Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. is a casual dining restaurant chain with a menu featuring a variety of burger sandwiches made with beef, chicken, fish, turkey, pot roast, and vegetarian substitutes. Red Robin owns and operates 100 restaurants scattered across 13 states. The company also franchises its concept, maintaining licensing agreements with 98 additional restaurants located in 17 states and in Canada. With a per person average check of $10, Red Robin relies heavily on the sales of its gourmet burgers, which account for 44 percent of the company's food sales. Aside from gourmet burgers, the Red Robin menu includes salads, soups, appetizers, and other entrees such as rice bowls and pasta.
Smoke and Pepper Burger
The Smoke & Pepper Signature Burger is seasoned with smoked sea salt and topped with black pepper bacon and extra sharp Cheddar on a ciabatta bun with a Smoke & Pepper ketchup.
SMOKED SEA SALT
Red Robin Copycat Recipe
1/3 cup coarse sea salt
2 cups hickory wood chips
8 quarts lump charcoal, plus more as needed
Using a sharp knife, punch holes in the bottom of the square aluminum pan. Add salt and spread in an even layer. Soak the wood chips in a bucket of water for at least 15 minutes.
Prepare the grill: Remove the cooking grate and set it aside. Fill a chimney starter three-quarters of the way with charcoal, then pour the unlit charcoal onto one side of the charcoal grate. Using tongs, stack the charcoal in a slight slope against the side of the grill bowl. Remove 1 cup of the wood chips from the water, shaking off any excess, and lay the damp chips in the middle of the unlit charcoal. Fill the chimney again halfway with charcoal. Place the chimney on the charcoal grate next to the unlit coals. Twist two or three sheets of newspaper, form the twisted paper into rings, and place them under and inside the chimney. Light the newspaper through the holes at the bottom of the chimney. After about 5 minutes, the charcoal should be red and flames should have appeared toward the top of the chimney.
Carefully pour the lit charcoal onto the pile of unlit charcoal on the grate. Use tongs to stack the lit coals on the pile. Top the lit charcoal with the remaining 1 cup drained, damp wood chips. Set the empty chimney aside. Place the cooking grate back on the grill. Fill the 9-by-5-inch aluminum loaf pan three-quarters of the way with cold water and place it on the cooking grate over the hot charcoal (the cold water is needed to keep the grill temperature low).
Set an oven thermometer in one of the grill lid’s vent holes or on the cooking grate near the edge of the grill and opposite the charcoal. Cover the grill, making sure that the bottom and top vents are open and that smoke is coming out of the vents. (If smoke is not coming out, check your fire to make sure it is lit. If it’s not, relight it, using tongs to transfer the warm charcoal from the grill back into the chimney starter.) Let the grill heat until it reaches at least 250 degrees, about 15 minutes.
Place the aluminum pan of salt on the cooking grate but not over the flaming charcoal.
Cook, covered, making sure the grill lid’s vent is over the salt (not the fire), until the salt has darkened, about 1 hour. Shake the pan of salt halfway through the cooking time. Also, occasionally check the grill temperature. It should be between 250 and 300 degrees. If it is too hot, add more water to the loaf pan (it evaporates) and close the lower vent by half. If the temperature is too low, make sure the bottom and top vents are open, or you may need to feed your charcoal by lighting more in the chimney. When the salt is done, let it cool completely before storing it in a glass container.