Smoked Meatloaf

I look for any reason that I can to fire up the smoker. A couple days ago, I saw that ground beef was on sale and I bought about 10 pounds of the meat. Meatloaf is a glorious thing in my mind, as it as much a comfort food as any other dish out there. Now meatloaf is delicious in the oven, there is no denying that. But, just imagine how incredible it could be smoked!

Oh yeah!

This smoked meatloaf recipe is very similar to my traditional oven smoked recipe. There are onions, peppers and garlic in the meat mixture. Instead of milk (which I normally add to my meatloaf), I added some BBQ sauce.

Smoked Meatloaf with Bacon Weave-14

Shape the meatloaf into a log/loaf shape and place it on the smoker racks. Then, I like to shake some BBQ rub on the meatloaf for extra spice and flavor. There is no ‘right’ rub for this, but I like to use the rub that I also use for ribs and pork butts. Here is my recipe for Steve’s BBQ Rub.

Smoked Meatloaf with Bacon Weave-15

One of the most important tools for any smoking enthusiast is a digital thermometer. I love ThermoWorks and as seen in the picture, I use their ChefAlarm all the time! For the meatloaf, stick the thermometer probe in so that it is into the center area of the meat.

Smoked Meatloaf with Bacon Weave-16

Start up your smoker and get it up to 250F. Now, regarding wood choice for this smoke, I used hickory, but really, almost any wood will work. My preference for a meatloaf would be hickory, pecan, mesquite, maple or oak.

Looking at the picture above, you can see that I smoked 3 meatloaves. Anytime I have the Bradley Smoker going, I like to fill it as much as possible. One of the meatloaves, I wrapped with a bacon weave. Oh yeah!

This was my first smoke for my new Bradley Original Smoker. It is quite obvious as there is still the silvery shine of the smoker walls! You should see how dark the walls are on my other smoker.

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I placed my thermometer on the top of the smoker and the cable ran down through the smoke vent down to the meat. I set the smoker to go off at 142F. Obviously the meat is not done at that temperature, as it needs to go to an internal temperature of 160F. But, at 142F, I brushed on some BBQ sauce.

Smoked Meatloaf with Bacon Weave-18

Once the 142F was reached, the ChefAlarm started beeping and it was time to brush on the sauce. Opening the smoker doors released an incredible aroma. The meatloaf smelled amazing and they looked pretty awesome as well!

Smoked Meatloaf with Bacon Weave-19

Midway, during the smoke process, I flip the racks around so that the meatloaf on the bottom rack was moved to the top. This just ensures an even smoke and cook between all the meatloaves.

Smoked Meatloaf with Bacon Weave-20

Once the meatloaves reached 160F they were ready to be devoured! The sauce thickened on the meat and created a sweet BBQ glaze. These were perfect, sliced and served with mashed potatoes and coleslaw. I also cut a few slices and made smoked meatloaf sandwiches!  I enjoy meatloaves cooked in the oven, but smoking them took it to a whole new level.

Smoked Meatloaf with Bacon Weave-21

Smoked Meatloaf

4.76 out of 5
29 reviews
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 3 -4


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


  • In a large bowl, add the ground beef, onion, pepper, garlic, egg, 1/3 cup BBQ sauce, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and cayenne.
  • Using your hands, knead the meat mixture until everything is well combined.
  • Mold the meat into a log/loaf shape and sprinkle with BBQ rub.
  • Start up your smoker and get it to 250F. You can use many different types of wood (hickory, pecan, maple, mesquite). I used hickory for this smoke.
  • Place meatloaf in smoker once the smoker reaches 250F.
  • Brush with remaining 1/3 cup BBQ sauce after about 2 hours of smoking.
  • Remove when the internal temperature is at 160F.

Smoked Meatloaf with Bacon Weave-23



Did you try this recipe?

Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out. Or, take a picture to share on Instagram and tag me @theblackpeppercorn.

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Recipe Rating


  • 5 stars
    This is SO fabulous! I don’t even like red meat and I cant get enough of this – delicious. I you double the recipe, don’t double breadcrumbs and spices – maybe 1 1/2 the amount.

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  • Made this for the first time on a new pellet grill. My husband could not say enough good things. Nothing better than a successful recipe that is easy and delicious and makes me feel like I did something well. Great spin on a traditional meatloaf. I would make this for company it is so good. I used the rub from your recipe and the bbq sauce I love Williamson Bros. Original. Perfect!

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  • 5 stars
    Love this recipe!! My friends beg me to make it when I have people over. I add an envelope of Lipton Beefy Onion Soup. Also after a few tries I found I like a hickory with a little mesquite mix for the wood. Highly recommend trying this!

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    • Do you need omit the salt in the recipe because you add the envelope of Onion Soup?

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  • Just wanted to say thanks. I am just learning to use my smoker and after following your recipe, family could not get enough and we actually ran out of meat. Even my Mother in Law was impressed. Started now making two at a time.

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  • Starting it right now. First time. Wish me luck.

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  • 5 stars
    I have made this now about four times, the first time was at a suggestion of a friend about “smoked meatloaf” it sounded so good I went on line and found this recipe …. we devoured it …so I made it again, and again, (my husband likes it best without the extra sauce on the outside, but either way, this is a keeper. Moist and delicious! I am making it again for a party tomorrow! Thanks Steve!

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  • 5 stars
    Delicious is an understatement. By far the best meatloaf I have ever had!

    • Reply
    • Awesome! I am so glad you liked it. Thanks for your kind words. 🙂

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  • 5 stars
    Would definitely recommend.
    I would recommend chopping the peppers and onions alot finer than in the pictures. It will provide a little easier texture and easier to form into the log shape.
    Also recommend – When the meat hits about 150. Bump the heat up to 300. You already have taken on about as much smoke as it will take. Bumping the temp up and jumping from 150 to 160 internal temp quicker will make it more moist.

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  • 4 stars
    I made this yesterday in my bradley smoker and want to say wow it was and still is amazing first time smoking a meatloaf will absolutely do this again

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  • 5 stars
    Came out perfect. Moist and tasty.

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  • Yummy…

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  • 5 stars
    My husband makes an awesome smoked meatloaf, also, very similar to this. We do not put BBQ sauce “in” the meatloaf as I just use my mom’s old fashioned recipe (meat, bell pepper, onions, celery, bread crumbs soaked in milk, egg, s&p, parsley, garlic and onion powder.) After he smokes it, we top it with a wonderful sauce of a combo of: 1 c. Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce, 1/2 cup of grape jelly/jam and 1/4 cup of medium Salsa (of choice). Spin in FP until smooth and top the meatloaf during the last hour of smoking. He does it (indirect) on our Weber grill. Our entire family loves it. Served with mashed potatoes, fresh green beans, salad and garlic bread. YUM! Thanks for sharing yours. Sounds wonderful!

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    • That sauce sounds amazing!!

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    • That really sounds interesting.

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  • 5 stars
    This recipe is outstanding! I have made it twice in the last six weeks (when my husband and I won our first smoker in a raffle), and then once as meatballs for spaghetti (reduced time, of course). We do a family event a few times a year with different types of pastas and sauces, and then a protein (sausage, meatball, etc). Everyone mixes and matches the pastas and sauces and it is great fun. This may be the last protein we ever use! Thank you for sharing!

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  • How far up did you put the rack for just one?

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    • If I am smoking just one, I tend to have it in the middle rack or one rack below the middle.

      • Reply
  • 5 stars
    Tried it with the bacon wrap and it was delicious, even my pickiest eater loved it. Thanks for putting your recipe out there.

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