Entree | Grocer to Table

Smoked Meatloaf

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Meatloaf is another one of those old time comfort recipes that you didn’t know you should smoke. Smoked meatloaf is juicy, tender and delicious!

Sliced smoked meatloaf with beautiful smoke ring.Pin
Smoked meatloaf

It is truly the epitome of comfort food. Adding the smoke to it just takes it to a whole other level. It’s the delicious food that you remember your grandmother making but yet with a modern, delicious twist.

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It’s as easy as cooking it in the oven, in a bread pan, but it takes a bit more time because you are cooking it low and slow. The moistness, however, will impress you, so it’s really worth the wait.

What you need

For the meat

  • ground beef or ground venison – a cheaper cutter of beef is great, like a ground chuck. You don’t really want to use 90% or more, you need some fat to bind it together.
  • ground pork – an important part of this dish. We buy a whole pork butt or pork shoulder and grind the whole thing. Then vacuum pack in individual use servings, for later use. It’s much cheaper than buying pre-ground
  • fresh bread crumbs – don’t use dried breadcrumbs. You want fresh so they create a good binder. Pro tip: Toss your ends or less than fresh bread in your food processor and pulse a few times. Then place the crumbs in freezer bags and store in the freezer for a quick meal prep idea.
  • eggs – use large eggs
  • milk – you can substitute non dairy milk to make this lactose free.
  • ketchup – or substitute tomato sauce
  • onions – yellow onion or white onion
  • celery – use tops and ribs
  • sage- chopped fresh sage or dried, rubbed sage will both work.
  • thyme – fresh or dried thyme will both work
  • sea salt or kosher salt
  • black pepper
Ingredients for making smoked meatloaf. See details in recipe below.Pin
Smoked Meatloaf Ingredients

For optional quick BBQ sauce

  • ketchup
  • brown sugar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • white vinegar
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder

How to make it

Step One

Measure milk in a measuring cup.

Milk measured in measuring cup.Pin
Measure milk.

Step Two

Soak bread crumbs in milk to soften. This will act as a binder for the meat.

Bread crumbs added to milk in measuring cup.Pin
Add bread crumbs to milk to soften.

Step Three

Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well, but gently, so the meat doesn’t get tough.

All ingredients added to metal bowl.Pin
Add ingredients to a large bowl. Mix well.

Step Four

Shape meat mixture into a loaf of your desired shape.

Mix meatloaf shaped into a loaf.Pin
Shape the meat mixture into a loaf.

Step Five

Place the loaf on a wire rack that is resting on an aluminum covered rimmed baking sheet, for easy cleanup, to catch drips.

Meatloaf placed in on a rack in the smoker.Pin
Place meatloaf on a rack and then into preheated smoker.

Smoke the loaf at 225°F / 110°C for 3-4 hours, until meat measures internal temperature of 165°F / 75°C with an instant read thermometer.

Let meat rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting into slices.

For optional BBQ sauce/ glaze

Step One

Meanwhile, mix ingredients for sauce in a small pot. Cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes until it thickens like BBQ sauce.

Ingredients for BBQ sauce in a pot.Pin
Add ingredients for BBQ sauce to a small saucepan.

Step Two

In the last hour, baste the meatloaf a couple times with the sauce.

Loaf basted with sauce.Pin
Baste meat a couple times in the last hour.

How to store leftovers

Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, covered in an airtight container. For longer storage, freeze in vacuum sealed packing for the best storage.

Make an extra loaf and freeze it whole for a quick weeknight dinner when you don’t have time to cook. Remove it from the freezer and thaw in the fridge.

To reheat leftover meatloaf, preheat oven to 250°F /115°C. Wrap in aluminum foil. Place the foil wrapped loaf on a rimmed baking sheet. Heat for about one hour until internal temperature is back to 165°F / 75°C.

You can reheat single serve leftovers in the microwave for a couple minutes. It’s also great cold on sandwiches.

Whole loaf on colorful wooden cutting board.Pin

What wood or pellets to use for smoking

You can use a variety of wood or wood pellets for smoking. We like the fruit woods like apple, cherry or pecan. You can also use oak and maple, or hickory and mesquite, for a bolder flavor.

What if I don’t own a smoker?

You can still enjoy smoked meats if you don’t own a smoker. You can use your grill to smoke. Set up your grill so that the fire is only on one side. You will place the meat or vegetable on the side of the grill without a direct flame (indirect heat). This is called indirect cooking.

Add soaked wood to a metal tray (we use a disposable foil pie plate or bread pan). Add another metal tray with water. Place water and wood chips on the side of the grill with the fire. Remember to fill the water if it runs out.

You can also create a similar setup for your oven in a pinch or in the winter.

Slices of meatloaf on a cutting board.Pin

Side dishes to serve with smoked meatloaf

More recipes to smoke

Helpful Tools

Whole, browned, smoked meatloaf.Pin
Smoked Meatloaf

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I hope you enjoyed the recipe today.

Enjoy. And have fun cooking!

Binky's signature
Slices of smoked meatloaf on a bed of greens.Pin

The BEST Smoked Meatloaf

Meatloaf is another one of those old time comfort foods that you didn’t know that you should smoke. Smoked meatloaf is juicy, tender and delicious!
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 361kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $10

Ingredients

  • 3/4 c fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/2 c Milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 lbs ground beef or use a mixture of beef, veal and pork
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 c diced onion
  • 1/2 c diced celery
  • 1 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

For Sauce

Instructions

  • Soak bread crumbs in milk for 5 minutes.
    3/4 c fresh bread crumbs, 1/2 c Milk
  • Whisk eggs.
    2 eggs
  • Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix thoroughly, but do not overwork.
    2 lbs ground beef, 1 pound ground pork, 1/2 c diced onion, 1/2 c diced celery, 1 Tbsp ketchup, 1 tsp ground sage, 1 tsp dried thyme, salt and pepper
  • Form meat mixture into a loaf of your desired shape. Place the loaf on a wire rack that is resting on an aluminum covered, rimmed baking sheet, for easy cleanup, to catch drips. Place in preheated 225°/170°C smoker.
  • Smoke for 3 hours, check internal temperature. It's done when it measures 165°F /70°C. In the last 1 hour, glaze the top with lots of the sauce.

For sauce

  • Add all ingredients to small pot. Cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, until thick.
    3/4 c ketchup, 3 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 Tbsp worchestershire sauce, 1 1/2 tsp white vinegar, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp garlic, granulated
See all of my favorite tools and gift ideas on my New Amazon Store!Check out Binky’s Amazon Store!

Notes

Notes**
Bake until meat thermometer, placed in center of loaf, registers 165°F.
Store refrigerated up to 4 days.
Reheat leftovers in the microwave.
Leftovers can be frozen.
Meatloaf can be frozen before smoking or after. Thaw completely, in refrigerator, then bake at 250°F / 170°C for about one hour, if previously smoked. If you freeze before smoking, refer to recipe above for smoking times.
What type of wood to use?
You can use a variety of wood or wood pellets for smoking. We like the fruit woods like apple, cherry or pecan. You can also use oak and maple, or hickory and mesquite, for a more bolder flavor.
What if you don’t have smoker?
If you don’t own a smoker, you can still enjoy smoked meats. You can use your grill to smoke. Set up your grill so that the fire is only on one side. You will place the meat or vegetable on the side of the grill that does not have the direct flame (indirect heat). This is called indirect cooking.
Add soaked wood to a metal tray (we use a disposable foil pie plate or bread pan). Add another metal tray with water. Place water and wood chips on the side of the grill with the fire. Remember to fill the water if it runs out.
You can also create a similar setup for your oven in a pinch or in the winter.

Nutrition

Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 195mg | Potassium: 398mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 122IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 3mg
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Originally published January 12, 2023.

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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love the idea of smoking meatloaf. I’m a big fan of smoked meats, and I can see how it would make meatloaf taste amazing.

  2. 5 stars
    This is delicious! I love smoky flavors and never thought to bring them to meatloaf, but I’m so glad I did. Thank you!

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