Easy and simple, impress your family and friends with this delicious homemade version of a classic favorite. Smoked Meatloaf is made with a mixture of ground beef, pork, and turkey, roasted red bell peppers, sweet onion, and saltines.
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. Why not make tacos? Hamburgers? Empanadas? Meatballs (which actually should taste like tiny meatloaves but don’t)? Salisbury steak? Anything but meatloaf.
My extreme hatred towards meatloaf took a drastic U-turn one summer weekend, several years ago, when J wanted to BBQ smoke something on his grill.
Best Meatloaf for the BBQ
The first time I made this smoke meatloaf, I didn’t write down any of the ingredients. I just threw together all the 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.
I immediately wrote down the ingredients (guesstimating the amounts) on a small piece of paper and stored it in my favorite BBQ cookbook for future reference. I was now a converted meatloaf lover and I liked it!
Bell peppers in meatloaf are the best and I like to roast them first. I always use red bell peppers but green peppers can be used. Char the peppers on a grill or gas stove until they are blackened on all sides, steam in a covered bowl, then peel all the skin off, remove the inside seeds, and chop that baby up!
How to Make A Smoked Meatloaf Homemade Foil Pan
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 either MacGyver a big one, like I did, or divide up the mixture and use two disposable foil pans.
To make your own foil pan: just take a large piece heavy duty foil, double it up and fold in the shape of a pan the size to fit your meatloaf.
While you’ve got the smoker all nice and hot, try these recipes: Smoked Jalapeño Poppers, Smoked Stuffed Chicken Thighs, or this fantastic Smoked Porchetta Pork Loin (my favorite because it’s so good on sandwiches the next day!)
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 make a 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. Fill the loaf pan with the meatloaf mixture. Set aside.
Prepare the smoker and set it at 225F degrees (I like to use fruit woods with this, like cherry or apple). 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 degrees. Brush top of meatloaf with remaining 1 cup of barbecue sauce during the last hour of cooking time.
**Alternative oven cooking method to smoking: Bake meatloaf in a preheated 350F degree oven for 1 1/2 hours or until middle registers 165F. Top the uncooked meatloaf with the 1 cup of remaining barbecue sauce before placing it in the oven.
Remove fully cooked meatloaf from the smoker or oven, allow it cool for a couple of minutes, then remove from pan and cut into slices.
Originally published May 2015, updated with additional information and tips.