Smoked Beef Meatloaf Recipe: [Expert Tips]

Smoked beef meatloaf is the most straightforward meal you can make for your loved ones. However, many people do not know how to go about this process. So, how do you make a smoked beef meatloaf?

To make a smoked meatloaf, you need pepper, onions, and garlic mixed with minced meat. You can add milk or barbeque sauce to your mixture before shaping it into a loaf or log-like shape, and then put it on the grill racks. For extra spices and flavor, shake some barbeque rubs on the meatloaf. There is no specific rub to meaning you can use your favorite.

Whether you have made a smoked meatloaf before or not, you need expert tips for a delicious smoked meatloaf. Read on for unique expert tips.

Smoked Meatloaf Recipe

Here is a smoked meatloaf recipe:

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 3 hours
  • Total time: 3hrs 15mins

What you need (Ingredients)

  • Two pounds of ground beef
  • One minced onion
  • One minced red pepper
  • Three minced garlic cloves
  • One beaten egg
  • Two third cups of barbeque sauce
  • A half cup of breadcrumbs
  • One teaspoon salt
  • A half teaspoon of black pepper
  • A quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • Three teaspoons of barbeque sauce


  1. Add ground beef, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, onions, salt, cayenne, pepper, and a third cup of barbeque sauce to a large bowl.
  2. Use your hands to knead your meat mixture until you make sure everything gets well combined.
  3. Shape the meat mixture to form a log or loaf and sprinkle it with barbeque rub
  4. Preheat your smoker until it reaches 250 degrees F. Use any one of your favorite woods. There are many options you can use, such as maple, hickory, mesquite, and pecan.
  5. Once your smoker hits 250 degrees F, place your meatloaf on the smoker.
  6. After smoking for 2 hours, brush the third cup of barbeque sauce on the surface of your meatloaf.
  7. Measure the internal temperature of your meatloaf. When it reaches 160 degrees F, remove it from the smoker.

How to make smoked meatloaf

Here are some of the best and simple tricks to make smoked beef meatloaf.

Best ingredients for smoked beef meatloaf

  • Ground beef meat
  • Flavoring ingredients
  • Moistening ingredients
  • Ingredients for mixing and binding meat with the other ingredients

Meat for Making Smoked beef Meatloaf

Lean ground beef makes the best meat for smoked beef meatloaf. The reason for being the best is the fact that it is dense and thus holds on together very well. However, the meat can quickly dry out when cooking, and therefore incorporate some fatty ground beef in your recipe.

Flavoring Ingredients

Additional moisture, meat, and binders are the main ingredients making up the smoked beef meatloaf. However, with only these three ingredients, this meatloaf will taste blind. Thus it is crucial to add flavoring ingredients.

Here are some popular flavoring ingredients:

  • Onions
  • Pepper
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Herbs
  • Mustard
  • Hot sauce
  • BBQ Sauce
  • BBQ rub

Moistening Ingredients

Your meatloaf should be moist. Most of the common recipes only require one to add some liquid, preferably milk. Why milk? Because milk contains a certain amount of fats which add richness and flavor to your meatloaf. However, if milk is not your favorite, there are other options, like beef broth or any other flavored liquid.

Binding Ingredients

You need ingredients to ensure the meat stays together and does not crack easily. There are two primary binding ingredients used in almost all smoked beef meatloaf recipes: eggs and breadcrumbs. The two contain proteins responsible for binding all the other ingredients together.

What Temp is Smoked Meatloaf Done?

You are probably wondering about the right temperature to cook your meatloaf. This section explains the temperature your oven should be at and the internal temperature of the meatloaf, among many other cooking tips.

Oven and Smoker Temperatures for Cooking Meatloaf

If you are using a smoker, the right temperature to cook your meatloaf is 250 degrees F. immediately after your smoker reaches 250 degrees F, place the meatloaf on the smoker and let it cook. Set the temperature to 350 degrees F when using an oven. At this temperature, you can be sure that the meatloaf will cook perfectly and remain moist. If you set the temperature higher, you can quickly burn out the outer crust of your meatloaf. On the other hand, if you set it too low, you might not get the delicious crust you would love to have.

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Nevertheless, you should know that if you set the oven at 350 degrees F and then open the oven door to put the meatloaf in, the temperature will drop. Thus, the best way to avoid this is by starting the oven at 425 degrees F, and immediately after you put the meatloaf in, you can reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F. This trick ensures that the temperature dropping does not affect the time you cook your meatloaf.

Internal temperature for meatloaf

The recipe you use determines the time length you will cook or bake your meatloaf. However, it is less likely to tell you the internal temperature of a thoroughly cooked meatloaf that is safe to eat. 160 degrees F is the correct internal temperature that tells you the meatloaf is ready. The recipe you use won’t consider the shape of your loaf, the oven, or the pan. Whichever method you use to make your meatloaf, always stick to the specified internal temperature. 5 minutes before the stipulated time for the meatloaf to be ready, insert a meat thermometer to read the internal temperature. Therefore, invest more in a better thermometer.

How long to smoke meatloaf

If a smoker is at 225 to 250 degrees F, you must smoke your meatloaf for 3 hours. Ensure that after these three hours, the internal temperature of your meatloaf is 160 degrees F to consider it done and safe to eat. However, it is essential to know that the smoking time varies, so it is better to ensure that you don’t overcook or undercook your meatloaf by monitoring the internal temperature. Once the meatloaf attains an internal temperature of 160 degrees F, remove it from heat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put the smoked meatloaf in the freezer?

Yes, you can freeze your smoked meatloaf even before cooking it. You can prepare it and freeze it to smoke later. In the other case, when you remain with leftovers, you can freeze them.

How can you make meatloaf glaze?

This is an optional step. However, it adds color and more flavor to the meatloaf. Glazes are usually added at the last stages of cooking. They should be sticky and saucy so that they can stick to the meat. The common ingredients for glaze are vinegar, hot sauce, and ketchup because they are sweet and spicy.

What is smoked meatloaf served with?

You can serve your smoked meatloaf with rice or mashed potatoes. Also, you can serve it with sandwiches. It goes well with many different dishes.

Which is the best wood to smoke meatloaf with?

Mesquite, oak, hickory, and maple make the best woods for smoking meatloaf. However, there are many other options. These make the best ones.


Making smoked beef meatloaf can be as easy as possible. With the right ingredients and a meat thermometer for monitoring the internal temperatures, you are good. Time is not a factor. The main thing to keep your eyes on is the meatloaf’s internal temperature.

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