Smoked Sloppy Joes

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These smoked sloppy joes are saucy, beefy, and so satisfying. They were one of my favorite things to eat as a kid, and I made them even better. 

Smoking the minced beef gives it a punch of flavor I never knew it was missing. This recipe is a family favorite and a perfect comfort food when craving something saucy and smoky in a bun.   

Why You’ll Love These Smoked Sloppy Joes 

Everybody loves sloppy joes; they’re classic from your childhood. Why not add smoky flavors to the mix?

My favorite thing about this recipe is its simplicity. You smoke the mince to infuse it with all those delicious smoky flavors, then combine it with the veggies, spices, and sauces. Put it back on the smoker to warm, and it’s ready.

Just remember to pick some buns to serve. This meal is perfect for a cookout, weekend BBQ, or a quick weeknight meal. 

What You’ll Need

  • Lean ground beef
  • BBQ rub
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Diced brown onion
  • Diced green pepper
  • Minced garlic
  • Ketchup
  • Tomato paste
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Smoked paprika
  • Mustard powder
  • Salt

How to Make Smoked Sloppy Joes

Step 1: Smoke the meat

  • Preheat the smoker to 250°.
  • Add ground beef to a cast iron pan and place in the smoker for up to 60 minutes or until the larger clumps reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

Step 2: Cook the vegetables

  • Add olive oil, red onions, and peppers to the same pan. Cook for about 10 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally.
  • Add garlic and stir for an additional two minutes.

Step 3: Make the sauce

  • Add ketchup, tomato paste, Worcestershire, paprika, dry mustard, and salt. Bring it back to a simmer.
  • Simmer for an additional 10 – 15 minutes.

Step 4: Serve

  • When done, serve with a toasted bun, pickled red onions, and your favorite sides.

How To Drain Grease From Smoked Ground Beef

You can smoke the beef in a cast iron skillet, aluminum foil pan, or your choice of dish. The dish you use will determine the best method for draining the grease.

If you use a skillet with a lid, you can put the lid on the skillet. Crack the lid just a bit so there’s space between the pan and lid for the grease to come out. Pour the grease into a container. Don’t pour it down the drain, as this can lead to a clog.

Using a tinfoil pan, use a slotted spoon to remove the beef from the grease. Then, dump the grease out of the pan and return the beef to it.

You’ll have less grease to drain if you use lean ground beef.

What Temperature to Smoke Smoked Sloppy Joes at

For this recipe, smoke the sloppy joes at 250°F. You could use a higher or lower cooking temperature; just adjust the cooking time.

Use a leave-in thermometer if you’re unsure how long to cook the beef. Otherwise, watch until the meat is no longer pink.

What Internal Temperature You Need 

Beef should reach a minimum internal temp of 145°F. Ground beef should be cooked a bit longer, until 160°F. If you freshly ground the beef, you might not need to cook it as long.

It can be difficult to measure the temperature of ground beef. Another way to check its doneness is to look at it. The beef is’nt ready if you don’t see any pink meat.

How Long to Smoke Smoked Sloppy Joes

Smoke the sloppy joes for about an hour until the beef reaches 160°F or until there is no pink meat left. After adding the sauce, smoke it long enough to heat it. This shouldn’t take long at all!

How To Store Leftover 

Store the meat separately from the buns. You can refrigerate it in an airtight container for a few days. You can freeze it for longer. You can store the buns in the original packaging until the best-by date.

My Favorite Wood Chips for Smoked Sloppy Joes

You can fire up the grill with wood chunks of your choice. For a mild flavor, try apple or pecan. If you want to lean into the hearty flavors, try hickory or mesquite.

What To Serve With Smoked Sloppy Joes

Sloppy joes go well with a variety of side dishes. Here are some of our favorites:

This sloppy joe recipe is super easy to make for a crowd. It’s perfect when you expect a big crowd and need to serve something delicious.

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Smoked Sloppy Joes

Charlie
This Sloppy Joe recipe is a family favorite and a perfect comfort food when craving something saucy and smoky in a bun. 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course main
Cuisine American
Servings 5 serves
Calories 409 kcal

Equipment

  • Smoker
  • cast iron pan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 5 whole buns
  • 1 tbsp BBQ rub
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 qholw diced brown onion
  • 1 whole diced green pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions
 

Step 1: Smoke the meat

  • Preheat the smoker to 250°.
  • In a cast iron pan, add ground beef and place into the smoker for up to 60 minutes or until the larger
  • clumps reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

Step 2: Cook the vegetables

  • In the same pan, add your olive oil, red onions, and peppers. Cook for about 10 minutes until soft. Stir occasionally.
  • Add garlic and stir for an additional two minutes.

Step 3: Make the sauce

  • Add ketchup, tomato paste, Worcestershire, paprika, dry mustard, and salt. Bring it back to a simmer.
  • Simmer for an additional 10 – 15 minutes.

Step 4: Serve

  • When done, serve with a toasted bun, pickled red onions, and your favorite sides.
Keyword smoked sloppy joes

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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