Smoked Meatloaf: Pork and Beef Recipe Variations

Below, you'll find recipes of delicious pork or beef meatloaf and some cooking tips that may save your day.
Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
Research Writer
Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
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Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
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Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous read more
Last updated: August 10, 2023
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Meatloaf is a traditional comfort food for most Americans. This may be because many people have a lot of history with it, growing up. It was my mother’s perfect way of getting me to look the other way, and I have once heard her say she learnt that from her mother too. Perhaps, your home is like that as well.

If you have tasted meatloaf and you think it is great, smoked meatloaf seems to offer something a little different. The smoke from the grills, often times, tastes like an additional ingredient, giving a special smell and taste to the meatloaf. While the traditional has some sort of tomato flavor, smoking your meatloaf could give it a barbecue sauce taste.

The major difference between the traditional and smoked meatloaf is that unlike the former that is often dry and crumby, the latter produces some juicy, yet garnished and tasty filling; full of cheese and smoked flavor!

What more? It is very easy to make. Whether you are a professional griller or homebased cook, you only need to have a very good smoker or a pellet grill to make the most flavorful smoked meatloaf.

Usually, many people use beef for their meatloaf. However, you can also mix veal, pork, venison, seafood or poultry with other ingredients for the smoked meatloaf recipe.

Beef Smoked Meatloaf Recipe

If beef meatloaf tastes so heavenly when made in the oven, you can imagine how savory it would be when smoked with pepper, garlic, onions, and maybe some BBQ sauce.

In smoking your beef meatloaf, you would most definitely need a digital thermometer. The thermometer is important so you can ensure your meatloaf is smoking at the right temperature. Undone meat can result in serious health issues. It might also help to have other best smoker accessories handy so you can save time.


Smoked Meatloaf: Pork and Beef Recipe Variations

You would be needing meat – perhaps a mixture of beef and bacon; binder like eggs, breadcrumbs and milk; seasonings, for example, salt, garlic powder and black pepper. Others are yellow onion and Cheddar cheese.

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 minced onion
  • 1 minced red pepper
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 slightly beaten egg
  • 2/3 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoon of BBQ rub


  1. Mix the ground beef, onion, pepper, garlic, egg, 1/3 cup BBQ sauce, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and cayenne in a bowl.
  2. Knead the meat mixture uniformly.
  3. Mold the meat into a loaf or log shape and sprinkle with some BBQ rub.
  4. Set your smoker to 250F.
  5. Once the smoker reaches 250F, place the meatloaf in it.
  6. Brush with remaining 1/3 cup BBQ sauce after about 2 hours of smoking.
  7. You can remove when the internal temperature is around 160F.

Once you take your tender beef meatloaf off the smoker, I am sure you will not be able to wait to dig in. The aroma alone would have you drooling, and never making meatloaf any other way.

Beef Smoked Meatloaf Video Recipe

What is the ideal cooking time for smoked beef meatloaf?

It is important for you to cook meatloaf properly, more so, for health reasons. Before serving, allow the loaf to reach an internal temperature of 155-160 degrees F, and that might take at least one hour. It is advisable to use a meat thermometer so you can get an accurate reading.

Always bear in mind that the most important thing is cooking to temperature, and not time. How long it takes will always vary depending on your smoker type and how thick your meatloaf is.

Pork Smoked Meatloaf Recipe

Smoked Meatloaf: Pork and Beef Recipe Variations

Beyond the basic meatloaf ingredients of breadcrumbs, milk, egg, and seasonings, this recipe calls for the use of bacon or pork.


  • 2 sweet pork sausage link 1/4 lb
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced (1 cup)
  • 6 slices bacon chopped
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup milk
  • BBQ sauce of choice


  1. In a skillet sauté bacon over medium-high heat, add diced onion after about two minutes.
  2. Cook for at least four minutes until onion becomes transparent.
  3. Remove from pan, and allow to cool.
  4. Preheat smoker to 225°
  5. Mix cooled bacon and onion mixture, eggs, pork, breadcrumbs, milk, salt and chili powder until they are uniform. Put in a lined baking sheet and make a large loaf.
  6. Put meatloaf in smoker for about two hours, monitoring until internal temperature reaches 160°F. Grease with your favorite BBQ sauce at least two times within the final half-hour.
  7. Remove from smoker and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing.

Recipe Variations: What Else Can You Add?

  • You can also add fruitwoods like apple or cherry to this recipe.
  • If you like it hot, you might want to add frozen jalapenos.

Cooking Tips

  • When your Traeger meatloaf is formed, you can place it on a wire mesh cooling rack. This would keep your meatloaf intact as you transport it from the smoker.
  • Remember to line your baking sheet with tinfoil and place it on the rack underneath the mesh cooling rack. This will collect the grease and fat from the smoked meatloaf and keep it clean as much as possible.
  • Avoid over-mixing the ingredients. This could result in a tough meatloaf.
  • Always grate your onions. It helps to hydrate the bread crumbs and adds so much flavor too.

Preparing the meatloaf ahead before smoking can save you a lot of time. Doing this is very simple. You only need to mix your ingredients, shape them into a log or loaf, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you are ready to smoke.

  • You can also freeze the meatloaf ahead of smoking. Prepare the meatloaf and keep it frozen as raw as it is. You can then defrost when you are ready to smoke the loaf. If you find that your meatloaf is not pulling away, then the binder in it is not enough.
  • You could also place your meatloaf on a rack and place that rack inside the smoker rack. What this does is that it reduces the chances of the meatloaf falling apart.
  • Ensure to consume all leftovers before five days. However, if you want it to last longer than that, just ensure to wrap it tight and keep away in a freezer. This way, it could last up to three months.

How to Serve

Smoked Meatloaf: Pork and Beef Recipe Variations

Meatloaf in itself is a comfort food; still it is usually served with other comfort foods like baked, roasted, scalloped or mashed potatoes. Other people also try it out with French fries, or veggies – fresh or steamed.

You may also find the following as delicious accompaniments:

  • Cheesy grilled Garlic Bread
  • Grilled corn Salad
  • Potato salad
  • Smoked strawberry crisp

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the questions people often ask about meatloaf.

Can I Freeze Meatloaf?

Certainly, you can freeze meatloaf.  Like I mentioned earlier, if you are not sure you would finish eating the meatloaf at a go, you can store it in an airtight container and then freeze. It would still be safe to consume for three months. You can put raw meatloaf in a plastic wrap before keeping in an airtight freezer bag. Raw meatloaf can last up to six months when properly refrigerated.

Can I Reheat Meatloaf?

The straight answer is “Yes”. You can reheat your beef or pork smoked meatloaf in your smoker, oven or microwave. However, you must ensure that the leftovers had been properly stored in a freezer in an airtight container.

Can I Double the Meatloaf Recipe?

Of course, you can double the recipe to make one extra big log/loaf or two small loafs. Just keep in mind that if you are making one extra big loaf, you will have to cook it longer.

Final Thoughts

Smoked Meatloaf: Pork and Beef Recipe Variations

There is nothing scary about smoking a meatloaf. You can never go wrong with homemade smoked meatloaf, especially when you smoke it.

I will glad to know if you followed our recipe instructions and to see that you made a delicious smoked meatloaf with incredible flavor.

It is time for you to take dinner up a notch. Share your experience in the comments section right after.

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