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Grilled meatloaf?

I got the idea to grill a whole meatloaf but haven't found guidance for what I have in mind. Most recipes I find are wrapped in foil first - no thanks, not what I'm after. Then I was advised to put it in a loaf and smoke it. But I don't like smoked food, as the flavor doesn't sit well with me, and I prefer a free-form meatloaf that has more crunchy edges. So, can I just make a good meatloaf and throw it on the grill? So I have to put it on a sheet of something? That seems to ruin the whole effect. Thanks!

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  1. I have not done this but here are my thoughts: if you just put it on the grill it will char before it cooks through plus it might sag between the bars and get stuck (that happened to me once when I put it on a cake rack over a sheet pan in an effort to let the fat drip out). So if it were me, I think I would start it out well-wrapped in foil and once it had mostly cooked through, take the foil off (or maybe just peel it back) and get the outside crisped up. I would really, really like to hear what you do end up doing and how it works out!!

    1. There is a local restaurant that bakes their meatloaf, but then they cut it into thick, (say 1.5" - 2" slices) and grill it before serving with a separate spicy sauce.

      It was grilled and delicious and something I intend to try before too long.


      1. Grill slices once it's baked. Much better than grilling raw.

        1. I'm in the "bake it, slice it, grill it" camp. Trying to grill a loaf of raw meat and achieve a final result that is fit to serve would be foolhardy.

          1 Reply
          1. re: todao

            This will work only if you give up the idea of a loaf proper and instead make it an even, thick hamburger patty - maybe 3" tops and grill it over indirect heat. a regular loaf will be raw on the middle and charred on the outside. One way around might to be to pre-bake it in a foil lined loaf pan till roughly half-done, and then finish it on the grill without the foil, but don't quote me.

          2. there are sheets with slits in them made for grills.......

            1. I have made meatloaf on the grill before. It's simply a matter of employing an indirect grilling technique. The loaf gets placed on the grates that do not have the fire beneath them - works just like an oven. I have done it both with a charcoal and gas grill and used, on separate occassions, beef, turkey, and a pork/veal combination.

              2 Replies
              1. re: MGZ

                I realized that I should add that it is important to leave the loaf in place until it firms up, but you may find it helpful to turn the meat 180 degrees, once, in order to expose both sides to the heat source.

                1. re: MGZ

                  I have done this too. works great, basically just like baking in the oven then grilling.

                2. I BBQ pork "fatties" all the time...It's a proven method among old Southern Pit Masters....
                  While I've never done a meat loaf on a pit...., I'm certain the method will give you the results you desire....Just mix up your favorite meat loaf recipe...wrap it in a bacon weave, and you're good to go....It's just that simple. HTH

                  Luck & Fun!


                  1. "I have made meatloaf on the grill before. It's simply a matter of employing an indirect grilling technique. The loaf gets placed on the grates that do not have the fire beneath them - works just like an oven. I have done it both with a charcoal and gas grill and used, on separate occasions, beef, turkey, and a pork/veal combination."

                    I agree. I have both grilled and smoked meatloafs with great success.

                    For smoking I do a freeform meatloaf, then use a portion of tin foil a little bit bigger than the meatloaf and poke holes in it for drainage. My smoker had a water bath catch pan to catch the grease as it drips below. Smoke at 250 til 165 internal temp.

                    For grilling, I do teh indirect method with the same foil method under the meat with holes poked in the foil and put a catch pan in between the 2 banks of coals for teh dripping juices. If you want a crisper outside, shoot for a grill temp of 325. Cook til 165 internal.

                    I also like the foil underlay with holes as it allows the meatloaf to be pulled/slid/spatula'd off teh grill rack easily to cool a bit and firm up before serving. If the meatloaf get hung up on the grill bars, the potential for disaster can be high, especially if basting with a ketchup/balsalmic/brown sugar/worstershire sauce glaze as I do.

                    Good luck.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: jjjrfoodie

                      I've made it on a Weber charcoal grill. I took a couple of disposable tinfoil loaf pans, poked some holes in one, placed a couple of onion slices in the other and nestled 'em. Then I put the mixture into the top pan and cooked 'em for an hour in the center of the grill. The coals were only around the edge of the grill, hence indirect heat. I used some hickory chips soaked in water to create smoke. It was wonderful!

                    2. I've done them on a charcoal grill rotisserie. Use a celery heart for a core and tie it well with butcher twine.

                      Otherwise, use indirect heat and don't mess with it until it is set.

                      1. Form the Farce into Patties and grill.

                        1. I'm really late to the party, but my two cents might be useful to somebody that winds up here like I did. Living in Arizona, it's not unusual to avoid the stove because it heats up an already expensive to cool house. I grill often and have tried just about everything. As a girl, grilling was not part of my education. Cooking wasn't either, I don't think it occurred to my mom that I might need to learn how. My few attempts as a teenager were catastrophic failures, so it wasn't encouraged. As a young bride, I found myself in the difficult role of spouse-of-a-deployed-soldier-with-two-toddlers-under-three. I used the time to teach myself to cook and bake. Now, I'm the cook in the family! My parents often text me with questions. I'm even more popular as a baker. I do a decent job with the grill too!
                          Anyways, I've found that its not hard to do meatloaf on the grill. I favor the universal indirect heat suggestions. I do free form loaves as well. I try to go with the smallest, shallowest container as possible. I've made foil "nests" and used foil pans. I make sure whatever I used is oiled well and use thick slices of bread as a sponge under the meat loaf. It catches grease and prevents the loaf from "boiling" in it's juices. I want just enough size and depth to avoid grease flare ups. Somehow, I still manage to get them with the meat on the "cool" side. It gets pretty crunchy on the exposed surfaces. If you wanted, you could flip the loaf for a bit. The bread pulls away easily and you might need a new bread "base" and to drain or prepare a new dish. Or place it directly on the rack, just make sure not to overcook the all ready cooked top of the loaf. I baste it with ketchup the last 15 minutes or so. I use ketchup, brown sugar and a little chili paste.