Smoked Meatloaf is better than any other meatloaf you may have eaten. It’s juicy on the inside with a crispy exterior and a sweet and smoky flavor. Pair your favorite sides with this smoked meatloaf recipe to enjoy a complete meal without a mess in your kitchen!
Learn how long to smoke a meatloaf at 225°F, plus all my best tips to ensure you get the juiciest meatloaf on your pellet grill!
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!!
While I’ve tried cooking meatloaf in just about every way possible, I just had to see if I could impart some smokey flavor to the dish.
And, boy, did it pay off! Each bite is bursting with flavor and perfectly juicy, with the added bonus of a crispy crust.
Have you had a chance to try any of the other sensational smoking recipes I’ve shared?
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Ground Beef – Opt for high-quality chuck with 15-20% fat content for this smoked meatloaf recipe.
If you’d prefer not to use ground beef, then 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.
- Chiles in Adobo – Don’t use the whole can! Just remove two of the peppers to include in the meat mixture. Or, leave these out if you’re sensitive to spicy foods.
- Veggies – A simple blend of onions and bell peppers (plus garlic!) for flavor and texture. These will need to be cooked first.
You can swap in other veggies like mushrooms or zucchini, but be sure to remove any excess liquid before mixing with the other ingredients.
- Panko Breadcrumbs – These create a better texture in the smoked meatloaf and soak up more moisture than regular breadcrumbs.
- Barbecue Sauce – Use your favorite or make my TSRI Signature BBQ Sauce.
Combine it with some brown sugar to create the glaze — this gets brushed over the meatloaf on the pellet grill before smoking and during the last 30 minutes.
Tips for Smoking Meatloaf on Pellet Grill
- Choose meat with fairly high-fat content. Otherwise, your pellet grill meatloaf will be dry. Look for 85/15 or 80/20 blends for best results.
- Add plenty of moisture. This recipe includes eggs, BBQ sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. For extra moisture, you can add a tablespoon of milk.
- Cook the vegetables first. It increases the flavor, keeps everything tender, and even adds extra moisture.
- 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!
- Don’t overmix. You only need to combine the ingredients until they are well distributed. Too much mixing will make it dry.
How Long to Smoke Meatloaf at 225
While the cooking time may vary slightly based on the type of meat and other ingredients used, a standard range will be 2 to 3 hours.
Be sure to preheat your smoker to 225°F before placing your meatloaf on the pellet grill. You’ll get a more consistent cook this way.
Finally, it’s more important to rely on internal temperature than exact cooking time.
I recommend using a digital probe thermometer — you can leave it in the smoker and set the display nearby, giving you accurate readings without needing to lift the lid.
Smoked Meatloaf Recipe FAQ
I use a blend of oak, maple, and hickory on my pellet smoker. Fruit woods like apple or even walnut wood are also popular choices.
The USDA recommends cooking all ground meat to an internal temperature of 160°F.It’s very important to use a meat thermometer — inserted into the center of your meatloaf — to determine when it’s done.
Storing and Reheating Pellet Grill 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 when tightly covered.
If you like to food prep, place slices of smoked meatloaf on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour (or until firm).
Then, transfer the slices to a freezer bag and store for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
Warm slices of meatloaf in the oven to 250°F. Place them in a baking dish along with one tablespoon of water, then 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.
Other Meatloaf Recipes
Smoked Meatloaf + Video
- 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.
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.
Originally published August 2020, updated and republished June 2023
Disclosure: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your price will remain the same and The Slow Roasted Italian will automatically receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting us, it helps us keep creating new recipes.