Sunday, November 16, 2008

Smoked Meatloaf

Smoked Meatloaf

Pretty much anything good is even better smoked, and meatloaf is no exception.

Smoking is just the latest twist on our meatloaf recipe that has evolved over the years. An important breakthrough was watching Alton Brown's meatloaf episode on Good Eats. Instead of cooking the meatloaf in a loaf pan (which was the way we always did it when I was a kid), he molds it in a pan and then turns it out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. This results in a more nicely browned surface area and is much easier to clean up.

Rather than use a loaf pan for molding, we do a more free-form version (kind of like making a giant hamburger):

Smoked Meatloaf

For the smoking, we used hickory and apple wood and smoked at around 280°F for an hour and 45 minutes, followed by another 15 minutes near 300°F to reach an internal temperature of 155°F.

I am a ketchup fiend, and used to love it slathered all over my meatloaf. I have come to believe, however, that a nicely seasoned meatloaf stands on its own - especially when smoked.

Smoked Meatloaf

Here is the recipe for our standard, oven-cooked meatloaf. The smoked version only varies in the cooking technique.


14 ounces ground beef
4 ounces ground pork
3/4 cup fresh coarse bread crumbs, made from day-old rustic Italian bread
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons dried sage, divided
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
sprinkle of paprika or cayenne (optional)

Put the beef, pork, bread and onion in a large bowl. Mix together the egg and milk, pour over the bread and meats. Sprinkle about 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, 1 teaspoon of the sage, the black pepper and parsley over the mixture. Using your hands with open fingers, gently combine the ingredients.

Transfer the meat mixture to a sheet pan and shape the meatloaf into a round disk about 2-inches high. Evenly sprinkle the top of the disk with the extra 1/4 teaspoons of salt and sage, plus the thyme, mustard powder and optional pinches of paprika or cayenne.

Bake for 5 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees and bake an additional 40-45 minutes or until the meatloaf has a nice crust and is not squishy when pressed lightly on top. Allow to rest at room temperature about 10 minutes before slicing into wedges for serving.


  1. I just spend the last 10 minutes reading some of your older posts (plus this last awesome one) and i am loving it! such great pictures and receipes - i love the diversity of the food. it means alot to me! thanks for visiting my blog b/c now i can bookmark this one to come back again.

  2. Thanks! Glad you liked reading through the blog. I've been enjoying yours as well.

  3. Oh you guys, that looks so delicious! My mom used to make a freeform meatloaf that would get crusty on top, then slather it with barbeque sauce when almost done. I don't think you'd the sauce on this one though.

  4. Hi Rayrena, thanks! I think a lot of us grew up with some sort of tomato or ketchup-based glaze on our meatloaf. I really like our herbed crust as an alternative, but for the smoked version I think a little barbecue sauce would be terrific!

  5. Mike I had to link to this in my comments, and I'll throw a link up when I update again. The smoked meatloaf pictures are just awesome!


  6. Thanks, Ryan. I've been enjoying reading your blog for a while now.

    Your marrow bones looked great! We did a short post on that recipe last year: Roasted Marrow Bones with Parsley Salad. Good stuff.

  7. Great site. Ever tried making smoked totmato salsa? Blanche the tomatoes for 1 min in boiling water then chill in an ice bath. peel. chop and add your favourite salsa fixin's. Made mine with diced strawberries and basil today!

  8. We've never tried smoking tomatoes - a smoked tomato salsa sounds like it would be really good!


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