Make smoked meatloaf on a grill or smoker for a delicious meal while your kitchen stays cool! This recipe is SO easy- watch the video below.
Sure you could make traditional meatloaf in the oven, but why? Smoking makes the meat perfectly tender and gives it an amazing smoky-sweet flavor. It’s perfect for outdoor gatherings, and you don’t need to heat up your kitchen.
What’s in a smoked meatloaf?
In addition to the basic meatloaf ingredients of ground beef, breadcrumbs, milk, egg, and seasonings, this recipe includes crispy bacon and sauteed onion. It’s that extra step of sauteing that elevates the flavor.
Rather than using all beef, this meatloaf recipe calls for a combination of ground beef and pork sausage. I use sweet pork sausage, but feel free to choose a hot one if you prefer.
Video: How to Smoke Meatloaf
Scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of this post and you can watch the video tutorial. Smoking meatloaf is simple, but the video will help you judge that for yourself.
What kind of wood chips or pellets are best for smoking meatloaf?
I prefer the sweet fruit woods for this like apple or cherry, but feel free to experiment and use whatever you prefer. Preheat your gas grill or smoker to 225°F. Add smoker chips per manufacturer’s instructions if using.
If you have charcoal grill, set it up for using indirect heat:
For a gas grill, use a a 2-zone set up, which can be done in one of the following ways:
- Indirect Cooking– Heat half of the grill to achieve desired temperature, but place the meat on the opposite side.
- Side Cooking- Light both sides but leave the center flame OFF or at its lowest temperature.
Place meatloaf on the grill and cover. Cook/smoke for 2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 160°F. Baste with your favorite BBQ sauce 2 times during the final 30 minutes.
Using indirect heat on a charcoal grill or smoker
ignite the charcoal and place it to one side of the grill, creating a space for the food or the center with meat you’re cooking not directly over those lit coals. Typically use a drip pan under the meat to avoid any flareups, but the pan the meatloaf is on should do nicely.
The flavors from the chili powder and sautéed onion and bacon inside the meatloaf along with the savory BBQ sauce and smokey exterior are fantastic!
What to serve with smoked meatloaf
This post, originally published on Kevin is Cooking 6/12/2019, was updated on 8/6/2021 to improve the content.
Smoked Meatloaf + Video
- 2 lbs ground beef 80/20
- 1 sweet pork sausage link 1/4 lb
- 1/2 yellow onion diced (1 cup)
- 6 slices bacon chopped
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp chili seasoning
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 cup milk
- BBQ sauce of choice
- Apple wood chips or any fruit wood of choice
- In a skillet sauté bacon over medium-high heat. After 2 minutes add the diced onion and cook until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Remove from pan, set aside to cool and save the bacon fat for another use.
- Preheat gas grill or smoker to 225°Add smoker chips per manufacturer’s instructions if using. Set up the grill for indirect grilling (See Note 1).
- In a large mixing bowl add the ground beef, cooled bacon and onion mixture, pork sausage (casing removed), eggs, salt, chili powder, breadcrumbs and milk. Mix with hands to incorporate thoroughly. Dump onto a lined baking sheet and form into a large loaf in middle of pan with your hands.
- Place meatloaf on grill and cover. Cook/smoke for 2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 160°F. Baste with your favorite BBQ sauce 2 times in last 30 minutes.
- Remove from grill and allow to rest 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with more BBBQ sauce on side.
- Grill using indirect heat: For gas grill do the 2 Zone set up which is either half the grill is lit to achieve desired temperature and the meat is placed on opposite side, or have sides lit leaving the center NOT on or lowest temperature.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.