Smoky Pork Burgers
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Test Kitchen Approved Recipe

Smoky, sweet, and tangy flavors collide in this quick-to-assemble pork burger featuring one of our customer favorite spice blends -- Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning. Don't skip the quick-pickled carrot topping; it really makes the burger.

4 servings

Active Prep: 10 min
Cook: 10 min


  • For quick-pickled carrots:

  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. coarse salt
  • For burgers:

  • 1 lb. ground pork*
  • 5 grilled shishito or serrano peppers, finely chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning
  • 4 burger buns
  • Mayonnaise, to taste

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*Ask your butcher for fresh ground pork shoulder for a hearty, sausage-like burger.

  • Vegetarian/vegan: See our recipe for Smoky Quinoa Burgers featuring quinoa and garbanzo beans instead of pork.
  • Gluten-free: Use gluten-free burger buns or serve the burgers over a bed of greens.


For quick-pickled carrots: Place carrots in a heatproof bowl. In a medium pan, mix vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Pour hot mixture over carrots. Let sit for 30 min. at room temperature or until cooled. Transfer to a large jar, cover, and refrigerate until chilled. Best served after 24 hours in the fridge.

For burgers: Mix pork, peppers, onion, parsley, and Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning together until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 min. or up to overnight. Preheat a well-oiled grill to medium-high (or heat a lightly oiled skillet on the stovetop over medium-high heat). Form meat mixture into 4, 1-inch patties. Grill patties (or sear in skillet) for 4 to 5 min. per side or until slightly charred and cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Remove patties from heat, cover with foil, and let rest for 5 min. Meanwhile, toast buns on grill for 2 to 3 min. (or in a 400-degree oven for 5 to 6 min.) until lightly browned. Spread buns with mayo, add patties, and top with a generous helping of quick-pickled carrots.


If you want to skip the bun, serve the patties over a bed of greens. Spread the mayo over the patty then top with quick-pickled carrots.

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