Smoked Meatloaf

smoked meatloaf

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Have you ever had smoked meatloaf? It’s one of those simple meals that if done right, can have a major wow factor. I mean, how good can a log of ground beef really taste?

Let me tell you – If you haven’t made smoked meatloaf yet – you are missing out! This is one of the BEST things I’ve made on a smoker. The end result is packed full of just the right amount of flavor and takes on a smoky flavor that is unreal.

I had some Snake River Farms Wagyu Ground Beef 75/25 in the freezer, and I wanted to take advantage of that extra fat in the meat. Burgers would have been great, but I wanted to do something different this time.

Meatloaf is good but smoked meatloaf is better. If you're looking for the best way to make smoked meatloaf, look no further! #smokedmeat #traegerrecipes #bbqrecipes #comfortfood #TraegerGrills

How to Make Smoked Meatloaf

Tips For Perfect Meatloaf

Everyone has their favorite meatloaf method, and this one is mine. Before I get into how to make it, I’d like to share what is important to me in a perfect meatloaf.

  1. Fat is good – I mentioned Snake River Farms ground beef up above – The best smoked meatloaf uses meat that is high in fat – An 80/20 or 75/25 ratio is great for this. Some people use ground chuck instead of ground beef. The extra fat will render out during the low and slow cooking process but adds much-needed moisture to the end result.
  2. A slice should hold it’s own – When the meatloaf is done cooking a single slice should be able to stand on its own. Using vegetables and bread crumbs will help the loaf retain moisture, and keep it from becoming dry and crumbly
  3. Give it some bark – The outside of the meatloaf should have a little bit of a bark, that is loaded with flavor from seasonings and a glaze.

Smoked Meatloaf Ingredients

What I really like about making meatloaf, is that it is easy to make, and just about everyone loves it. These are the ingredients you need to make the meatloaf:

  • 2 lbs Ground Beef
  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of half and half
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 8 ounces of cheese (I like Muenster)
  • 1 tbsp of your favorite bbq rub
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs

One of the most important parts of making the meatloaf is to make sure you don’t overwork the meat. The more you play with it, the gummier it will become, and this will hurt the end result.

How to Form the Loaf

Place the ground beef in a large bowl with two cloves of minced garlic, the bbq rub, Worcestershire, breadcrumbs, and egg. Mix the half and half with the lemon juice, and then pour that in, followed by the 8 ounces of shredded cheese.

Keep the cheese grater out, and after removing the outer layers of the onion, grate the onion into the mixture too. Sure you can just dice the onion, but grating it adds moisture and eliminates the need to cook the onion prior. Just be warned that grating an onion can result in some major tears. It’s worth it.

With your hands, gently work the ingredients together until everything is combined. It’s gonna be messy and you’re going to feel like the mixture is too wet. It’s not.

You might feel like it’s some kind of miracle that the loaf is holding its shape.
Trust the process, this is gonna be GOOD.

Dump the mixture out onto a large sheet of parchment paper, and then form a loaf with your hands. Use the parchment paper to help. Once the loaf is made, carefully roll the loaf onto a grill rack that is set on top of a cookie sheet lined with foil. Place in the refrigerator to chill.

I like to let the meatloaf chill just to help hold the shape.

Cooking Smoked Meatloaf

After the meatloaf has chilled for 30 minutes turn your smoker on and get it ready to cook at 225 degrees. Remove the meatloaf from the refrigerator and sprinkle the outside with more of your favorite bbq rub. I used Blackened Saskatchewan for the inside, and Beef Rub for the outside.

When the smoker gets up to temp place the meatloaf inside. Let it smoke for 4-5 hours. The meatloaf is done when the internal temp hits 160 degrees.

sliced smoked meatloaf

Why You Need a Good Instant Read Thermometer

I’ve said it countless times, but this is another great reason why you need a Thermapen. I use my Thermapen every time I turn on my smoker.

When I first started cooking food on my Traeger, I relied on the built-in temperature probes to determine when my food was done. The probes in the Traeger are good, and I still use those probes to get me close, but when I’m ready to make a decision about whether or not my food is done, I use my Thermapen.

I hate opening the lid on my smoker for too long, and because the Thermapen gives a readout almost instantly, I rarely need to keep my lid open longer than 5-10 seconds.

It’s easy to overcook meatloaf, but if you use a Thermapen it’s easy to know exactly when the meatloaf is done. (160 degrees internal temp)

smoked meatloaf pre glaze

Add a Glaze

About 15 minutes before the meatloaf is ready, brush on some bbq sauce to the exterior of the loaf. If you really want to class it up, simmer some bbq sauce with a 1/4 cup of whiskey. Let it simmer until the sauce has reduced by half… This will add to the flavor profile of the loaf, and bring home a winning end result.

smoked meatloaf with glaze
Look at that glaze
Smoked Meatloaf
Yield: 4

Smoked Meatloaf

Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 50 minutes

Meatloaf is good, smoked meatloaf is better. If you've never had smoked meatloaf, this ultimate comfort food should be at the top of your must cook list.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Ground Beef
  • 1 medium-sized onion, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 8 ounces cheese, I like Muenster
  • 1 tbsp favorite bbq rub
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. Place the ground beef in a large bowl, along with two cloves of minced garlic, the bbq rub, Worcestershire, breadcrumbs and egg. Mix the half and half with the lemon juice, and then pour that in, followed by the 8 ounces of shredded cheese.
  2. Keep the cheese grater out, and after removing the outer layers of the onion, grate the onion into the mixture too. Sure you can just dice the onion, but grating it adds moisture and eliminates the need to cook the onion prior.
  3. With your hands, gently work the ingredients together until everything is combined. It's gonna be messy and you're going to feel like the mixture is too wet. It's not.
  4. Dump the mixture out onto a large sheet of parchment paper, and then form a loaf with your hands. Use the parchment paper to help. Once the loaf is made, carefully roll the loaf onto a grill rack that is set on top of a cookie sheet lined with foil. Place in the refrigerator to chill.
  5. After the meatloaf has chilled for 30 minutes turn your smoker on and get it ready to cook at 225 degrees.
  6. Remove the meatloaf from the refrigerator and sprinkle the outside with more of your favorite bbq rub. I used Blackened Saskatchewan for the inside, and Beef Rub for the outside.
  7. When the smoker gets up to temp place the meatloaf inside. Let it smoke for 4-5 hours. The meatloaf is done when the internal temp hits 160 degrees
  8. About 15 minutes before the meatloaf is ready, brush on some bbq sauce to the exterior of the loaf. This will add to the flavor profile of the loaf, and bring home a winning end result. smoked meatloaf with glaze
Smoked Meatloaf is a smoky flavorful treat that your tastebuds have to experience - This simple pellet grill recipe is easy to follow, and tough to mess up! #traegerrecipe #traeger #smokedmeat #bbq
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