Meatloaf is a classic American comfort food that just feels like home. What makes this classic dish even better, is the barbecue twist from cooking it on a smoker with your favorite BBQ sauce on top. This meatloaf is juicy, tender, and oh-so-flavorful!
Pair this main course with a bowl of smoked mac and cheese for an amazing barbecued meal.
Meatloaf as THE ultimate comfort food for just about every family around the country. There is something so special about a slice of juicy meatloaf with the sweet tomato glaze on top and a side of fluffy mashed potatoes. The only way to make it even better, is to smoke it and infuse it with your favorite flavor of wood.
Adding a thick glaze of BBQ sauce on top is an even better way to elevate the classic meatloaf. BBQ works much better with the smoke flavor but if you still prefer the ketchup based glaze, of course, you can use that instead. This meatloaf will be the perfect companion for mashed potatoes, green beans, mac and cheese, or virtually any side dish you prefer.
So if you ever wondered if you can smoke meatloaf and if it is good, clear all your doubts. You can absolutely smoke meatloaf, it takes an average of 3 hours to smoke it, and it tastes amazing!
QUICK SMOKING NOTES
What wood chips are best for smoked meatloaf?
Something mild would be the best, like apple, pecan, or maple. If you want a little stronger, go with oak. And for an even stronger smoke flavor that is more distinct, go with hickory or Jack Daniel’s blend.
What temperature to cook meatloaf on a smoker?
I smoke just about everything at 225°. (When in doubt, always go with this standard temperature.)
How long to cook smoked meatloaf?
The exact time will depend on how thick or thin you will shape the meatloaf. On average, it will take 3-4 hours.
What temperature is smoked meatloaf when it’s done?
Internal temperature of cooked meatloaf should be 160°.
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED
For my meatloaf recipe, I always use a combination of beef and pork. This will give you the most tender and juicy result in the end!
To help keep it juicy, throw in some finely minced onion and bread crumbs. Bind it with a couple of eggs and then, add some flavor with Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, fresh garlic, herbs, and seasoning.
For the topping, I recommend using BBQ sauce with smoked meatloaf but you can always opt for the classic ketchup topping as well.
HOW TO SMOKE MEATLOAF
Start by preparing your smoker because it will take only about 10 minutes to prepare meatloaf mixture.
Set up your smoker and preheat it to 225°. I highly recommend including a water pan or water/drip pan to the lower rack of the smoker, under the ribs. Use a digital oven thermometer to track the temperature on the grill grate.
While the smoker is preheating, combine all the ingredients for the meatloaf, except for the topping, in a mixing bowl and mix it all very well. Make sure all ingredients are incorporated well throughout.
Use a grill basket, grill wok, or another grill topper for holding the meatloaf. Great the bottom of the grill basket, shape meatloaf, and place it onto the basket. Fit a leave-in thermometer probe, if you have one, through the side and towards the middle of the meatloaf to track the temperature right in the center.
Place meatloaf onto the smoker, close the lid, and let it cook until internal temperature reaches around 150-155°. Take meatloaf off to glaze it with BBQ sauce and let it cook more, until it reaches 160° internal temperature. (In not using the leave-in thermometer, glaze meatloaf during the last 20 minutes of cooking.) Total cook time will be 3-4 hours.
What Sides Go With Smoked Meatloaf
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PIN THIS RECIPE
- 1 lb ground beef 85/15 meat to fat ratio
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1/2 cup minced yellow onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp minced fresh parsley 1/2 amount if using dried
- 1 tbsp minced fresh dill weed 1/2 amount if using dried
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1-1 1/2 tsp salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2- 3/4 cup BBQ sauce
Prepare the smoker:
- Set up your smoker and preheat it to 225°. Use a digital read thermometer to track the temperature on the grill grate. Don’t rely on the thermometer built into the lid of the smoker, they are usually at least 20 degrees off.
- I highly recommend including a water pan or water/drip pan to the lower rack of the smoker, under the meatloaf. Place a drip pan with water under the grill grate if possible, or place it off to the side of the main grill grate. (This will depend on the type of smoker.)
- (If using wood or charcoal smoker, maintain the temperature right around 225° but don’t let it get below 225° or over 250°).
- Combine all the ingredients for the meatloaf in a mixing bowl and mix until completely incorporated.
- Grease a grill basket with some oil and scrape the meat mixture onto it. Shape the mixture into a loaf. (Note: size and thickness of the loaf will affect the cooking time so you can make it a little thicker or a little thinner as you wish.)
- Insert the digital read thermometer probe through the side of the meatloaf towards the center. Try to place it right in the middle so it get the reading from the center of the meatloaf.
- Place the basket with meatloaf on the smoker when it's preheated and let if cook until it reaches internal temperature of about 150°. Take it off the smoker or simply lift the lid off to glaze it with BBQ sauce. Generously glaze it with BBQ sauce and close the lid (or place it back on the smoker). Let it cook more until reaches 160°.
- Take the meatloaf off the smoker, glaze it with some more BBQ sauce, tent with aluminum foil, and rest for about 15 minutes before cutting and serving.