Smoked Meatloaf is an unusual and simply delicious version of a classic favorite. Made with a mixture of ground beef, pork, and turkey, roasted red bell peppers, sweet onion, and saltines. It will be your new go-to recipe for an easy meatloaf!
Smoked Meatloaf is the only way I will ever eat meatloaf. If it’s not smoked, then I’m not eating it. I’ve never, ever liked meatloaf and absolutely refused to eat it when I was younger (just ask my Mom).
I mean it’s a total waste of good ground beef. Here are a list of foods I’d rather make with ground beef than a meatloaf:
However, my extreme hatred towards meatloaf took a drastic U-turn one summer weekend, when J wanted a meatloaf and I wanted to smoke something on the grill.
Smoked Meatloaf is the BEST Meatloaf!
The first time I made this smoked meatloaf, I didn’t write down any of the ingredients. I just threw together a bunch of ingredients from the refrigerator and pantry stuff and made it.
Honesty, I really didn’t care about documenting it because I knew I wasn’t going to eat it (because it’s meatloaf). I also knew that I wasn’t going to make it again for J for another year or so (because it’s meatloaf).
Smoked meatloaf tastes NOTHING like regular meatloaf. It is beyond good and all full of smokey goodness. It’s a recipe worthy of ground beef.
This meatloaf had the most amazing flavor and I immediately wrote down the ingredients (guesstimating the amounts) on a small piece of paper. Safely stored it in my favorite BBQ cookbook for future reference, I’m now a converted meatloaf lover and make it at least once a month, even in the winter!
How to roast peppers
Bell peppers are so delish in a smoked meatloaf and I like to roast them first for an extra flavor bang. I always use red bell peppers, but green peppers can be used here too.
- Char the peppers on a grill or gas stove until they are blackened on all sides.
- Steam in a covered bowl or sealed paper bag.
- Peel all the skin off. DO NOT RINSE the skin off, just peel it off with your fingers.
- Remove all of the inside seeds.
- Chop that baby up and use!
Below are a few of my favorite smoking books! Project Smoke by Steven Raichlen is my go-to book whenever and I’ve done a few other recipes of his on TEA. Like these Smoked Stuffed Chicken Thighs With Cheese and Ham or this Double Rum Smoked Turkey.
Love all his recipes and there’s a reason why I use the hashtag #stevenraichlenismyhomeboy on all my Project Smoke recipe pics on Instagram. LOL!
Here’s the meatloaf mixture in my fancy homemade foil pan. This loaf was way too big for a single disposable aluminum foil pan so you can:
- MacGyver a big one (like I did)
- Divide up the mixture and use two disposable foil pans.
How to make your own BBQ foil pan:
- Take a large piece heavy duty foil
- Double it up
- Fold in the shape of a pan the size to fit your meatloaf
So get out the smoker and enjoy this recipe for smoked meatloaf and PIN it for later. Please let me know how you like it in the comments below too!
- 1 1/4 pounds ground beef chuck
- 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
- 1 pound ground pork
- 2 roasted red bell peppers , chopped (at home roasting instructions below)
- 3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup onion , finely chopped
- 4 fresh garlic cloves , minced
- 2 eggs , beaten
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cup barbecue sauce , homemade or good quality store bought
heavy duty aluminum foil to make your own loaf pan or 2 disposable aluminum foil pans
TO ROAST THE RED BELL PEPPERS:
- Grill bell peppers over a gas or charcoal grill. Grill all sides of each pepper until blackened, about 15-20 minutes.
- Place blackened peppers in a small bowl and cover with a plate to allow the steam to loosen up the skin on the peppers. Let steam about 15 minutes and then peel off the pepper skins and scrap out the seeds. DO NOT rinse the peppers under water to remove the skin and seeds because that will remove all the smokey flavor.
- Chop the bell peppers and set aside.
FOR THE MEATLOAF:
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients but only add 1/2 cup of the 1 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce. Reserve other 1 cup of sauce to top the meatloaf later. Mix all ingredients in the bowl together until thoroughly combined.
- Take a small baking sheet and place a foil pan on it. Fill the loaf pan with the meatloaf mixture and set aside to prepare the smoker.**Can make a homemade foil loaf pan by taking a 24" piece of heavy duty aluminum foil and doubling it over by folding it half. Mold the foil sides upwards to form a loaf pan.
- Prepare the smoker and set it at 225F/107C degrees (I like to use fruit woods with this, like cherry or apple). **Alternative oven cooking method to smoking the meatloaf: Bake meatloaf in a preheated 350F/177C degree oven for 1 1/2 hours or until middle registers 165F/74C. Top the uncooked meatloaf with the 1 cup of remaining barbecue sauce before placing it in the oven.
- Place the meatloaf pan directly on the rack of an indirect heat source of the smoker and smoke for 3-4 hours, or until middle of meatloaf registers 165F/74C degrees.
- Remove fully cooked meatloaf from the smoker or oven, allow it cool for a couple of minutes in the pan. Then remove from the pan, cut into slices, and serve immediately.
Recipe Notes & Tips:
- Use a fruit hardwood for smoking. I like to use apple or cherry hardwood to smoke this meatloaf.
- Freeze the cooked meatloaf for later! Freeze whole or individual thick slices by wrapping it really well with freezer butcher paper or plastic wrap and then put in a freezer proof bag.