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Smoked meatloaf - Page 2

post #21 of 33
Originally Posted by Wes W View Post

This is my first go at meatloaf.   All I can say is it's nothing short of awesome!!


I used 2 parts beef, one part pork.

Onion, green pepper, mushrooms, bread crumbs and a  dash of bbq sauce about a TBS of Jeffs rub.


Once mixed, dusted the top with jeffs rub again.


I picked up some small trays at the dollar store to put it in.   I didn't want  it fall apart in the smoker.  I cut the trays down to about 1in. just enough to hold it.  I also poked holes in the bottom to let the juice out.


The loaf turned out super moist.    This definitely lives up the its fame. 


I smoked to an IT of 160F.   A little over 4 hours at225-250F.







Hi Wes.    


I have two pans just about those size, and so think I'll try out some meatloaf.    One quick question, how much meat did you use for those two loaves?



post #22 of 33
Thread Starter 

Cael, it was 2lbs beef and a pound of sausage.   The trays aren't as big as they look.   The trays take out any risk of them sticking in the smoker and cutting them down gives you more smoke flavor.    Hope it turns out well for you.   You'll love it!

post #23 of 33

I just smoked my first meatloaf over the weekend.  It tasted GREAT and was close to this recipe...but there was a very pronounced red/pink ring around the outside edge...hoping to confirm if that was a smoke ring or if it was somehow not done completely??  I am used to that type of look on a brisket, but never have I seen it on ground beef before.  Any thoughts?

post #24 of 33

Sounds like a smoke ring to me.  I usually get one on meatloaf, it means you're doing it right.

post #25 of 33

Im going to make mine today - first time in smoker ----

I will be using jeffs recipe as my baseline and try a few changes Ive seen here. Thanks Guys !!


Happy Independence day!


Helpful Information
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 3-4 hours
  • Smoker temperature: 240°F
  • Meat Finish temperature: 160°F
  • Recommended wood: Hickory
What You’ll Need
  • 1 lb ground chuck (80/20)
  • 1 lb ground breakfast sausage, hot or regular
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper (yellow, green, red mixed), diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced (1 small onion)
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 slices of loaf bread or a hamburger bun top and bottom
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • Jeff’s barbecue sauce recipe (purchase recipes here)
  • Jeff’s original rub recipe (purchase recipes here)

Get the Recipes for Jeff’s Rub and Sauce

recipe-ad-rubIn this smoked meat loaf recipe, we are using Jeff’s rub to season the mixture, Jeff’s barbecue sauce to give it that wonderful tangy flavor and then we are brushing on more of Jeff’s barbecue sauce as a glaze at the end.

Just when you thought smoked meatloaf couldn’t get any better!

promise you’ll love my dry rub/seasoning recipe and my barbecue sauce recipe or you don’t pay!

Reasons to buy: Support the newsletter and the website | Own “the recipes” | Get the email newsletter 100% AD FREE from now on | Includes the Texas style rub recipe

Order the Recipes for Jeff's Rub and Sauce

Step 1: Soak the Bread

Take two slices of loaf bread or the top and bottom half of a bun and tear it into small pieces. (About 1 cup of bread)


With the bread in a small bowl, pour ½ cup of buttermilk over the bread.


The bread will soak up the buttermilk and this will be part of what makes the meatloaf so moist.


Once the milk is soaked in, crack a couple of large eggs onto the bread mixture. Stir gently to combine.


Set aside

Step 2: Saute Vegetables

Cooked vegetables release more moisture, are more tender and tend to be sweeter. Thus we will sauté them before use.

Dice bell peppers, onion and celery so that you end up with about ½ cup of each.

If you have extra, place them in a zip top bag and place them in the freezer for later.

Pour 2-3 TBS of olive oil into a skillet over medium heat.


Once the pan is hot enough, pour in the onions, peppers and celery and stir to mix with the oil.


Let them cook for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables start to get slightly soft.


Once the veggies are finished cooking, remove them from the pan and into a plate or bowl to cool.


Add 1/4 cup of Jeff’s barbecue sauce and 3 TBS of Jeff’s rub (purchase recipes here) to the sautéed vegetables. Stir to combine.

2015-IMG_8067 2015-IMG_8069

Step 3: Mix the Meatloaf

Place the 1 pound of ground chuck and 1 pound of ground sausage into a large mixing bowl.


Add the bread, buttermilk and egg mixture to the top of the meat.


Add the vegetable, sauce and rub mixture to the top of the meat as well.


Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the top of the mixture and gently combine the ingredients together.


Do not overmix. Do just enough to combine and then stop. Overworking the meatloaf mixture will make it tough.

Step 4: Form Into a Loaf

Pour or scoop the mixture onto a cookie sheet, food grade butcher paper, etc. and form into a loaf with your hands.


You can also place the mixture into a loaf pan to form it and then dump it out onto the pan, rack or tray that you will use to cook it.

You will notice that this mixture may be a little wetter than what you are used to using but that’s ok. It will form and hold together just fine.

I recommend about 2 inches thick in the shape of a rectangle but you can get creative with this if you like.

If using a Bradley rack, I recommend placing a piece of parchment paper under the meat so it will be easier to remove once done. (I forgot to do this)


I kept the Bradley rack over a pan until I got out to the smoker to make sure I did not drop anything. I used the same method for bringing it in once it was finished.

Step 5: Smoke the Meatloaf

Set up your smoker for cooking at about 225-240°F using indirect heat with hickory smoke or whatever smoking wood you have available.

If your smoker has a water pan, I recommend that you use it.

Once your smoker is maintaining the proper temperature, the cooking can commence.

Place the meatloaf in the smoker.

Keep a light smoke going for at least 2 hours.

Let the loaf cook for 3-4 hours or until it reaches about 155°F.

Note: total time will depend on thickness of loaf, temperature of smoker and how often the door/lid is opened.

Step 6: Top with Sauce

At about 155°F, brush the top and sides of the meatloaf with plenty of Jeff’s barbecue sauce (purchase recipes here). Give it about 25-30 minutes to caramelize then remove from the smoker.

Finish temperature for ground beef is actually 160°F but knowing that it will continue to cook and rise in temperature even after being removed from the smoker, it is ok to remove it a few degrees early.


Step 7: Rest and Serve

Once the meat is brought into the house, tent some foil over the top and let it rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing and serving. This resting period gives the juices in the meat time to redistribute throughout the meat.

After resting, slice and serve. I moved mine to a nice platter and sliced at the table.


Tips for a better smoked meat loaf recipe:
  1. Soaking the bread in milk before adding it to the meatloaf does a great job of helping the meat to be moist. I chose buttermilk for a richer flavor.
  2. Sautéing the vegetables makes them a little softer at the front end and helps the meatloaf to end up more moist.
  3. Making sure to remove the meatloaf at or just slightly before 160°F will ensure that it safe to eat but not dried out at all.
  4. Do not overmix the meat. It is easy to overwork the meat trying to get a perfect balance of ingredients throughout the loaf but it is best to just mix as little as possible. Mixing the non-meat ingredients first then adding them to the meat helps to minimize the mixing process.
  5. Cook the meatloaf sitting on a sheet pan, bradley rack or even a wooden plank instead of leaving it in a loaf pan. Letting it sit in juices, grease, etc. does not bring great results.
  6. If you are worried about it being salty enough or overly salty/seasoned, fry a teaspoon of the mixture in a skillet and taste it before proceeding to form the loaf. This takes mere minutes and you will know exactly how well the meat is seasoned and/or if it needs a little extra salt.
  7. Let the meat rest before slicing into it. We do this for many meats that we cook to allow the juices to settle back into the meat before cutting it open to minimize moisture loss.
  8. If you are using a cookie sheet, I recommend an old one with holes drilled in the bottom to allow the juices to escape. Setting a foil pan with water below the meatloaf will give the drippings a place to safely fall and keep your smoker clean.
post #26 of 33
Thread Starter 

TJ,  that recipe looks awesome!  Thanks for posting.   I've got to give it a try!   Hope you have an awesome day!

post #27 of 33

I've done meatloaf on the smoker just once, but it definitely won't be the last!

I didn't use a pan, I wrapped them in bacon. I made four 1lb loaves with my wife's meatloaf recipe (which is awesome in the oven!), then I did a bacon weave with about 1lb of bacon per loaf. Onto the smoker for about 2 hours at 275° (I believe) over cherry wood smoke. They turned out beautiful! I think next time I will add ground pork to the mix.


EDIT: OK, I guess I DID use a pan...kind of...

post #28 of 33

Bookmarked for future dinner, thanks for the detailed instructions it looks amazing!

post #29 of 33

Thanks WES !

If you have any good NC Sauces for pulled pork, Id be happy to hear them !

post #30 of 33

Im going to try that version next time

post #31 of 33

Heres the finished product - took 5-1/2 hrs to get to IT of 155

post #32 of 33
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by tjdcorona View Post

Thanks WES !

If you have any good NC Sauces for pulled pork, Id be happy to hear them !

Well TJ,  if you fire it over a real fire and rub it just right, it really doesn't need any sauce.  :-)


When we cater, we offer "Sticky Fingers" sauce.   Its from upstate SC and its awesome.  They got about 5 flavors to choose from.   I've tried several homemade sauces and I've never found anything better.   Happy smoking sir!!

post #33 of 33

Thanks WES - I agree - most of the time I don't use sauce, but the wife likes it...

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