Smoked Meatloaf



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

Meatloaf Glaze:

1/2 cup tomato ketchup (see Chef’s Recommendations)

2 Tbsp cider vinegar

1 Tbsp brown sugar, lightly packed


Meatloaf Glaze:

Mix together in a small bowl. Set aside.


  1. 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.
  2. Place eggs in a very large bowl and whisk to blend.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl, then mix well using your hands (see Chef’s Recommendations).
  4. Form into a loaf shape, pinching together then smoothing over creases and cracks (helps prevent cracks during baking).
  5. Transfer meat mixture into loaf pan. Brush generously with about half the glaze.  Reserve the remaining glaze for later.
  6. 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.
  7. Bake for an additional 45-55 minutes or until the loaf reaches 160° when tested with an instant read thermometer. Remove from smoker.
  8. 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.

Chef’s Recommendations:

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. Divide the raw meatloaf mixture into two smaller loaf pans. Eat one now, and freeze the other for later.

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