We're a family that loves meatloaf. If you've never tried smoked meatloaf you're missing out. Cooking low and slow on the smoker really gives it a juicy, tender texture while being full of smoky flavor.
We eat meatloaf year round, but we usually keep the grilling and smoking time to the summer - mostly due to the cold weather outside.
However, we make an exception for Super Bowl Sunday. We enjoy grilling and smoking on that day definitely.
❤️ Why you'll love it
- Use beef or venison for this recipe. If you're avid hunters like my family we would use venison for our meatloaf.
- Use your favorite BBQ sauce, it will really take it next level for you.
- Making anything on the smoker really helps keep things a little more hands off. Smoker recipes allow for socialization during the cooking.
- Meatloaf and mashed potatoes is serious comfort food.
- Fresh Onion
- Bell Pepper
- Ground Meat (beef or venison)
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Barbecue Sauce
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Cajun Seasoning
- Italian Breadcrumbs
- Panko Breadcrumbs
See recipe card at the bottom of this post for quantities.
This is an overview of the recipe steps. For more detailed instructions visit the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Step 1: Preheat Smoker.
- Step 2: Add ingredients to a large mixing bowl (except for the bbq sauce, only use 2 tablespoons at this point).
- Step 3: Mix meatloaf ingredients together then form an even loaf shape. Keep the thickness of your meatloaf even so the ends are not cooked faster.
- Step 4: Place loaf into a skillet or grill pan and plan on the grill of your smoker. If you're using a probe (or meat thermometer), stick into the middle of the meatloaf and close the lid.
- Step 5: Smoke for 2 hours then brush the remaining bbq sauce over the top of the meatloaf.
- Step 6: Smoke another 30 minutes (or so) - until the meatloaf has reached 160°F.
- Step 7: Remove and place an aluminum foil tent over the top, in a foil pan, and let rest for 30 minutes.
Pro Tip: If you're using venison meat you'll only need to bring the temperature up to 145°. Of course, this is entirely your decision.
🔄 Substitutions and Variations
- Ground Pork - mix a little ground pork with your beef.
- Bacon - create a bacon weave on top of the meatloaf.
- Brown Sugar - for a little sweetness.
- Italian Sausage - more spice and flavor.
- Apple Cider Vinegar - to balance things out.
- Chili Sauce - use this instead or mix into your bbq sauce - or use chili powder, for added heat.
- Olive Oil - add a little to your bbq sauce at the end.
- Ground Veal - use this instead of ground beef, for extra tender meat.
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When smoking your meatloaf you'll need a smoker, obviously. As well as a large bowl and grill pan to rest the meatloaf in. Some people even use a loaf pan for their recipes.
I have some affiliate links in the recipe card below for the type of pellet smoker we use.
📘 More Smoker Recipes
- Smoked Venison Backstrap
- Smoked Queso Recipe
- Smoked Mushrooms
- Smoked Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
- Smoked Asparagus
- Smoked Jalapeno Poppers
Once the smoked meatloaf has cooled completely and you have leftovers, store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
This recipe does freeze well too. Wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then place in a ziplok bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Expert Tip: Leftover meatloaf makes for some fantastic meatloaf sandwiches!
The corn in the picture above is Cajun Corn Maque Choux - a corn recipe full of flavor.
We use hickory usually. Mesquite, cherry wood and oak is also excellent.
Smoked meatloaf made from beef is ready to be taken off at 160° (it will continue to cook to 165°F after removing from the heat). If you are like us and like to use ground venison for your meatloaf, only take the temperature to 145°F so to not dry out the meat.
Yes, this is called the plateau. Eventually a smoked meatloaf will get to a certain point and stay there for some time - for us it's usually around 150. Don't worry, this is normal. Wait it out, it will start to climb again.
If you’ve tried this Smoked Meatloaf Recipe or any other great recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section below, how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers!
If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- 2lb Ground Meat
- 1 Yellow Onion, diced
- 1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
- 3 Cloves Garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 2 Large Eggs, beaten
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- ½ Cup Barbecue Sauce, divided
- ½ Cup Panko Style Breadcrumbs
- ½ Cup Italian Style Breadcrumbs
- 1 Tablespoon Cajun Seasoning
- Preheat your smoker to 275°F, using hickory pellets/chips.
- In a large mixing bowl add the ground meat, diced onion, diced bell pepper, crushed garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, Worcestershire Sauce, 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce, breadcrumbs, eggs and Cajun seasoning
- Mix together with your hands then form an even loaf shape.
- Place the meatloaf into a grill pan or a cast iron skillet.
- Place onto the grill of the smoker. If you're using a probe, insert into the center of the meatloaf.
- Close the lid and cook/smoke for 2 hours.
- At this point brush the remaining barbecue sauce all over the meatloaf.
- Continue cooking another 30 minutes or so - until the meatloaf comes to 160°F (for beef).
- Remove and cover with a foil tent for about 30 minutes. Then serve.
Keep your meatloaf shaped uniformly so that the ends are not a lot smaller than the rest of the meatloaf, if they are then they'll cook too fast and dry out.
Use your favorite barbecue sauce for this recipe, it will make a difference.
Use beef or venison for this recipe. If you use venison smoke for less time - you will only need to cook to 140-145.
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Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 442Total Fat 22gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 147mgSodium 877mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 1gSugar 8gProtein 35g