Smoked Meatloaf + Video

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Smoked Meatloaf is better than any other meat loaf you may have eaten. It’s juicy on the inside with a crispy exterior and a sweet and smoky flavor. 

titled collage for meatloaf on smoker

I have been having so much fun using my smoker lately. I had no idea that I could make so many different types of recipes on a Traeger!!

Have you had a chance to try any of the other sensational smoking recipes I’ve shared?

Smoked Baked Potatoes are so easy to make. It is a must-make recipe; you’ll love the flavor! Smoked Baked Beans are super tender beans with bacon – the perfect side dish with with a smoked meatloaf recipe!

How to Smoke Meatloaf Video

Be sure to watch the video to see the process from start to finish! Look for it in the recipe card, at the bottom of this post.

ingredients on counter for smoked meatloaf recipe

Tips for Smoking Meatloaf

Making a smoked meatloaf recipe is fairly simple. But, if you want a few pro tips for the best ever meatloaf, here are a few to keep in mind.

  1. Choose meat with a fairly high fat content. If you choose meat that doesn’t include enough fat, your meatloaf will be dry. The protein to fat percentage should be at least 85/15.
  2. Use moist ingredients for the juiciest meatloaf. In a smoked meatloaf recipe, that might include eggs, BBQ sauce, or Worcestershire sauce. For extra moisture, you can add a tablespoon of milk.
  3. Soak the breadcrumbs in the egg mixture before you add it to the ground beef. You won’t believe how much of a difference this makes in this smoked meatloaf recipe.
  4. Sauté the vegetables before adding them. This does help to add moisture to your meatloaf recipe. And, it helps infuse the meatloaf with flavor.
  5. Don’t overmix. You only need to combine the ingredients until they are well distributed. Too much mixing will make it dry.
uncooked ground beef mixture in baking pan

Temperature to cook meatloaf in a smoker

If you’re wondering about the temperature for smoking meatloaf, it can vary based on the recipe. When making my smoked meatloaf recipe, you will need to preheat your smoker to 225°F. That will result in the best flavor and texture.

brushing barbecue sauce on food

Smoked Meatloaf FAQ

Best Wood or Pellets for Smoked Meatloaf

I use a blend of oak, maple, and hickory on my pellet smoker. But, you could use a fruit wood, like apple, if you prefer.

Meatloaf Internal Temperature

The correct internal temp for a smoked meatloaf is 160F. It’s very important to use a meat thermometer to determine when your meat is done.

The USDA recommends cooking all ground meat to an internal temperature of 160F. To check the internal temperature, place the thermometer in the center of your loaf.

smoking meatloaf with bbq sauce

Using Other Proteins

If you’d prefer not to use ground beef, you can use another type of ground meat. Chicken, turkey, pork, and venison are all good options.

Keep in mind that ground meats that are lower in fat content may be drier than if you used ground beef. So, you may want to use half and half instead.

Storing Smoked Meatloaf

If you have leftovers, place them in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator. They will last for 3 to 5 days tightly covered.

slices of smoked meatloaf on cutting board

Freezing Meatloaf
To keep the meal for a longer period of time, place slices of the loaf in a freezer bag. You can keep the frozen meatloaf for up to six months this way.

Reheating Instructions
To reheat it, let it thaw in the refrigerator. Then, heat the oven to 250F. Place the meatloaf slices in a baking dish along with one tablespoon of water. Cover the dish with foil and heat for 30 minutes. You can add more barbecue sauce to the top if you prefer as well.

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 


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smoked meatloaf closeup

Smoked Meatloaf + Video

Donna Elick
Smoked Meatloaf is better than any other meat loaf you may have eaten. My Smoked Meatloaf recipe and video will give you perfect results!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 10 mins
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Smoker
Servings 8


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, or light flavored oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef, 85/15 or 80/20
  • 2 chiles in adobo, chopped (not the whole can!)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 tablespoons light brown sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup TSRI Barbecue Sauce, or sauce of your choice, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  • Preheat the smoker to 225°F. Choose your favorite wood, I am using my favorite blend of oak, maple and hickory on my pellet smoker.
  • In a medium skillet over medium-low heat saute the onion, bell pepper, and garlic in the oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Cooking at low temp helps to release the sugar in the onions so don’t crank up that temp. Set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl combine the ground beef, chiles in adobo, eggs, worcestershire sauce, breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, ¼ cup of the bbq sauce, salt, and pepper. Mix to combine. Add in the cooled onion and peppers and mix to combine, do not over mix, just until everything is incorporated.
  • In a 9×13 foil container or container of your choice, form the mixture into a loaf.
  • Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and ¼ cup of bbq sauce to a small bowl and mix to combine. Brush half of the glaze all over the meatloaf.
  • Smoke for 2-3 hours, basting with the remaining glaze after an hour and a half. Meatloaf is done when the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  • Let cool at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.


Donna’s Notes

The correct meatloaf internal temp is 160°F. It’s very important to use a meat thermometer to determine when your meat is done.
The USDA recommends cooking all ground meat to an internal temperature of 160°F. To check the doneness, insert the thermometer probe in the center of your loaf. 


Serving: 1 | Calories: 272cal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 553mg | Sugar: 14g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 4mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Originally published August 2020.

titled image for smoked meatloaf

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  1. 5 STARS!!! This recipe is the bomb. However, I must say, I don't have a smoker so I baked it at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Slathered the topping on and returned it to the oven for 10 minutes. Perfection. Likely even better in a smoker–but hard to believe that's even possible. I've been craving anything with BBQ sauce or chipotle peppers in adobo sauce so this was a homerun for me. To keep the calories lower, I subbed G Hughes Original sugar-free BBQ sauce. This recipe is also WW and carb friendly. I've made a lot of meatloaves through the years. This is one of our favorites.

  2. Outstanding, didn't have Panko so I used reg. flavored bread crumbs instead. Came out great !,! Thank You !,!

  3. Wonderful! I made this exactly as written and it is delicious. My sons loved it for its spicyness and smoked flavor. I loved the addition of the sautéed green peppers, onions and garlic. Definitely a repeat recipe. Thank you.

  4. Toddy is my third time making this meatloaf – the best snd only way to cook it. I don’t have a dedicated smoker but I always smoke in my Weber. Then I also smoke my baked potatoes – perfect Sunday dinner with no fuss.

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