Smoked Meatloaf –The Perfect Sunday Crowd Pleaser

You probably have fond memories of eating meatloaf when you were young, I know I do. The idea of making meatloaf might seem a bit antiquated, but with your smoker, you can make an upgraded meatloaf your whole family will enjoy.

Made with a few basic ingredients, and only requiring about three hours on the smoker, smoked meatloaf is the perfect solution for a last-minute family gathering. Plus, you can tweak the recipe to truly make it your own!

a single slice of smoked meatloaf on a plate
Image by Hope Davis.

Smoked Meatloaf Ingredients

  • ground beef (I used 90/10 because I like lean ground beef, but 80/20 should work as well!)
  • onion
  • garlic cloves
  • bread crumbs
  • eggs
  • heavy cream (can be substituted for non-dairy cream)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Italian seasoning
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder

Glaze Ingredients

  • BBQ sauce (our favorite brands)
  • ketchup
  • apple cider vinegar
smoked meatloaf ingredients
Image by Hope Davis.

How to Make Smoked Meatloaf

Preheat the Smoker

Smoked meatloaf prep is super easy, so you’ll want to start the smoker before you begin. Load it with wood chips (we recommend cherry or any fruit flavor) and set it to 225°F. I used my Pitboss Navigator 550 for this recipe.

onions diced on a cutting board
Image by Hope Davis.

Cut the Ingredients

If you haven’t already, cut the onions and garlic. The smaller the pieces, the better.

mixing meatloaf by hand
Image by Hope Davis.

Mix the Meat

In a large mixing bowl mix, all of the ingredients (except the glaze ingredients) together. We recommend using your hands, but careful, it gets messy!

By the time you are done mixing, the meat should be sticking together and keeping its form if you press it to the side of the bowl.

smoked meatloaf
Image by Hope Davis.

Form a Loaf

The hardest part of making meatloaf is making the loaf shape. You’ll need to pack it as tightly as possible so it doesn’t fall apart in the smoker. We recommend making it on aluminum foil for easy transfer.

raw smoked meatloaf on the smoker
Image by Hope Davis.

Place on the Smoker

Once your loaf is formed, place it on the smoker, keeping the foil underneath. While you can place the meatloaf directly on the grate, it can get messy if your loaf isn’t packed tightly enough! Set the timer for two hours.

meatloaf glaze ingredients
Image by Hope Davis.

Make the Glaze

To make the glaze, mix all the glaze ingredients in a mixing bowl. You can make it at any time, but set it aside as you don’t need it yet.

glazing the meatloaf
Image by Hope Davis.

Glaze the Meatloaf

After the two hours are up, check up on your meatloaf and add a generous coat of glaze to the top sides. Use a grill brush to spread it evenly. Set the timer for another hour and set the extra glaze aside for guests to use as they eat.

checking the meatloaf
Image by Hope Davis. (This one isn’t done yet!)

Check To See If It’s Done

Once the hour is up, your meatloaf should be about done, but you’ll want to use a digital meat thermometer to be sure. Meatloaf is done at 160°F, as it will continue to cook as it rests.

slicing the meatloaf
Image by Hope Davis.

Let the Meatloaf Rest

After removing the meatloaf from the smoker, let it sit for 10 minutes before slicing it. It should come off in nice firm slices if you packed everything tightly enough! Place it on a plate with a dollop of extra glaze and serve!

smoked meatloaf and asparagus on a plate
Image by Hope Davis.

Smoked Meatloaf Variations

  • Dairy-free: Meatloaf is an easy dairy free recipe, just swap out the heavy cream for dairy free cream. This is what we did in our example as we had a lactose intolerant guest.
  • Add veggies: If you want a little more crunch, add some chopped bell peppers, carrots, or celery to the meat mix.
  • Sweeter glaze: We like a tangy glaze, but if you prefer a sweeter glaze, swap the apple cider vinegar for apple juice.

Leftover Smoked Meatloaf

Do you have some smoked meatloaf left over? It makes amazing sandwiches the next day! Simply wrap it in the tinfoil and place in the fridge. Reheat using the microwave for about 2 minutes, or the oven for about 20. Drizzle on some extra glaze and enjoy as is, or between two pieces of bread!

smoked meatloaf on a smoker

Smoked Meatloaf

Upgrade your Sunday dinner with a tasty smoked meatloaf!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Course Beef
Servings 6


Meatloaf Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (diced)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (can use dairy free)
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Glaze Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 cups BBQ sauce (your favorite brand)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar


  • Preheat smoker to 225°F.
  • Mix all meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Form the meat mixture into a tight loaf on a sheet of foil.
  • Place the meatloaf in the smoker for 2 hours.
  • Mix all the glaze ingredients in a small bowl.
  • At the 2-hour mark, glaze the meatloaf with a grill brush. Set the timer for another hour.
  • Remove the meatloaf from the smoker when it reaches 160°F.
  • Let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes.
  • Slice and serve!
Photo of author

Hope Davis

Born in Denver, Colorado as the oldest of 5 children, I learned at a young age that the grill was one of the best ways to prepare food for a crowd. And during the winter storm months, when the snow was likely to knock out the power to our house, the propane grill was a lifesaver! You wouldn’t believe the number of things you can cook on a grill when necessary. With parents who couldn’t tell salt from pepper unless you told them, I spent my late teen years making my own seasoning mixes and marinades to dress the meat before barbecues. It wasn’t long before I developed a secret marinade that people still beg me to make for them today! When I was 21 years old I bought my first smoker. Picked up some cedar chips for making a cedar plank salmon...and well, the rest they say is history! I’ve been grilling and smoking all kinds of creations ever since and I’m always excited to share my passion with others through my favorite medium--writing!

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