Help with meatloaf

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Original poster
Jan 29, 2014
Looking into smoking meatloaf. Anyone ever tried this? Open to directions, hints, etc. I have the MES 40. THANKS
I have done it many times in my MES 40. I use a recipe that works well. The hard part is forming the loaf to ensure that it doesn't drop through the rack. The racks that come with the MES are too widely spaced for a meat loaf. I bought a "cookie cooling rack" at the local kitchen shop.

I make the loaf(s) about 2 inches tall and 6 inches wide. I use the rack so that I get smoke on all surfaces. I tried foil under the loaf on the

MES rack and it was OK, but none of the fat drained away. I used 90/10 ground chuck last time. I make smoke the entire time the loaf is

in the MES.Cook until at least 160 since it is ground beef.

For 4 pounds of meat:

3 cups of diced onion

1.5 cups diced green pepper

saute' onions and peppers until slightly soft.....not completely cooked.

1 cup of bread crumbs

1/3 cup of some BBQ sauce, Kraft brand etc.

1 egg

a little bit of worchester sauce

salt, black pepper, garlic powder. I don't measure, just what I think it needs.

Add Chipotle Tabasco sauce it you like it.

This is what I can remember without being in the kitchen!!

Indegredients change to whatever is on hand at the time. Sometimes my wife sneaks other stuff in too.
We smoked two meatloafs a few weeks ago.  I also did the foil thingy but it does hold the fat in.

we used two pounds of ground beef and two pounds of deer pan sausage and miked it together with the McCormicks meatloaf seasoning in it.  Then I divided it up into two separate piles and stuffed about two pounds into a glass bread baking dish and packed it as tight as I could.  Took some foil and folded it up to the size of the top of the glass dish and then flipped it over so the loaf would slide out onto the foil and still be able to have smoke get to all sided but the bottom.

Put it on the MB 30" and set it for 225* with mesquite pellets in the AMNPS for about four hours.  Yummy yummy.
A nice coincidence....I was just thinking last night that I wonder if you can do a meat loaf in the smoker. I also have the MES 40, and am looking for some different ideas for smokes that I can do fairly easily in under the 8 hour time range, since my time is limited these days.

So, this may seem a silly question, but you guys mentioned you smoked the entire time it was in the smoker. How was the smoke flavor? The reason I ask, my boys and I love good smoke flavor, but my wife only likes it more mild. So usually have to find that fine balance of getting a rich smoke flavor without it being overpowered for her. And you know the saying, if mama isn't happy, nobody is So was the smoke the entire cook just right, in your opinion? I wasn't sure how the ground beef absorbs smoke in comparison to a solid, like a brisket or rib.
mtm, I smoked for the whole time in the AMNPS and all was good.  It did have a "smokyer" (is that a word?) flavor but it was really good.  My sons friend was eating with us and he replied "Holy Crap!  This is good!)

My wife likes a little less smoke but she was really happy with it also.  Give it a try.
Here's a Q-View post I did some time ago. The smoke flavor is there, but it is not strong at all so I think your wife will still like it.  You can kind of see in the last picture that the slice has a smoke ring, so there is some manner of smoke absorbing in there. Now you have me thinking - I may have to make this again this weekend! It tastes simply awesome...
I use these racks for meat loaf and also for any think that will fall thru my racks , you can find them at wally world in the BBQ section , the "racks" are made of aluminum and will bend very easy also you can clean them and reuse or you can throw them away if you do like me and get tired of scrubbing them .

works great for meat loaf and i do spray them with pam olive oil spray so the meat does not stick to them.

View media item 271009
I have done several meatloaves but this one was probably the best. I used Jeff's basic recipe but made a few alterations. Since the wife and I both love Mexican food we thgought this may make an interesting twist on an old staple. I split the meat half and half with 92/8 ground beef and Chorizo (one pound of each). I also used Jalapeno peppers versus green (bell) peppers as called for in the recipe and I backed off with the sauce quite a bit. I just wasn't sure how well sauce would mesh with the Chorizo but it turned out very well. As with almost everything, it's better with bacon so I did a bacon lace wrap. Here are a few pics. Sorry that the quality of the second two are not very good but you'll get the idea.

I got the foil pans with the holes already in them from the local Ace Hardware. They worked great for the meatloaf

Here it is out of the pan and ready to slice. The bacon wrap turned out to be a fantastic addition!!

Sliced and ready to eat. Note all of the Jalapenos. We love those things :-)

Juicy and delicious!! Onece we finish the new house I plan to make this again!!

Smoking in Central Texas,

I got the foil pans with the holes already in them from the local Ace Hardware. They worked great for the meatloaf

Juicy and delicious!! Onece we finish the new house I plan to make this again!!

Smoking in Central Texas,

Genius ! I'm not sure that would fit on the top shelf of my WSM , but there's no reason a fella couldn't use a foil loaf pan and just punch a few holes in the bottom with a sharp instrument.....this looks so good. Love the bacon wrap. Woof!
I wish I had thought to include bacon on the top. Next time I will. Also, will use something on the bottom of the meatloaf

to allow drainage.

The first meatloaf I tried months ago was good. The second was better with more smoke flavor. The third time was perfect.

I used less of he BBQ sauce, a little bit of Jeff's rub, and the AMNPS smoker with the MES doing the heat and more smoke.

The smoke flavor was good and not to heavy for my wife.

Next week.....different thread.....I will smoke 2 country hams for 4 days. They will be out of the "cure" and ready for smoke.
I wish I had thought to include bacon on the top. Next time I will. Also, will use something on the bottom of the meatloaf
to allow drainage.

My mom would always throw two slices of bread in the bottom of the loaf pan for that purpose. They also sell " perfect meatloaf" pans these days that have a grid in the bottom for drainage and lifting handles to pull the loaf out.....pretty fancy.
I got a master built smoker. I put the loaf usually 80/20 on the top rack bare and then put a aluminum pan on the bottom rack to catch the drippings. Ground meat takes on the smoke fairly quick. I don't usually go to low on the temp cause I don't see the point. I usually stay around 275. Gets done in a couple of hours if you don't make it too thick. One of the easier smoking sessions I have had. Doesn't require a ton of coal and wood.
  I just use an ordinary meatloaf recipe, nothing fancy,  and put it in an aluminum foil pan. I smoke it to an IT of 160 and lift it out of the grease for serving. It makes for a great meal. You can do any variation of that you want and it should be great but it doesn't need to be fancy to be good. I'm sure you will like it.

I use 1 lb each of lean ground beef, lean ground pork, and ground turkey with all my other fixin's.  You'd think it would be dry but it isn't with the liquids and binders I add along with sour cream.  When it's finished cooking to 165F it isn't sitting in a puddle of fat in the aluminum pan when it's done. 
smoked meatloaf
I smoked my first meat loaf yesterday, used Q-Matz, same concept as the Frog Mats.  I also put it on a piece of parchment paper and trimmed it to match the meat loaf, made it easy to move around and didn't seem to have any bad effects.  I read in another post about using quinoa in it, that worked very well.  The rest was regular meat loaf stuff, onions, different peppers, ground beef, sausage, a little rub, finish with sauce on top ........ this is something we plan to do often, doesn't take long and the wife told me she will never eat meatloaf that is not smoked again, this was some tasty stuff.

This is what I use to smoke my loaves of meat  -- a meatloaf basket.

but yeah, done it many times and always comes out great.
I've been using a old broiler pan for years. Turkey meatloaf, venison burger meatloaf, & ham loaf. Foil top & bottom then cut slits in top. Best part is putting liquids in bottom part. Turkey loaf use something lemony (sprite, mountain dew, 7-up even just plain lemonade. Venison loaf most of times beer. Ham loaf is bbq sauce 50/50 with water. Also try using Cheez-Its to replace bread crumbs
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