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Smoking a meatloaf - any suggestions

In a recent thread I read about this and we're going to do one tomorrow. We're going to use Bob's grandmother's recipe but keep it a little on the dry side. The Smoke & Spice recipe suggests smoking in a dish/pan of some type for the first 45 minutes just to let it firm up so it doesn't fall through the grates. Makes sense. Smoke at about 220 for a total of about 2-1/4 hours. Doesn't mention IT but I'm thinking to check it as rare meatloaf doesn't really float my boat. Any other tips y'all have? TIA.

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  1. if you dont want to mess with removing it, just get a disposable foil pan the size you want and poke holes in it. i also use a milder wood so its not overpowering.

    1. I like rare meatloaf! it's what mom used to make.

      soak a cedar or birch plank and plonk the glob on that.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hill food

        I wouldn't mind rare for that first dinner but not sure if I'd want sandwiches from it. Although I don't really know why not.

      2. You can either mold it in a regular loaf baking pan and then remove it and smoke it on a piece of plain foil or just smoke the meatloaf in a disposable foil loaf pan. Works well either way.

        I don't know what "keep it a little on the dry side" means but it sounds terrible. You want a meatloaf that you are going to smoke to be just as moist and juicy as one that you would bake.

        We always either just smoke it on a piece of oil or in a foil loaf pan. We don't try to transfer it anywhere. It usually takes 3-4 hours for it to be fully cooked depending on the size of it.

        You really can't destroy smoked meatloaf unless you cook it way far too long. We love it! Everyone we've served it to loves it!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Njchicaa

          By "dry side," I just meant that the recipe I saw in S&S has less liquid than the one Bob makes so I was going to suggest he use an equivalent amount of liquid. Do you poke any holes in the foil or will liquid just run off? Thanks.

        2. I have never cooked one at "low n slow" temps. I always do mine indirect on the Weber, with wood chunks added to the charcoal. It comes out delicious, and plenty smoky. I make a free-form loaf, and put it on a piece of foil. I do check the IT, looking for 160-ish. I like rare steak, and even med-rare burgers, but it seems like meatloaf should be "done". Plus, I am sure I would get complaints :-)

          1. Followup. This is the best meatloaf we've ever eaten!!! I smoked it for the usual three hours and total cook time was about five hours at 200ish (getting much more relaxed with temps). Pulled it at IT of 160. We both like "free form" so just shaped it on foil and put that on a baking sheet for the first 45 minutes to firm it up and then transferred it off the baking sheet. Next time I'd probably even skip that part. This meatloaf recipe has a lot of flavor going with things like mustard, brown sugar and vinegar in it. We still got all of that and not an overwhelming amount of smoke. Looking forward to lunch and a sandwich. As always, thanks for the help. PS: My dog is just crazed over the smoke smell!

             
             
            8 Replies
            1. re: c oliver

              Looks really good. I'll have to try it. And yes, dogs DO go CRAZY about anything smoked. Must be genetic - thousands of years of domestication.

              1. re: sbp

                It's funny re dogs. My avatar/Airedale who is always 'starving,' reacts but the 14 y.o. Puli goes nuts. They ARE an ancient Hungarian breed so, yeah, you may have nailed it.

              2. re: c oliver

                Excellent. Looks really good

                1. re: scubadoo97

                  Thanks, scube. We've decided next time we're going to smoke several and freeze.

                2. re: c oliver

                  Can you post the recipe?

                  1. re: JMF

                    This is pretty much it except we don't use bell peppers:

                    http://homecooking.about.com/od/beefr...

                    It's kinda funny that this was always called Wanda's (Bob's paternal grandmother) Dutch Meatloaf and only in the last few years did I find it online and realized it wasn't really hers :) PS: Been uber busy and I owe you a reply.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      Thanks!

                      1. re: c oliver

                        My meatloaf recipe is pretty much the same as that but I use herb stuffing mix instead of breadcrumbs. And no bell pepper though one could us if if they like. The recipe originally came from Miss Daisy's Tea Room in Franklin, TN and is my favorite mealoaf recipe of all time. Good basic meatloaf.

                  2. I had an appointment with my hairdresser (a lengthy one to keep my golden locks!) and carried a meatloaf sandwich to eat while sitting about. Offered her the first bite and I think "swoon" is an appropriate word to describe her reaction. I already have a friend who ordered a Bradley smoker based on our pork shoulder. Maybe another one :)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: c oliver

                      They're gonna have to put you on commission...

                      1. re: JayL

                        Now THAT'S the smartest thing I've heard in a while :) I was a pretty good salesperson in my day but could always sell the best when it was something I really believed in. And I do :)

                    2. By way of Paul Kirk....

                      http://www.foodreference.com/html/bbq...

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: grampart

                        What kind of wood? Apple sounds good to me

                        1. re: rich in stl

                          Apple should be fine.