My Smoked Meat Loaf Recipe

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Meatloaf on Cookie SheetMy meat loaf recipe is to die for and I am going to share it with you here on the site.

Several years ago I decided to try a meat loaf on the smoker (my wife thought I was nuts).

I had her mix up the meat loaf recipe like she normally would with all of the onions and green bell peppers and ketchup and red pepper flakes and a couple of eggs to help the 80/20 beef stick together better and then formed it into a rectangular shape about 2 inches thick onto a square cookie sheet.


Meat loaf Into the Smoker

I fired up the smoker with some mesquite wood and placed the meat loaf on the grate with a digital meat thermometer stuck into the center of it so I would know when it reached its perfect temp without having to open the smoker.

Note: Keep the meatloaf on the cookie sheet while it smokes.. it is a bit too fragile to place directly on the grate.


Update: Muffin Pan Meatloaf Experiment

Meatloaf on a muffin panI have tried it since on a muffin pan to keep the meatloaf up out of the juices while still allowing the juices to collect in a container. It works pretty good if you are not after "pretty" food. Otherwise, it is not a great choice.





Meatloaf on Muffin Pan FinishedHere is is finished and as you can see.. it is really delicious but not as pretty as it could be. I did smother it with my own special barbecue sauce just about 30 minutes before it got finished and it was absolutely mouth watering good!

In this picture, I had it in the oven staying warm until dinner;-)




Back to the original smoked meat loaf..


I smoked it at around 250 degrees for 3 to 4 hours until the center registered 160 degrees.

Folks… that was the best meat loaf I had ever eaten and I have had my share of meat loaf!

I knew right then and there that this would be the meat loaf recipe my family would use for years to come… possibly for centuries to come.

If you want to try something a little different and blow everyone away then I recommend you give this a try.

I have listed a meat loaf recipe below that you can mix up and of course feel free to add, modify or take away ingredients as you see fit.

Simply form it onto a cookie sheet and smoke it like you would anything else with your favorite wood.

Good Luck and happy eating!


Easy Meat Loaf Recipe

  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced (optional)
  • 1 C. fresh bread crumbs or saltine cracker crumbs
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 3/4 C. ketchup
  • 1/4 C. milk

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. blend the mixture about 4-5 minutes and then form onto a flat cookie sheet.

You can finish the top with ketchup or barbecue sauce if you like about 30 minutes before the meatloaf is finished smoking.

Free Smoking Meat Newsletter

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  1. Cinci says

    Awesome. I used damp mesquite chips in my propane BBQ. I substituted my friend Bernadette’s home made put up herbal tomato sauce for ketchup, used garlic, and 3 squirts of Sweet Baby Rays spicey BBQ sauce mixed with the herbal sauce at the end like it said. Pretty awesome.

  2. Justin Hofstetter says

    I just made this (for the second time) and wrapped one of the loaves in bacon, then topped them both with some rub from a local BBQ place (Squeal Like A Pig, aka SLAPs). One of the best meals I’ve ever had.

  3. Don says

    Hey Jeff! Have you ever heard of anyone allergic to beef? Well, I am! So I tried your recipe; however, I used ground turkey on the first loaf and ground chicken on the second loaf. I also used a poltry sauce instead of milk (it is beef too) in my mixtures. I then finished it with a light dusting of poltry rub. I put it on the smoker for 2 hours and OMG!

  4. Joe says

    Try setting the loaf on a couple pieces of bread and fill the voids in the pan with a few slices. The will soak up a lot of the grease.

  5. Nick says

    Great receipe. Just another suggestion for the grease dilemma. I use Quaker quick oats instead of bread crumbs or crackers. The oats soak up the grease, form nice loaf for presentation and taste awesome. Cheers.

  6. Kevin says

    Nice recipe I have an answer to the drippings you can cut holes in the bottom of a foil load pan and place a drippings bowl under it. No need to ever worry about a greasy meat loaf again.

  7. Craig Knowles says

    Just came across this page and will take away some of the ideas presented for my next smoked loaf.  Meatloaf was my first smoke as I figured the worst that could happen was I'd lose a couple pounds of burger.  Using my usual never-quite-the-same recipe, it came out great!

  8. George says

    Jeff – I came across your article a while back and meant to leave this comment for you then but have just now gotten around to it. I’ve been smoking meatloaf longer than I can remember and I wanted to share my technique with you. Not that there is anything wrong with your recipe or method, they work great. I do however seek beauty in my finished product and the way I make the most asthetically pleasing and delicious tasting smoked meatloaf follows.


    Simply mix your meatloaf like normal, but instead of forming in to a large loaf I use 2 aluminum pound cake pans, they are like $1.50 a pair in the baking isle at your local grocer. Stuff both pans and flatten out the top. Let them cook with the bottom of the pan on the grill for about an hour. THis is long enough to solidify the meat some and let the fat melt out in to the bottom and around the sides of the pan. After about an hour or so, flip the pans. The meatloaf will slide right out as it has now reduced in size and is well lubed all around. Make sure you are using a drip pan below the area as there will be quite a bit of run off. Now out of the pan, the entire loaf will take on a nice brown all the way around, and is structurally sound enough you can even flip it if you are after grill marks. I also use a brown sugar based rub all around the exterior and then “paint” the entire loaf with WIlliams Brothers Steak Sauce. We usually destroy the first loaf at the table, then slice the second for sandwiches. The pound cake pans make the perfect size loaf for slicing this way.

  9. Marlon Elmore says

    I will be trying smoked ground meatloaf real soon. Have you tried ground chuck or ground sirloin, instead of the ground beef. I love the taste of the chuck & sirloin in burgers, over traditional ground beef. I'm just not sure it has enough fat for most people. Thx

  10. Tom Schaffer says

    Jeff – I saw this meatloaf recipe a while ago and just tried it this weekend…Really great flavor!! I did 250 for about 2 hrs to 170. I did a variation on the recipe…I added a tablespoon of worchestshire an 1/8 cup of your rub, and I did 1 lb ground beef and 1 lb ground pork. I also made a tomato past/ketchup sauce and smoked in with the meatloaf, then spread it over the meatloaf and kept in warm in the oven at 150 until dinner, garnished with parmesaen and serve..ALl I heard was OMG!



  11. MATT says

    Jeff, I have smoked a couple diffrent meatleafs this way and I tell u that it turns out great each time. I add cheese in the middle of my meatloaf. Thank you for having this website.

    • says

      You are welcome! If you like stuffed meatloaf, you should check out the article where I made small meat loaves and placed a cream cheese filled jalapeno in each one. It was really good. You can see it HERE.

  12. Bob Sharpe says


    Ref: Smoked Meat Loaf

    First I just found your site yesterday and "you da man".

    Second I have only had my smoker for 2 days and this is only the second recipe I have done on it.

    Followed your recipe with the exception of no milk and I divided it into  2 equal size loafs.
    Cooked at around the 250 mark for 2.5 hours with just hickory chips in my gas smoker.
    And it was GREAT.
    My wife, who does not like meat, LOVED IT.  She loved it so much she posted on Facebook about it and I had several requests for the recipe.

    Never again will I cook meat loaf in a traditional oven.

    Thanks much,
    Bob Sharpe

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