Meatloaf Monday just got way more delicious with this easy Smoker BBQ meatloaf. Skip heating the oven and toss this on the smoker for the most amazing meatloaf!
My Go-To Comfort Food
There is just something homey about an amazing meatloaf. But I will admit, I was not a fan of my Mom’s meatloaf growing up. She had chunks of onions and peppers in hers and as a super picky kid, it was not something I’d ever eat. Thankfully Grandma was there to the rescue with hers – no chunks!
As an adult, I developed several meatloaf recipes that I love and crave. Yes, they have onions but minced or grated so they melt into the dish. You need these flavors in the dish.
Grab Your Ingredients
This recipe starts with the basics of my famous meatloaf recipe but with a few tweaks.
- Meat – ground beef and ground pork
- Veggies – onions and garlic
- BBQ Sauce
Chef’s Term – Panade
A panade is where you put bread in a bowl and add milk to the bowl. The bread soaks up the milk after about 5-10 minutes and creates a panade. You may have heard it called “milk bread”. To me, it’s critical to help the meatloaf retain its tenderness.
Mix It Up
So I love mixing meatloaf or meatballs by hand. If you’re squeamish, put on gloves or you can use a spatula. Since it’s such a small batch, please do not use a mixer. You want the meat to stay tender. The mixer can cause it to turn tough.
- Put the meatloaf ingredients in the bowl, making sure to leave the extra BBQ sauce out as you’ll need that for basting.
- Gently mix the meatloaf until it’s all combined and holds a shape.
Shape The Meatloaf
Since this was a big batch, I made 2 meatloaves. Each one was about 12″ long by 6″ wide and about 2 1/2″ high. The loaves should be smooth and have rounded edges. This will help the loaf stay together when serving.
Chef’s Tip On Shaping Meatloaves
Just like when you make meatballs, use damp hands to shape the meatloaf. You want the meatloaf to stick to itself in a snug shape rather than your hands.
Into the Yoder Smokers YS640
Once the smoker was preheated to 240F, I put the tray into the smoker. Now you could put the meatloaves directly on the rack but I wanted to keep them on the tray for ease of transfer.
If you put them directly on the rack, make sure to put a drip tray directly below them to catch the drips. This will produce a good bit of grease. Save yourself some cleanup by using the drip pan.
Now the key to getting that gorgeous caramelized BBQ color and flavor is to baste the meatloaves every 30 minutes.
Depending on your smoker and how consistently the temperatures stay at 240F, you want to smoke your meatloaves anywhere from 2-4 hours (if you go with 1 large one). The most important thing is that when you test your meatloaf with an internal thermometer it reads 165F.
As you can see, by basting it with BBQ sauce every 30 minutes, the coloring on the meatloaf was incredible!
What To Serve With Smoked BBQ Meatloaf
Storing Smoked BBQ Meatloaf
You have a few options with this – raw and cooked.
- Raw – Shape and flash freeze the meatloaf whole. Once completely frozen, seal up the meatloaf. I prefer to use my Chamber Vacuum Sealer to prevent freezer burn. If you don’t have one yet, simply double-wrap the frozen meatloaf in plastic wrap then place it in a freezer bag. To smoke from frozen, simply place the frozen meatloaf in the smoker with a drip pan underneath. You also can let it thaw in the fridge as well.
- Smoked – Slice it up and vacuum seal each slice for the freezer or keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup minced sweet onion
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 Tablespoon Steak Seasoning
- 5 slices wheat/white bread, torn
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 cup BBQ sauce, divided
- Preheat the YS640 Smoker to 240F.
- To a bowl, add the torn bread and the milk. Gently press the bread into the milk. Allow to set for 5 minutes. This is known as the panade
- To a different large bowl, add the beef, pork, eggs, onion, garlic, parsley, steak seasoning, panade (milk/bread), and 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce). Gently mix until combined. Do not over mix as the meatloaf will be tough.
- Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper (at this point you can also add a cooling rack inside the pan as well if desired). Using damp hands, form the meatloaf(meatloaves). You want the meatloaf/meatloaves to be snug/compact and hold the shape.
- Place onto the pan/cooling rack. Place the whole tray into the smoker, top rack. After 30 minutes, baste the meatloaf/meatloaves. Continue doing this every 30 minutes until the internal temp reads 165F. Depending on your smoker and the size of your meatloaf/loaves this can take 2-4 hours.
- Remove from the smoker, allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
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