Skip to Content

Smoked Over the Top Sloppy Joes

Take your sloppy joes up so many notches than your normal variety with this Smoked “Over the Top” Sloppy Joe Recipe that utilizes the live wood fire in the pellet grill to smoke the meat which is perched on top of a pot full of homemade joe sauce.

Smoked Over the Top Sloppy Joes Recipe

The first experience I had with “over the top” anything was the uber-popular Over the Top Chili trend that swept through all of the pellet grilling Facebook groups. It was so popular here, with multiple requests for remakes, that I started thinking about what other things I could “over the top”.

We love sloppy joes, and have made them in the slow cooker and on the stovetop in the past, but never on the smoker and I had a suspicion that the smoke was going to be an amazing addition.

Get all of my Easy Traeger Recipes here!

Over the Top Sloppy Joes Shopping List

Wondering if you have to hit the store? Here’s the list of items you’ll need to make this recipe. For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • ground beef
  • celery
  • onion
  • salt, pepper, garlic
  • tomato sauce
  • ketchup
  • bbq sauce
  • brown sugar
  • dry mustard
  • Worcestershire
  • apple cider vinegar

More Traeger Beef Recipes here!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.


Get the recipe via email and join our newsletter!

I consent to joining the free OrWhateverYouDo newsletter

How to make Over the Top Sloppy Joes

This is just the overview so you can see what you’re actually getting into here. When you are cooking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.


Preheat your smoker

220° is the goal temp. Set it and get it there.


Make your meat

Take your burger and gently flatten it a bit. You can a larger thinner patty as opposed to a big thick one. Season it on both sides and put it on a rack.


Mix up the sauce

Stick all of the sauce ingredients into the pot and put the rack on top.


Smoke it

2 hours is about perfect at 220°. The patty will be nice and colorful on the outside.


Mix it up and turn it up

After two hours, put the meat into the sauce mix and break it up into small pieces. Stir, and turn the heat up to 325°. Let it cook for another hour, stirring every 5-10 minutes until the liquid has reduced a bit. Serve over buns.

Follow me on Instagram!

What is the best thing to serve with sloppy joes?

I like traditional comfort foods along with my sloppies. Things like mac and cheese, seasoned potatoes like these Homemade Air Fryer French Fries, or a big pile of creamy coleslaw.

You could also get a little fancy and make your own buns too. My pellet grill hoagie rolls would make a great base for sloppy joes!

Are “Over the Top” recipes greasy?

Sometimes. It really depends on how fatty your ground beef is. The good news is that you can easily get any excess fat out of the final result with some paper towels. If you want to keep most of this out of the pot completely, you can place the rack of meat over the top of a drip pan instead of the saucepan.

Your sauce will still get the wood-fired flavor, but you won’t have to soak up excess fat from the sauce at the end.

I prefer to soak up the excess, myself.

More Easy Smoker Recipes

What’s the best way to store leftovers?

We keep leftovers in a plastic or glass storage container for up to 3-4 days. Sloppy joes also freeze really well, so you can make a big batch and then put the cooled sloppy joes into freezer baggies for a quick lunch or dinner, anytime.

How should you reheat leftovers?

Usually, I avoid the microwave when it comes to reheating things because in a lot of cases it degrades the quality of the food, but in this case it is the perfect way to heat up leftover sloppy joe mix. If you don’t have a microwave, a sealable baggie plus a hot-water bath is likely your best bet.

Buy Pellets here!

Eat more sandwiches!

Yield: 12 servings

Smoked Over the Top Sloppy Joes

Smoked Over the Top Sloppy Joes

We took my popular sloppy joe mix and made an "over the top" version for the smoker! Live wood fire adds a whole new dimension to those classic comfort food.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes


  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons bloody mary seasoning (optional)


  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup bbq sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water


  1. Preheat your smoker to 220°.
  2. Take all of the ground beef and form it into a large, loose patty. Season both sides with salt, pepper, and bloody mary seasoning. (You can sub in some garlic and onion powder along with some celery salt if you don't have bloody mary seasoning handy.)
  3. Place the patty onto a write rack that's been prepped with cooking spray.
  4. In a large, high-sided Dutch oven, toss in the onions, celery, tomato sauce, and the rest of the sauce ingredients into the pot. Put the wire rack on top of the top. Put the whole thing in your smoker.
  5. Let the whole thing smoke for around 2 hours. Check it once or twice during that time and give the sauce a stir, if necessary. Once the meat is browned and smokey put it into the pot of sauce and break it up into small pieces.
  6. Turn the heat on the grill up to 325°, and let the pot simmer until the meat is further broken up and the sauce is the thickness you prefer. This should take anywhere from 30-60 minutes. Stir it periodically to ensure the meat doesn't settle and stick to the bottom and burn. Ensure the pot isn't over any particularly hot spots.
  7. Remove from the grill and remove any excess fat.
  8. Serve with rolls, cheese, and chips!

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 371Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 755mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 32g

Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate.

Love this recipe? Tell your friends!

Follow on Instagram for more!

Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.

Skip to Recipe