Smoked Meatloaf

Lee makes meatloaf.  Thrilling, right?  Well hell, it looks great.


I’m a big fan of Jeff Phillip’s smoking meat newsletter and his cook book. While I can’t give you his rub and sauce recipes, if you spend time on the smoker, the $20 he charges is well worth it.  As is his cook book. He published his revised meatloaf recipe and I ran with it.  I’ll shameless steal his basic recipe and reshape it into something barely recognizable.

Before we start, remember that recipes are frameworks. I am never precise unless I’m baking.  These are approximations of what I did.  When I tell the butcher “about a pound” anything from 1-1.5 pounds is acceptable.  Yes, things like chili’s and bread come in whole units and yes I can count smart ass. J


  • 1.25 lb ground chuck (80/20)
  • 1.25 lb ground pork
  • 1.25 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 1 Pasilla (poblano) Pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 Anaheim Chile seeded and diced
  • 2 Jalapeno Peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 of a very large sweet onion diced (1 large onion)
  • 8 cloves of garlic, smashed and diced fine
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 2 TBS Lee’s Homemade Hot Pepper Sauce
  • 2 TBS Bacon Fat (or olive oil)
  • 4 slices of Multigrain bread
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. herbs de Provence (WHAT?!?)
  • ½ cup+ BBQ Rub
  • 1 cup+ BBQ Sauce
  • 1 TBS butter.
  • Bread crumbs (if needed)

Sauté the onion in the bacon fat over medium high.  Remember, bacon fat makes everything better. (I contemplated chopping up some bacon into the meat, but chose not to.)  Add the salt to help draw out some moisture. When the onions are soft, not yet translucent, add the peppers and chili.  When the Peppers are almost done, add the butter.  Butter is like bacon fat from cows.  I added several grinds of pepper here.  After a minute, add the garlic and stir well.  After 2 minutes remove from the heat.

Rip up the bread and place it in a bowl.  Add the milk and let it soak in to the bread.  Stir this every few moments to break up the bread and let the milk absorb evenly.  Pretty soon you’ll have mush.  When you reach the mush stage, add the eggs and 1 tsp. of the herbs de Provence.  Beat mercilessly and set aside.

I started the smoker at this point.  I used a mix of Oak and Cherry (because Hickory doesn’t grow in California).  It takes about an hour to get to a constant temp. I aimed for 240.  Started cooking at 250 and dropped to 225 at times, because I’m far from perfect.

In a gargantuan bowl (because I like leftovers and this makes fantastic sandwiches), add the meats, the cooled veggies and 1 tsp. of the herbs de Provence.  I like to gently break the meat at this point into small pecan sized chucks, tossing with the veggies.  It is very loose at this point, but very well mixed.

Add ¼ cup of the rub and ¼ cup of the BBQ sauce to the meat.  And the Pepper sauce. Add in the milk, bread and egg delight.  Roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. Mix it good.

I thought mine was too soft (that’s what she said) to hold shape, so I added about ½ cup of really good bread crumbs.  It is much easier to add texture to make it firm than it is to add liquid.  Just saying.

I formed a loaf and put in in a smoker rack.  Cover the loaf with a nice crust of rub.  And it’s off to the smoker for approximately 4 hours.


An instant read thermometer is my best friend.  That, and an accurate temp in the smoker.  When the meat got to 150, I coated the loaf in BBQ sauce to caramelize and moved it to the top rack.  I pulled the meat loaf at 160 and let it rest 15 minutes before cutting.  I served with some smoked beans and roasted garlic potatoes.  Yum.


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1 Comment

  1. You were wrong, I’m not “bored by your blog.” Unfortunately, however, I want meatloaf for breakfast now.


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