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Smoked meatloaf is something I decided to try about 15 years ago on a whim and it has been a regular feature at our table ever since. I wrote about it way back then and I've had hundreds of folks tell me they would never eat an “oven” meatloaf again.
Take that same meatloaf, form it into a log, wrap it in bacon and you have smoked meatloaf logs.
Most folks agree that bacon makes almost anything better and this holds very true in this recipe as well.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 2.5 hours
- Smoker Temp: 225°F
- Meat Finish Temp: 165°F
- Recommended Wood: Pecan
- 2 lbs of ground beef (80/20)
- ¾ cup green pepper
- 1 cup diced onion
- ½ cup quick oats
- ¼ cup Worcestershire
- 2 eggs
- 1 lb bacon
- Jeff's original rub
- Jeff's barbecue sauce
- Wax or parchment paper
Add ground beef, green peppers, onions, eggs and oats to a large mixing pan
Oops.. I almost forgot the worcestershire sauce!
I just made a bowl to put the worcestershire into, then remixed it lightly.
Making a bacon weave is not the easiest thing to write out so that it's easy to follow. I have posted pictures and I feel confident that you can accomplish this, even if you've never done it before, by studying the images carefully before you begin.
Begin by laying out some wax paper and create the bacon weave in the center or at one end leaving enough room to form the meatloaf log at the other end.
Form half of the meatloaf (1 lb) into a log that is about the same length as the bacon weave you just created.
Be sure to create it close to the bacon weave and lined up with the long side since you will simply roll the log onto the bacon once it's finished.
It will need to only be about 2 inches in diameter
Once it's formed, use the wax paper to help you roll the log up onto the edge of the bacon.
Continue to roll the meatloaf log and the bacon weave until the weave is all the way around the meatloaf log.
It's not the end of the world if the the weave overlaps or if there is a slight gap that the weave does not cover.
Once it's finished, use the wax paper to help you move the wrapped log to a rack or you can leave it on the wax paper for now so you can move it to the smoker grate in a few minutes.
Repeat these steps on the 2nd meatloaf log.
Sprinkle ample amounts of Jeff's original rub all over the outside of the wrapped meatloaf log
The meatloaf logs are now ready to smoke.
Set up your smoker for cooking at about 225°F.
Make sure to have enough smoking wood to last about 2 hours.
If your smoker has a water pan, fill it with water or other liquid.
Place the logs directly on the smoker grate or if you used a rack, just lay the entire rack on the smoker grate.
Maintain about 225°F for 2-3 hours or until the meatloaf logs have reached 165°F in the center using a trusted meat thermometer.
I like to keep the smoke going for the entire time they are on the smoker. I recommend at least 2 hours of smoke if possible.
I used pecan. Feel free to use your own favorite smoking wood for these.
Putting Sauce on the Smoked Meatloaf Logs
Brush Jeff's barbecue sauce (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled sauce) onto the smoked meatloaf logs when they are just 30 minutes from being done. This adds a really wonderful extra layer of flavor which has the potential to make your mouth really happy. I recommend my own but if you have another favorite, I won't hold it against you😁.
See how great the rub and sauce make the outside of the smoked meatloaf logs look? It'll taste even better!
Once they smoked meatloaf logs are done cooking/smoking and they have reached that magical 165°F, you can remove them from the smoker right away and slice them up.
If you are anything like me and my family, they might not even make it to the table. It's like vultures around the kitchen bar and the last piece is grabbed by whoever happens to be the bravest among us ;-)
- To me, the bacon is good just like it is. It doesn't usually get crispy but it should have decent bite-through. If you really want it to be crispy, you can very carefully place it on a hot grill, rolling it over every little bit to get an even crispiness. You can also use the broiler for this task but you have to be careful or the sauce/rub will burn.
- These are perfect on biscuits, Hawaiian rolls or put a couple on a slice of loaf bread and make yourself a sandwich that's out of the world!
- Feel free to use your own favorite meatloaf recipe but I do recommend substituting some of my barbecue sauce for the ketchup and be sure to add the original rub to the outside.
- Don't get these confused with the “fatty” or bacon explosion. Those are amazingly good as well but they are different in that it uses sausage and is stuffed. This is supposed to be good ol' meatloaf, all by itself, wrapped in bacon. It's all about the meatloaf recipe and the bacon while a fatty is more about the stuffing.
Smoked Meatloaf Logs
Make the Meatloaf
- Combine the ingredients together well.
Create the Bacon Weave
- This is something that is almost impossible to write out in a way that can be understood without images. You are looking for a weave that is 3 strips of bacon wide. Use half strips weaved into those 3 steps to create the "weave".
- Create the weave on one end of a piece of wax or parchment paper.
Form the Meatloaf into Logs
- With the meatloaf that has been mixed together, form (2) logs that are as long as your bacon weave and about 2 inches in diameter
- Form the logs on the other end of the wax paper.
Wrap the Bacon Weave Around the Meatloaf Log
- Use the wax paper to help you roll/place the log onto the edge of the bacon weave.
- Continue to roll the meatloaf log until the bacon weave is wrapped around it.
Season the Wrapped Meatloaf Logs
- Sprinkle Jeff's original rub generously onto the outside of the wrapped meatloaf logs
Smoke the Meatloaf Logs
- Set up your smoker for cooking at about 225°F
- Place the wrapped meatloaf logs directly onto the smoker grate or use a bradley rack.
- Smoke cook for about 2.5 hours or until the internal temperature of the meat reads 165°F
- Remove the smoked meatloaf logs from the smoker once they are finished.
- Slice and serve immediately.