A previous article talked about getting your new smoker ready for smoking, so now that you have it ready what’s cooking. Virtually anything can be cooked in the smoker, and people do experiment when they are not in the mood for pulled pork or ribs.
One meal you can impress your family and friends with is smoked meatloaf. Make it the way you always have but this time put it in the smoker with your favorite smoking wood.
In case you do not have a recipe handy, you can use the following one. It is a secret family recipe, so please keep it to yourself even when your friends and family beg you for it.
What You Will Need
- Aluminum foil and a disposable foil baking sheet. The baking sheet does not have to be one of the full sized ones, just one big enough to put the meatloaf in the center of once it’s formed.
- A meat thermometer and ideally you would have a meat probe that can remain in the meatloaf during the smoking.
- Bread loaf pan greased
- Two heavy duty spatulas for removing the meatloaf from the pan.
- 2lbs of your favorite ground beef 80/20 works fine however, and to kick things up you can add 1/2 pound of ground pork to the mix
- 2 eggs beaten
- Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)
- 2 Gloves fresh garlic crushed, minced or diced
- Bread crumbs and you can make your own by lightly toasting bread and mixing in a food processor or crumble by hand, you can substitute quick oats for the bread crumbs if you like your meatloaf a little firmer, or some of you may even prefer cracker crumbs but remember if using salted crackers adjust the salt you would normally add
- Diced bell peppers 1 to 2 peppers depending on size
- Diced onions 1 white or yellow medium size
- Barbeque sauce and/or ketchup (optional), would be spread on top during the last half hour of cooking
- 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- Grated cheese of your choice, this is optional but it does add to the flavor
This recipe calls for sautéing the peppers, onions and garlic before adding to the mix. The cooking (sweating) process brings out the flavors, but some of you may like a bit of texture, so you can add them without sautéing.
Add the beef, and pork if using, to a large bowl and add salt and pepper to taste, cheese if using, and pepper flakes if you want a bit of heat, and then add the Worcestershire, eggs, and bread crumbs, cracker crumbs or quick oats. When the vegetables are ready add them as well, or place in raw and then mix well by hand.
The pan that is going on the smoker with the meatloaf on it will need holes poked in the bottom so the fat drains away. Under the pan (on the grate where the charcoal would normally go) you would put the aluminum foil or use another pan to catch the drippings. You want the entire loaf exposed to the smoke and you do not want it to cook in its juices.
To form a loaf you can grease a bread pan and form the meat in it and turn over onto the aluminum pan. Before turning over place the aluminum pan on a cookie sheet so you can carry it out to the smoker, otherwise it is difficult to carry without it collapsing. Once at the smoker simply slide off onto the grates.
You would pre-heat the smoker and you want the cooking temperature to be between 250 and 300° F. The cooking time is approximately 4 hours if cooking at 250. Cook until the internal temperature is 160-165° F.
Once done slide the pan and loaf back onto to the cookie sheet and carry inside to rest for 20 minutes before slicing. Use the spatulas to place the loaf on a carving board or platter. You can let the meatloaf cool and then wrap and put in the refrigerator for eating the next day. Cold smoked meatloaf sandwiches are excellent, or you can slowly warm the loaf back up and serve using brown gravy, barbeque sauce, horseradish sauce, or with anything you can think of.