Discussion in 'Beef' started by redrocker65200, Apr 2, 2016.

  1. Greetings to all, 

    I am new to all this, but have a couple of chicken smokes under my belt.  My next attempt is going to be meatloaf, wife's request.  I have found a nice recipe here that includes Mac and Cheese, so that is my base.  I have a couple of questions for the group.

    Let me premise this with I have a Smoke Vault propane smoker and am planning on using either Pecan or Hickory.  

    1.  Let's say that they are 2 2 lb loafs, cooking at 225 or so, what is the approx cook time?  I know it is impossible to tell and it is done when it is done, but an estimate would be great.  

    2.  My thought is to put them in small aluminum loaf pans and poke some holes in the bottom for the juice to run out, but if anybody has a better idea, please feel free.

    I am sure I will have more questions, but that is all for now.  

    Thanks in advance for any advice.  

  2. Hey D, my loaves are around 2#, and I cook them at 225* for 4 hours.  I like mine on the medium-well side of done.  Your idea of holes in a foil pan sounds good.  Meatloaf is one of my faves, so good luck and good smokin'.
  3. Thanks for the info.   One more question, what wood do you use?  I have Hickory and Apple at home, but if Pecan or Cherry is better I will go looking for it.  My concern is that Hickory may be a bit strong.  

  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Ground meat really takes up the smoke, but in a meatloaf pan you will only have 1 side exposed to the smoke. If you want more smoke exposure you can smoke it in the pan until it sets up, then take it out & put it on the grate. I prefer to smoke mine in the pan without any holes in it. It stays real moist sitting in it's own juices & will cook in about 3 hours. In that case I would use hickory.

    Good luck & let us know how it turns out.

  5. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

  6. Can't help you on the wood selection, I source my own woods, mostly alder and some plum.  Both of which are mild flavored woods, probably a matter of personal preference too.  As long as its tbs it'll be fine.
  7. This is how I did mine. Just made a small foil pan out of HD foil.

  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    No pans needed. Hvy foil boats, to capture grease. Hickory is fine or since you have apple, mix it up. I take meatloaf to 155-160 and rest. Juicy every time...JJ
  9. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Apple would be good. The hickory may be too strong. Cherry and pecan 50/50 is my favorite for all beef cuts. I used to get foil pans at the dollar store that had 1/2" holes in the bottom. Then I just started putting the loaf right on the rack. Now I use Q-matts on all my grates. You can get them from Todd at AMAZEN smokers. Two different widths ordered by the foot. Then you cut to whatever shape you need. Well worth the money.
    Easy to clean too.

  10. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Meat loaf is a real favorite of mine. Friends and family really like it too. My meat loaf is all beef. We don't like any pork in the mix. I put mine directly on my grates, which are expanded metal. If you have bar grates, I might use pans or would prefer Bradley racks. I like the smoke all over the loaf and don't like a soggy bottom. I will usually smoke meat loaf with hickory and maybe a little cherry to tone it down a little. But, I won't use smoke but about an hour. I cook them at 250-275* for about 3 hours to an IT of 155*.

    Good luck. Let us know how it turns out. Some picks would be nice too. Joe :grilling_smilie:
  11. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I love meat loaf done in my MES.  I don't use a pan--just set it directly on the grate.  What I do, is add some extra, seasoned bread crumbs to the meat mix to firm it up so it will hold together on the grill.  With a grease pan underneath, there's very little mess.  I use hickory, but then I like a heavy smoke flavor.

  12. Thanks to all for the replies. I have both hickory and apple, so i will play with it and see what happens. Wife is not big on heavy smoke flavor but I used hickory on my last smoke and it was not too bad. The smoke vault came with a bacon rack which is a tighter weave rack. I think I will try that one with no pan.

    Thanks again to all who replied. All good info and all appreciated

  13. I must admit the foil boat idea looks like it might be good too. Gonna try and do pictures but had trouble with it last time. Wednesday night is when it is going to happen. So we shall see.

    Thanks again all. Appreciate the info

  14. I just smoked a meatloaf twice in the last month. The first time did it in a foil pan. The liquid inside the loaf came out and it and starting overflowing in the pan. Maybe it's because I used panko bread crumbs soaked in milk to make the loaf.
    I used a 1.5 pounds of grass fed beef. 15% fat. And a pound of ground turkey.

    The 2nd time I just put it on the grates no foil. And it came out perfect. Took less than 3 hrs to reach 165. I highly recommend forming the loaf the night before. And having a water pan in the smoker or the top of the loaf might crack. Best meatloaf I've ever had!

    Served it with a honey ginger mustard sauce. And a cucumber carrot salad.
  15. Thanks for the info. Looks very good. I was going to do all the prep work the night before to make it easier.
  16. I finely diced a small onion. A tiny bit of celery and 1 green pepper. Sauté in a bit of butter with salt pepper and dried herbs. 5 to 10 mins. When onions are translucent done. Make sure mixture is cool before folding in! Also soak bread crumbs in milk. Both the sauté veggies and soaked bread crumbs will keep meatloaf moist and juicy!

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