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Smoked Meatloaf - Better than Ever

Over the years we have posted several recipes for smoked meatloaf and, of course, the accolades just pour in and especially from those how have just tried it and realize that it is really good. Now we’ve gone back to the drawing board to create a smoked meatloaf that’s better than ever.
Course Entree
Cuisine Hot Smoking
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Servings 4 -6
Author Jeff Phillips

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chuck (80/20)
  • 1 lb ground breakfast sausage , hot or regular
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper (yellow, green, red mixed), diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion , diced (1 small onion)
  • 1/2 cup celery , diced
  • 2 slices of loaf bread or a hamburger bun top and bottom
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • Jeff’s barbecue sauce recipe
  • Jeff’s original rub recipe

Instructions

Step 1: Soak Bread

  • Take two slices of loaf bread or the top and bottom half of a bun and tear it into small pieces.
  • With the bread in a small bowl, pour ½ cup of buttermilk over the bread. The bread will soak up the buttermilk and this will be part of what makes the meatloaf so moist.
  • Once the milk is soaked in, crack a couple of large eggs onto the bread mixture. Stir gently to combine.
  • Set aside

Step 2: Saute Vegetables

  • Dice bell peppers, onion and celery so that you end up with about ½ cup of each.
  • If you have extra, place them in a zip top bag and place them in the freezer for later.
  • Put 2 TBS of olive oil into a skillet over medium heat.
  • Once the pan is hot enough, pour in the onions, peppers and celery and stir to mix with the oil.
  • Let them cook for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables start to get slightly soft.
  • Once the veggies are finished cooking, remove them from the pan and into a plate or bowl to cool.
  • Add ½ cup of Jeff's barbecue sauce and 3 TBS of Jeff's rub to the sautéed vegetables. Stir to combine.

Step 3: Mix the Meatloaf

  • Place the 1 pound of ground chuck and 1 pound of ground sausage into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the bread, buttermilk and egg mixture to the top of the meat.
  • Add the vegetable, sauce and rub mixture to the top of the meat as well.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the top of the mixture and gently combine the ingredients together.
  • Do not overmix. Do just enough to combine and stop. Overworking the meatloaf mixture will make it tough.

Step 4: Form Into a Loaf

  • Pour or scoop the mixture onto a cookie sheet, food grade butcher paper, etc. and form into a loaf with your hands.
  • You can also place the mixture into a loaf pan to form it and then dump it out onto the pan, rack or tray that you will use to cook it.
  • You will notice that this mixture may be a little wetter than what you are used to using but that's ok. It will form and hold together just fine.
  • I recommend about 2 inches thick in the shape of a rectangle but you can get creative with this if you like.
  • If using a Bradley rack, I recommend placing a piece of wax paper under the meat so it will be easier to remove once done.

Step 5: Smoke the Meatloaf

  • Set up your smoker for cooking at about 225-240°F using indirect heat with hickory smoke or whatever smoking wood you have available.
  • If your smoker has a water pan, I recommend that you use it.
  • Once your smoker is maintaining the proper temperature, the cooking can commence.
  • Place the meatloaf in the smoker.
  • Let the loaf cook for 3-4 hours or until it reaches about 155°F.

Step 6: Top with Sauce

  • At about 155°F, brush the top and sides of the meatloaf with plenty of Jeff's barbecue sauce. Give it about 25-30 minutes to caramelize then remove from the smoker.
  • Finish temperature for meatloaf is actually 160°F but knowing that it will continue to cook and rise in temperature even after being removed from the smoker, it is ok to remove it a few degrees early.

Step 7: Rest and Serve

  • Once the meat is brought into the house, tent some foil over the top and let it rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing and serving. This resting period gives the juices in the meat time to redistribute throughout the meat.