Thinking of the next recipe to try on your smoker? Preparing dinner for family and friends? Want to make a positive impression over dinner? It is hard to go wrong with a smoked meatloaf on a pellet grill. It might seem intimidating to prepare, but with the right recipe, anyone can do it!
In most cases, people will cook meatloaf in an oven. Nonetheless, if you want to give it a more robust flavor and aroma, then you can cook it in a smoker. Its taste will depend not just on the main ingredients but also on the pellets you will use. Read on and we’ll share how you can whip up this delicious dish like a pro.
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What is a Meatloaf?
Before we proceed with the recipe, allow us to give you a quick primer about the dish that we are talking about in this article. A meatloaf is made of ground meat, which is combined with other ingredients and shaped to look like a loaf. While beef is the most common choice for meat, you can also make it using pork, lamb, veal, poultry, and venison, among others. Vegetarian adaptations are also possible.
A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Prepare Smoked Meatloaf on a Pellet Grill
Ready to prepare a delicious smoked meatloaf? Below are the steps that you should follow to do it like a gourmet chef.
1. Mix the Ingredients in a Bowl
Combine the ingredients in a bowl. This will depend on the specific flavor profile that you wish to achieve. The most important is the meat. For this recipe, we are using ground beef. As mentioned earlier, you can use other beefs depending on availability and preferences.
In a bowl, mix beef, breadcrumbs, milk, onion, ground sage, beaten egg, and ground sausage. Add herbs and spices based on the flavors that you would like in the dish. Use a spatula to make sure that the ingredients blend well.
2. Refrigerate the Loaf
This is one step that most people overlook. Some would proceed to putting the meat in a smoker. However, if you are not in a hurry, we recommend refrigerating the meat, which will allow it to settle. With this, put the meat in aluminum foil and shape into a loaf. Wrap tightly and refrigerate at least one hour.
3. Preheat the Smoker
Warm the smoker so that it gets hot enough once you are ready to smoke the meatloaf. We recommend setting the temperature to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. It can take up to 15 minutes for the smoker to heat up.
4. Smoke the Meat
Once the meat is ready, take it off the refrigerator and unwrap. Take the foil off and put it in the smoker. Make sure that you have the temperature at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. See to it as well that you have more than enough pellets to last throughout the process. Otherwise, you will need to add more.
5. Glaze the Meatloaf
After about an hour, open the smoker and glaze it with your sauce of choice. BBQ sauce is one of the best options since it can make the flavors smokier. Basting with sauce is important to prevent he meat from drying out since it has been through a low and slow cooking process. Not to mention, this will also enhance the color.
6. Continue Smoking
When you are done glazing the meatloaf with sauce, turn up the heat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Smoke it for 45 minutes or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit, which means that it is fully cooked.
7. Slice and Serve
Once the meatloaf is cooked, take it off the smoker. Let it cool down for at least 30 minutes. This will give it the chance to absorb the full flavors. Slice the meatloaf and serve while it is still warm.
Smoked Meatloaf Pellet Grill | How to Smoke Meatloaf on the Pellet Grill
Tips and Tricks for Smoked Meatloaf on a Pellet Grill
For the most flavorful meatloaf that is sure to impress your family and friends, take note of the tips mentioned below.
Start with the Right Meat
As it is when you are cooking anything else, fresh is best when it comes to your meat of choice. If you can, buy meat on the day that you will cook the meatloaf. Go to your trusted butcher and have the meat ground on the same day. Pay attention to the color of the meat for an assurance of its freshness. Another important thing is for the meat to have some fats, which will make it moist and flavorful.
Season it Enough
Do not skimp with the seasoning with your meatloaf. The seasonings will infuse an explosion of flavors. Even if it is just salt and pepper, such can make a huge difference, which will prevent your meatloaf from being bland. You might also want to add paprika, cumin, sage, oregano, and thyme, among others.
This is one thing that we did not mention above, but you can do so. From carrots to celery, the veggies will add not just flavor but also texture to the dish. Do not add them raw. Instead, what you should do is to quickly sauté them in olive oil, which will also make them moist and more flavorful.
Like with smoking anything else, the choice of pellets is another important decision when smoking meatloaf. Hickory is one of the most popular, but you can use other varieties including mesquite, apple, cherry, and alder. Consider how light or robust you want the flavors to be. Additionally, you should use only pellets that are recommended by the manufacturer of the smoker you are using. Watch out for the hopper, making sure that you have enough pellets until you are done.