Smoky Cedar-Planked Burger

A smoky beef burger is the perfect dinner companion to crunchy tortilla-crusted fried onion strings. Try this zesty sandwich supper for dinner the next time you fire up the grill.

Smoky Cedar-Planked Burger
Photo: Kritsada Panichgul
Prep Time:
25 mins
Chill Time:
30 mins
Grill Time:
14 mins
Total Time:
25 mins


  • 1 14 x 6 x 3/4-inch cedar grilling plank

  • 1 ½ pound 80-percent-lean ground beef

  • Salt

  • Ground black pepper

  • ½ cup mayonnaise or salad dressing

  • ¼ cup snipped fresh cilantro

  • 2 fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 4 ounce smoked Gouda cheese, cut into 6 slices

  • 6 hamburger buns, split and toasted

  • ½ recipe Quick Pickle Ribbons

  • 1 recipe Tortilla-Crusted Onion Strings (optional)

Tortilla-Crusted Onion Strings

  • 5 cup broken yellow tortilla chips (about 5 ounces)

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 3 medium white or yellow onions

  • ¼ cup cornstarch

  • cup buttermilk or sour milk

  • Peanut oil or vegetable oil for frying

  • Kosher salt

Quick Pickle Ribbons

  • 1 medium seedless English cucumber, unpeeled

  • 1 large carrot, peeled

  • ½ of a small onion, thinly sliced

  • ¼ cup snipped fresh dill

  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

  • ¾ cup vinegar

  • ½ cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt


  1. At least 1 hour before grilling, soak plank in enough water to cover. Place a weight on plank so it stays submerged during soaking. Shape beef into six 1/2-inch-thick patties. Sprinkle lightly with salt and black pepper. Cover and chill for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

  2. In a medium bowl combine mayonnaise, cilantro, jalapeño peppers, mustard, lime juice, the 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

  3. For a charcoal or gas grill, place plank on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium heat until plank begins to crackle and smoke. Meanwhile, place patties on the grill rack. Grill about 6 minutes or until grill marks form, turning patties halfway through grilling. Place patties on the plank; cover and grill for 7 to 8 minutes or until internal temperature registers 160 degrees F.* Add cheese slices; cover and cook for 1 minute more.

  4. Spread cut sides of buns with mayonnaise mixture. Add a patty to each bun bottom. Top with Quick Pickle Ribbons and, if desired, Tortilla-Crusted Onion Strings. Add bun tops.

Tortilla-Crusted Onion Strings

  1. In a food processor process chips, covered, until fine crumbs form (you should have about 1-3/4 cups). Add chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Pulse to combine. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

  2. Cut onions in half through the root end and thinly slice into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons. Place onions in a large resealable plastic bag. Add cornstarch. Seal bag; toss to coat.

  3. Pour buttermilk into a medium bowl.

  4. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels; set aside. In a Dutch oven heat 2 inches oil to 375 degrees F.

  5. Dip 1/2 cup of the onion pieces into buttermilk, letting excess buttermilk drip off. Coat in tortilla chip crumbs, shaking off extra crumbs. Using a slotted spoon, place onions in hot oil. Fry onions for 1 to 2 minutes or until crisp and golden. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer onions to prepared baking sheet. Season with salt. Keep warm, uncovered, in the oven. Repeat with the remaining onions. Serve warm.

Quick Pickle Ribbons

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the cucumber lengthwise into long, thin ribbons. Repeat with carrot. In a large bowl combine cucumber, carrot, onion, dill, and pepper. Set aside.

  2. In a small saucepan combine vinegar, sugar, and salt; bring just to boiling over medium-high heat. Immediately pour over vegetables, stirring to combine; cool. Cover and chill for 1 hour or up to 3 days.


The internal color of a burger is not a reliable doneness indicator. A beef, veal, lamb, or pork patty cooked to 160 degrees F is safe, regardless of color. To measure the doneness of a patty, insert an instant-read thermometer through the side of the patty to a depth of 2 to 3 inches.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

963 Calories
67g Fat
58g Carbs
32g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 963
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 67g 86%
Saturated Fat 18g 90%
Cholesterol 110mg 37%
Sodium 1740mg 76%
Total Carbohydrate 58g 21%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 10mg 50%
Calcium 292.8mg 23%
Iron 4.5mg 25%
Potassium 608mg 13%
Fatty acids, total trans 1g
Folate, total 84.7mcg
Vitamin B-12 2.9mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.6mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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