems on. Preheat the grill to medium heat, about 300° F to 400° F. Place the chile peppers directly over the flame, and turn frequently until at least 75% of the skins are black.

Remove the chile peppers from the grill and place in a bowl, covered with a plate for 10 minutes. Scrape off the charred skin and discard. Remove the stem and seeds and discard. Coarsely chop the remaining flesh.

Combine the ground sirloin, green chile peppers, green onion, garlic salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix and knead with your hands to really work together the ingredients and break down the ground sirloin texture. Divide the meat into equal sized balls. Flatten the balls into patties. For burgers that are to be medium, make the patties 1" thick. Increasing or reducing the thickness will have a proportionate effect the rareness of the meat.

Preheat the grill to 500° F and get the smoking chips going for smoke. When the grill is at 500° F and the wood is smoking, it's time to grill. The burgers should be brought to room temperature while the grill is preheating.

Grill the burgers for 4 minutes with the lid closed. Flip the burgers to grill for an additional 4 minutes. After 3 minutes, open the lid and, working as quickly as possible, put the cheese slices on the burgers, squirt water onto the burners (not onto the burgers) and close the lid. The water will create an intense burst of steam heat that should nicely melt your cheese within the remaining minute. Place the burgers on the buns and serve, add the tomatoes, lettuce and the mayonnaise you've prepared.