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Can't stand liquid smoke. You can make your own by passing smoke through a homemade condenser (a tube through some ice water), but most people aren't up for that shit.
My easier substitute is the following. Take a pork shoulder or a rack of ribs or anything else you've barbecued and smoked, and save all the stuff you don't eat (fat, bones, cartilage, etc.). Put it all in a pan with some water; you can also throw in onions you've grilled with the meat (just add more smoke flavor). Simmer it like making a stock. Then put it in the fridge. Pull the fat off the top - that's fat that tastes like smoke. Put the stock back on the stove and reduce it until it looks like syrup, you want to get rid of as much water as you can without burning it. This is concentrated smoky meat stock. Freezes for ever, doesn't take much to impart flavor as it's concentrated, etc.
Also - cheap frozen patties? I'm not even sure those things all come from actual cows.

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