After reading a couple of threads on the subject, I just knew I had to try smoking a meatloaf. So Sunday I took a couple of 1 pound packages of 80/20 ground beef out of the freezer and put them in cold water to thaw.
I decided to make an Italian Meatloaf, and just started jotting down an ingredient list--here's what went into the meatloaf:
2 lbs 80/20 ground beef
1 pkg dry onion soup mix (French Onion preferably, but any will do)
3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 eggs (beaten)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2/3 cup tomato sauce (I don't like ketchup cooked in my food)
2 TBS Italian seasoning
2 heaping TBS garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste (watch the salt--the onion soup mix is SALTY)
1 cup very old cheddar cheese
I mixed everything but the cheddar together, cut the mixture in half and flattened both halves. The cheddar cheese (my grater was broken so I had to dice up 1 cup of cheese) was spread on one portion of meat and the "lid" put on top and the whole thing was then formed into a fairly thin meatloaf--figured it would cook a lot faster than a traditional shaped meatloaf.
Since I had forgotten to add some smoked paprika, I just sprinkled some over the top for color. Everything went into the fridge for 4 hours to let all the flavors get to know each other.
After preheating the MES 30 to 245* and the AMNPS loaded and smoking away with Pecan, the meatloaf went into the smoker. After almost exactly 2 hours at 245*, I pulled the meatloaf at an IT of 160* It looked a whole lot like a loaf of pumpernickel bread when it came out of the smoker.
The only problem I had during this smoke was keeping the AMNPS lit--I had to relight it 2 times. Finally someone (that would be ME) told the idiot in charge (afraid that would also be ME) that he had forgotten to pull the chip loader out a bit, and the AMNPS was starving for oxygen. After that no problem.
The meatloaf came out great--moist, not real juicy but delicious. Miss Linda's thoughts after her first bite? "Oh yeah, gotta make this one again!!" She really liked the Pecan, but I would have preferred something a lot less subtle--probably Hickory.
Next time, the only changes I'll make will be to double the amount of tomato sauce (both for flavor and moisture), and pull the meatloaf at an IT of 150*.
Thanks for looking