I’m a day late posting it too, but I’ve been in a mood lately. None the less, here’s the homemade meatloaf that I cooked on the smoker last night. 😊
OK, a little greasy in that fresh off the smoker picture, and I used a pizza tray as opposed to a bread pan so that more smoke would permeate the meat. Here’s the plated final result:
The bread items were lunch leftovers brought home by my other half, so that saved me a little cooking, LOL. The red around the outer edge of the meat is not ketchup either; that’s the actual smoke flavor penetrating the meat.
That shot shows the smoke ring, such as it was, and how moist the meatloaf was. Unfortunately I forgot and put the A1 sauce on the surface early, and that kept the smoke from penetrating deeper.
First, credit where it’s due; my recipe is a modified version of “Not Your Momma’s Meatloaf” from the Traeger Grills website. Traeger actually has some fairly good recipes, BUT they don’t know how to use their own (junk) grills low and slow. Everything at least used to be 350 degrees. Might as well use an oven at that temperature. You won’t get any smoke flavor.
1 1/4 Lb of Ground Beef – not more than 20% fat content to avoid excessive grease
1 Lb of sausage of your choice, or another meat like pork or veal. I used Italian sausage last night.
2 Eggs, beaten
1 Cup of bread crumbs.
1 Cup of milk
1/4 Cup of diced Onion, ideally a mild variety.
2 Teaspoons of Salt
1 Teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 Teaspoon of Sage
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
A-1 Steak Sauce or BBQ Sauce to be added later
Prep on this is pretty easy. First, mix together everything except the meats and the BBQ or A1 sauce in a bowl. After it’s all blended together nicely, add in the meat and thoroughly work everything together. Typically, this is hand work, but I’ve found my Kitchenaid stand mixer works fine and keeps my hands neater. Just allow a little extra time vs hand mixing.
At this point, I add the meatloaf to a bread pan to give it some shape. If you’re preparing this early, you can cover the pan and put it in the fridge at this point. It’ll maintain a better shape during cooking as an added bonus.
Prep is very quick if you’re organized and the meat is fresh or defrosted. It should only take about 15 minutes.
There are a couple of options here. First is to just put it in an oven at 350 degrees and cook it for about an hour. If you go this route, just put the steak sauce or BBQ sauce on the top before it goes in the oven.
Side Note: Steak or BBQ sauce gives the meatloaf a more robust flavor than Ketchup in my opinion.
Now, if you have a smoker of either sort (stick burner or pellet grill), get it to about 200 degrees F and put the meatloaf on a wire rack or a ventilated pizza tray like I used. It’ll take a little over 2 hours to cook this way, but the meatloaf will be even moister and have that delicious wood fire flavor. When you’re about 20 minutes till finish, baste on the steak sauce or BBQ sauce, and turn up the heat to 350 or so. That will put a nice reverse sear on the meat, and make sure that sauce is baked on.
Putting the sauce on sooner will block the smoke penetration, which is why you wait if slow cooking.
Pull the meatloaf off the heat when it hits an internal temperature of about 140 F, let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then serve.
The leftovers will make fabulous sandwiches also.