Yep. That’s what I said…smoked meatloaf. Who knew?
This recipe was a complete accident – a surprisingly tasty accident. It all started with mashed potatoes. I don’t know why, but I can’t manage to make mashed potatoes for just two people. No matter my intentions I always end up making enough for eight or ten people, and then have to figure out what to do with all of the leftovers. When this happened recently I decided to make meatloaf. Not a typical mid-August meal perhaps, but it was something I hadn’t made in a while and I knew it would go well with those silly potatoes. The only problem was that I needed the oven to make cupcakes for a friend’s birthday, so I asked Jimmy if he would try grilling the meatloaf instead. He’s happy to grill just about anything, so this was a welcome suggestion. While he was getting the grill ready we decided to throw a few wood chips on the coals. He recently received several bags of wood chips as a gift – hickory, mesquite, apple and maple – so we had plenty to spare, and that’s how we ended up making smoked meatloaf. I didn’t expect it to be bad, but was shocked by how fabulous it actually was.
Adapted from Cook’s Country
Following is the meatloaf recipe I used as it was originally written, but I think you could use any meatloaf recipe you like. I did make a few changes — I added minced poblano and jalapeno peppers with the sautéed onion, increased the Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce to 1 tablespoon each, and added about 3 ounces of grated, frozen cheddar cheese. In order to smoke the meatloaf on our grill, I wrapped a small cooling rack with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil and used a small knife to poke a bunch of holes in the foil. I formed the meatloaf on top of this and then we put it on the grill opposite the coals/woodchips with a disposable pan underneath to catch the grease and juices. Jimmy brushed it with the uncooked glaze before putting it on the grill and again with additional glaze once or twice while it was cooking. We smoked it until it reached a temperature of 150°F, which took about an hour and 45 minutes.
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2/3 cup Saltine crackers, crushed (about 17 crackers)
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1 pound 90-percent lean ground beef (see note)
- 1 pound ground pork
- 2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper
1. MAKE GLAZE Whisk all ingredients in saucepan until sugar dissolves. Reserve 1/4 cup glaze mixture, then simmer remaining glaze over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Cover and keep warm.
2. COOK VEGETABLES Line rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat lightly with cooking spray. Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Cook onion until golden, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to large bowl.
3. PROCESS MEAT Process saltines and milk in food processor until smooth. Add beef and pork and pulse until well combined, about ten 1-second pulses. Transfer meat mixture to bowl with cooled onion mixture. Add eggs and yolk, mustard, Worcestershire, thyme, parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper to bowl and mix with hands until combined.
4. BROIL Adjust oven racks to upper (about 4 inches away from broiler element) and middle positions and heat broiler. Transfer meat mixture to prepared baking sheet and shape into 9- by 5-inch loaf. Broil on upper rack until well browned, about 5 minutes. Brush 2 tablespoons uncooked glaze over top and sides of loaf and then return to oven and broil until glaze begins to brown, about 2 minutes.
5. BAKE Transfer meatloaf to middle rack and brush with remaining uncooked glaze. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until meat loaf registers 160 degrees, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to carving board, tent with foil, and let rest 20 minutes. Slice and serve, passing cooked glaze at table.