This Smoked Meatloaf recipe is certainly not your mother’s old Tuesday night meatloaf recipe, that’s for sure! It is so full of flavor and yet is really very simple and easy to create. This is a comfort food dish that I think everyone will remember from their childhood, only better!
This smoked meatloaf recipe is very similar to the classic meatloaf recipe that we here at the Noland’s have made for years in the oven.
We start out with ground beef and add some mild Italian sausage; you could use ground pork if you like, just to bump up the flavor of the dish. Smoking the meatloaf low and slow does take a little more time to cook, but the results are definitely worth the wait!
The process of building the meatloaf will be quite familiar to most of you, but the taste will be a surprise! This is comfort food for the ages; you are going to want to make this again and again!
- Lean ground beef
- MIld Italian sausage, (or ground pork)
- Green pepper
- Hot sauce
- BBQ sauce
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How to make Smoked meatloaf
With this meatloaf recipe, it is pretty much “everyone in the pool”, as Guy Fieri often says on his popular TV show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. In a large bowl combine the ground beef, sausage meat, onion, green pepper, garlic, breadcrumbs, eggs, ketchup, milk, and hot sauce.
You need to get in there with your hands and mix everything together. Be careful not to over mix or work the meat too much, as that will break down meat proteins and you will end up with a poorly textured meatloaf.
Form the meat into the shape of a football. It should be approximately 3-4 inches thick and 12-14 inches long. Imagine if you took a football, cut it in half and rounded the ends; that is what it should look like on your pan. I like to use a disposable aluminum pan, mostly because I hate doing more dishes than I need to do! You can use a baking sheet, that will work just as well.
Make sure that you let your meatloaf sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes. If you put the meatloaf into your smoker cold it will take that much longer to reach the proper internal temperature.
How long do you smoke meatloaf?
Smoking your meatloaf at 225 – 250 degrees F, it will take roughly 2 1/2 to 3 hours for your meatloaf to reach the proper internal temperature. The minimum temperature that you should cook your meatloaf to is 160 degrees F.
You will want to prepare your smoker and have it preheated before you put your meatloaf into smoke. I use a combination of apple and hickory wood chips for this recipe.
Although I like to use my smoker, in a pinch you could use your grill, cooking the meatloaf using the indirect heat method. If you do it this way you will need to make a wood smoker using a foil package or a smoker box with your grill.
After about 2 hours I like to pull the meatloaf out of the smoker and give it a good brushing with barbecue sauce. You can make your own if you have the time, but there are some very good sauces on the shelf at your local grocer too. In addition, I use a continuous read thermometer.
This type of thermometer is really a set it and forget it type of thing, which is great. Simple, and easy to use. It is the perfect tool for any and all of your smoking, grilling, and barbecue tasks. I find it invaluable when I’m cooking even if I’m indoors using the oven; it works perfectly every time!
The great thing about this recipe is that it is a base for you to get creative with. If you want to add some flavors or change things up this is the perfect recipe to do that with. Want to wrap it in some bacon? Go ahead! Feel like having a stuffed meatloaf, feel free. Maybe try it with some cheese in the middle of your meatloaf. A nice piece of gouda or cheddar would totally add another dimension of flavor to your smoked meatloaf!
Serving it up
Slicing and serving your meatloaf is the best part about using your smoker. I love tasting the results of the smoking effort! I am sure that I don’t have to tell you that meatloaf pairs perfectly with mashed potatoes! That is the pairing that I always got growing up. Aaah, the memories!
That said, you don’t have to stick to tradition, try some new sides, maybe roast potatoes, or a bowl of fancy rice. You could even try a squash casserole. When we were in Ireland a few years ago I was served creamy mashed turnips and they were wonderful. If you have never had them you owe it to yourself to give them a try, delicious!
Can you smoke ground beef?
Well, the answer to that question is, of course, yes, you can! Ground beef is super versatile from burgers to sloppy joes and everything in between. But, because ground beef is really just beef, and beef is one of those proteins that taste better with a little wood smoke ground beef definitely is great!
I hope you give this recipe a try, and as I said make it your own, change it up! That’s the fun part of cooking and smoking. Try some different combinations of wood; I’m always testing things out to see what works best.
But, what I like may not be what you like, be creative. Once you have the basics down it’s easy to play around with recipes!
Pin it HERE!!
Pin it HERE!!
- 2 lbs. lean ground beef
- ½ lb. mild Italian sausage meat
- ½ onion finely chopped
- ½ green pepper finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs light beaten
- ½ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 Tbsp. hot sauce (like Franks)
- ½ cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
- In a large bowl combine the ground beef, sausage meat, onion, bell pepper, garlic, breadcrumbs, eggs, ketchup, milk, and hot sauce.
- Mix by hand until well blended, being careful not to over mix.
- In a single-use aluminum pan or baking sheet, form the mixture into a loaf shape approximately 3-4 inches thick and 12 to 14 inches.
- Allow the loaf to sit on the counter for 15 - 20 minutes to come to room temperature while you prepare your smoker.
- Preheat your smoker to 225 – 250 degrees F.
- Once your smoker is heated place the pan into the smoker, I used a continuous read digital thermometer with an alarm. If you don’t have one you will want to check the internal temperature of the meatloaf after 2 hours.
- Brush the meatloaf with the BBQ sauce after about 2 hours.
- Smoke the meatloaf until the center reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. It will take, in total, 2 1/2 to 3 hours to reach this temperature.
- Remove from the smoker and transfer the loaf to a cutting board, slice, and serve right away.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 732Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 236mgSodium: 1318mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 2gSugar: 23gProtein: 61g
Recipe calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is estimation only. If you need nutritional calculations for medical reasons, please use a source that you trust.