1 cup panko breadcrumbs (see Chef’s Recommendations)
1 Tbsp oil (such as canola, or bacon drippings, or beef tallow)
1 cup onion, diced
2 lb ground beef (50/50 mix of ground chuck and ground brisket)
2 eggs, large
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup tomato ketchup (see Chef’s Recommendations)
1 Tbsp savory bbq seasoning (Head Country Original)
2 tsp parsley, dried (optional)
2 tsp beef base (such as Better Than Bouillon)
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup tomato ketchup (see Chef’s Recommendations)
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar, lightly packed
Mix together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the oil and onions and stir until lightly golden. Doing this step slowly will caramelize the onions further, leaving you with a fantastic sweeter onion. Once caramelized, remove the onions from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Place eggs in a very large bowl and whisk to blend.
- Add remaining ingredients to the bowl, then mix well using your hands (see Chef’s Recommendations).
- Form into a loaf shape, pinching together then smoothing over creases and cracks (helps prevent cracks during baking).
- Transfer meat mixture into loaf pan. Brush generously with about half the glaze. Reserve the remaining glaze for later.
- Place the meatloaf into the smoker and bake for 50-60 minutes. Remove from smoker and brush with the remaining glaze, using a clean pastry brush. You may want to carefully pour or scoop off any fat that may be pooling.
- Bake for an additional 45-55 minutes or until the loaf reaches 160° when tested with an instant read thermometer. Remove from smoker.
- Allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before turning out and cutting into slices. You may get a bit of crumbling on the edges of the first couple of slices, this is completely normal.
- Panko breadcrumbs are larger than normal breadcrumbs so they make the meatloaf softer. Instead of using plain bread crumbs, try using crumbled up garlic (and cheese) croutons for more flavor.
- Don’t have a loaf pan? No problem! Just form the meat into a loaf by hand, and place it on a sheet tray when baking (yes, you are still baking it in the smoker).
- Jazz up your meatloaf by exchanging the ketchup in the recipe, with BBQ sauce, such as Head Country Original BBQ sauce, or a spicy ketchup.
- Divide the raw meatloaf mixture into two smaller loaf pans. Eat one now, and freeze the other for later.