Easy Delicious Smoked Meatloaf

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This Smoked Meatloaf recipe is a delicious spin on the classic meatloaf because it’s smoked on a pellet grill, which gives the loaf a wonderful smoky and juicy flavor.

» You might also like Best Smoked Pizza Recipe and Easy Smoked Brussels Sprouts.

Sliced meatloaf
butcher box meat

Whenever we think of a comfort meal, meatloaf comes to mind. Each bite is juicy, yummy, and simply warms you up. But this smoked meatloaf recipe takes the classic dish and turns it into a summer BBQ favorite. By smoking meatloaf, you get all the delightfulness of a regular meatloaf, but with an extra layer of smoky goodness.

Smoking meat may seem intimidating, but it is much simpler than it seems. Once you make this smoked meatloaf, you’ll see just how simple and amazing of a tool the smoker is. We use our Z Grills Pellet Smoker all the time for things like smoked brisket, cauliflower, and smoked sweet potatoes.

The Z Grills Combo Pellet Grill/Smoker is a fantastic smoker for everyday use. It’s very easy to figure out and to operate, so it’s even easy for beginners, and the results are great. All you need is a bag of pellets in the wood you like, and you’re set for a few fantastic meals.

Meatloaf with BBQ sauce for basting

What Smoker to Use

z grills

Z Grills 7002C2E Pellet Grill & Smoker

The 7002C2E is a new model featuring a digital PID control board and advanced technology for even temperatures and consistent results. With the built-in dual temperature probes, a huge pellet hopper, pellet cleanout system, and pellet view window, your grilling experience will be enhanced like never before. See this grill and more on the Z Grills site.

Traeger Grills Pro Series 22 Pellet Grill & Smoker

Traeger created the original wood-pellet grill as the ultimate way to achieve wood-fired taste. The Pro Series 22 is the one most people choose because it’s compact, yet has plenty of space for cooking.

You can use any type of wood pellets you like. I prefer Hickory, which is great for naturally enhancing beef, chicken, pork, and veggies with full-bodied, bold flavor.

Ingredients You Need

Ingredients for smoked meatloaf
  • Ground Beef – We recommend using a fattier blend of ground beef like 80/20 to prevent a dry meatloaf.
  • Onion – If you want to add onions to your meatloaf, you want to be sure to dice them very small so they blend in and add flavor, not texture. I like to use sweet onions, but you can use white or yellow too.
  • Breadcrumbs – These help bind the meatloaf together. Feel free to use any brand of breadcrumbs that you prefer. I use plain. To add extra flavor, you can use Italian breadcrumbs.
  • Garlic – Fresh minced garlic will taste best, but garlic powder can be used as well. 
  • Tomato Paste – Adds a lovely tomato flavor to the meatloaf that brightens the taste.
  • Worcestershire Sauce – Bring a lot of umami to the meatloaf.
  • Egg – Acts as a binding agent for the loaf. If you’re allergic to eggs, you can leave it out.
  • Salt & Ground Black Pepper – Bring out the other flavors in the meatloaf. Adjust seasoning to fit your tastes.
  • BBQ Sauce – Use your favorite BBQ sauce or try our smoky bourbon BBQ sauce

How to Make Smoked Meatloaf

Preheat your smoker to 250° F.

In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef through the black pepper. Mix it together with your hands, but don’t overwork it. Just combine all the ingredients, then shape it into a loaf.

Hamburger and other ingredients being mixed together to make meatloaf

Place the loaf on the pre-heated grill and smoke it for about 2 hours, until the internal temperature reaches 160° F. For extra flavor, baste the loaf with BBQ sauce every 30 minutes.

Meatloaf on the grill being basted with BBQ sauce

When it’s done, remove the meat from the smoker and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Questions About the Recipe

How can I make the smoked meatloaf spicy?

Add a pinch or two of cayenne powder or red pepper flakes into the meatloaf mix to make it spicy. You can also mix cayenne powder into the BBQ sauce to give the glaze a kick as well.

Can I freeze leftover meatloaf?

Yes. Once the meatloaf cools completely, slice it and wrap it in cling film then foil. The meatloaf slices will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

To reheat frozen meatloaf, leave the slices in the fridge overnight and heat them in the microwave (after removing the foil and cling film). Reheating times could vary, so start with 1 minute and then heat the loaf in 30 second intervals until it reaches your desired temperature.

A slice of meatloaf on a plate with pasta salad and smoked brussels sprouts

Additional Tips

  • Wear food-safe gloves when handling raw meat to avoid any cross-contamination or food poisoning, especially if you’re mixing the meat with your hands.
  • Make sure all ingredients are cut small and well mixed. This will help you to avoid big chunks of breadcrumbs or onions in the meatloaf.
Slices of smoked meatloaf

Equipment Information

  • Electric Smoker – Z Grills or Traeger are good brands of electric smokers to try. If it is your first time using your electric smoker, make sure to season it first. To properly season your electric smoker, read this amazing tutorial by Food Fire Friends.
  • Smoker pellets – Use any type of smoker pellets you like. These pellets are what produce the smoke in the smoker, and what gives the meatloaf its smoky flavor.


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Slices of smoked meatloaf

Easy Delicious Smoked Meatloaf

This Smoked Meatloaf recipe is a delicious spin on the classic meatloaf because it's smoked on a pellet grill, which gives the loaf a wonderful smoky and juicy flavor.
4.86 from 57 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: ground beef
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 456kcal
Author: Laura


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 onion finely diced
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup BBQ sauce try our smoky Bourbon BBQ Sauce


  • Preheat the smoker to 250° F.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef through black pepper. Mix to combine, but don’t overwork. Shape into a loaf.
  • Place the loaf on the grill and smoke for about 2 hours, until the internal temperature reaches 160° F, basting with BBQ sauce every 30 minutes.
  • Remove from smoker and rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Equipment Needed

  • Smoker Grill


Calories: 456kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 135mg | Sodium: 765mg | Potassium: 536mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 119IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 4mg

🥧 If you’re interested in more great recipes, I share all my favorite Instant Pot recipes over at A Pressure Cooker Kitchen, air fryer recipes at Air Fry Anytime, and cocktails and drinks at Savored Sips. Check it out today!


Sliced meatloaf

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