Meatloaf is a longstanding favourite that brings back memories of homecooked meals and family dinners. While traditional smoked meatloaf recipe is hard to beat, smoking the meatloaf imparts a wonderful smoky essence that takes this classic to the next level.
The blend of beef, pork, and bacon ensures you get incredibly rich and savoury flavour in every bite. A ketchup-based glaze adds a touch of sweetness and texture to the exterior. Smoked meatloaf is sure to satisfy your comfort food cravings!
Table of Contents
Ingredients You Will Need For Smoked Meatloaf Recipe
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 3 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup ketchup, divided
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Baking sheet
- Aluminum foil
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Knife and cutting board
- Meatloaf pan or loaf pan
- Oven mitts
- Instant read thermometer
- Grill or smoker
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly grease with oil.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork, bacon, onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, eggs, 2 tablespoons ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix everything together well.
- Form the meat mixture into a loaf shape on the prepared baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 2 tablespoons ketchup and 2 tablespoons water to make a glaze. Spread the glaze evenly over the top and sides of the meatloaf.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes until the internal temperature reads 160°F on an instant read thermometer.
- Transfer the baked meatloaf to a smoker set at 225°F. Smoke for 30-60 minutes until nicely browned.
- Set up your smoker or grill for smoking at 225-250°F using your choice of wood chips – we recommend hickory or applewood.
- Bake the meatloaf in the oven first until cooked through and firm. This helps hold its shape during smoking.
- Transfer the baked meatloaf carefully to the smoker and smoke for 30-60 minutes. This infuses the meatloaf with delicious smoky flavor.
- Glaze the meatloaf with the ketchup-based glaze during the last 15 minutes of smoking time. This results in a sticky, caramelized exterior.
- Use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature, making sure it reaches 160°F.
- Let the smoked meatloaf rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving. The juices will redistribute through the meatloaf as it rests.
- Substitute venison, bison, or turkey for the beef/pork blend.
- Add chopped mushrooms, bell peppers, jalapeños, or sun-dried tomatoes.
- Use your favorite barbecue sauce or chili sauce in the glaze.
- Top with melted cheese such as cheddar or Monterey Jack.
- Make mini smoked meatloaves in a muffin tin for appetizers.
- Stuff with cheese and wrap in bacon for bacon-wrapped smoked meatloaf.
Tips and Tricks
- Chilling the meatloaf mixture before cooking helps it hold its shape better.
- Bake in a loaf pan for more defined edges, or shape it free-form on a sheet pan.
- Soaking wood chips in water prevents burning and creates better smoke.
- Let the smoker heat up adequately before adding the meatloaf.
- Use a meatloaf glaze or apply barbecue sauce to prevent drying out.
- Allow the meatloaf to rest before slicing for juicier results.
Smoked meatloaf pairs well with traditional side dishes like mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or a fresh garden salad. For a complete meal, serve it with:
- Mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes
- Roasted brussels sprouts
- Glazed carrots
- Buttery dinner rolls or cornbread
- Coleslaw, potato salad, or pasta salad
Ice cold beer or a robust Cabernet Sauvignon make excellent pairings. Finish the meal with a slice of fruit pie or chocolate cake for dessert!
A 3.5 ounce serving of smoked meatloaf provides:
- Calories: 285
- Fat: 18g
- Carbs: 7g
- Protein: 24g
While not the leanest cut of meat, smoked meatloaf provides a good dose of protein, iron, and B vitamins. As with most smoked meats, consume in moderation.
Storage and Leftovers
Leftover smoked meatloaf keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat slices wrapped in foil in a 300°F oven until warmed through. Slices also reheat nicely in the microwave.
For longer storage, slice the meatloaf and freeze portions in airtight containers or bags for 2-3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.
Dry or crumbly meatloaf – Check internal temperature and don’t overcook. Add more breadcrumbs or eggs to bind it.
Not smoky enough – Increase smoking time and make sure chips are producing consistent smoke.
Falls apart on the smoker – Chill mixture thoroughly before cooking and shape firmly. Bake first to set loaf before smoking.
Bland flavor – Season aggressively with salt, pepper, Worcestershire, and smoked paprika. Add more herbs and spices to suit your tastes.
What kind of wood should I use?
We recommend hickory or Applewood for the best flavour profile. Avoid stronger woods like mesquite.
How do I get a good smoke ring?
Letting it smoke for longer (about 1 hour) at a lower temperature (225°F) allows the smoke to better penetrate the meatloaf.
Can I make mini meatloaves instead?
Absolutely! Divide mixture into a greased muffin tin for individual portions. Reduce cook time to 20-25 minutes. Glaze and smoke as directed.
What sides go well with this?
Some of our favourites include garlic mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, coleslaw, roasted vegetables, buttery biscuits, or a fresh green salad.
If you’re looking for a way to inject new life into a classic, give this smoked meatloaf recipe a try. It delivers the comforting flavours of traditional meatloaf elevated by a touch of smoky char. Smoked meatloaf is sure to become a new favourite meal for dinner, game day, or anytime you need some homestyle comfort food. Let us know how it turns out!