Smoked Meatloaf

Smoked Meatloaf is juicy and SO flavorful! Quick to assemble, this smoked meatloaf recipe cooks up in the same amount of time as in the oven but with incredible smoke flavor and finished with zesty barbecue sauce and crispy fried onions. Whether using an electric smoker, pellet smoker, or Big Green Egg, this meatloaf with bbq sauce is SO good you’ll wonder why you never smoked meatloaf before.

This website uses affiliate links. See our Privacy Policy for more information.

top down view of prepared meatloaf with bbq sauce and onions on top

Why this recipe works

My Mom’s Meatloaf recipe is far and away the BEST meatloaf of my life. She made it every week while I was growing up, and I never grew tired of it. The KEY is using Pepperidge Farm stuffing rather than breadcrumbs because the stuffing does better to keep the loaf lighter and not dense.

This smoked meatloaf recipe is very similar to my mom’s. The differences are thusly:

  • I added a couple more ingredients for extra flavor: garlic, minced onion, and barbecue seasoning.
  • I doubled the amount of everything, because Hey! If we are going to smoke meatloaf, we want to make a good amount, right?
  • Rather than bake, this recipe is cooked in the presence of smoke.
  • Once cooked, I drizzled barbecue sauce and sprinkled crispy onions. YUM!

Note in the recipe card below that the cooking time is still basically an hour (i.e. not hours) because unlike something like pulled pork, we are not having to do the slow-and-low thing. In the hour time, the smoke flavor penetrates the meatloaf, and we even get that rosy halo smoke ring.

prepared recipe in pan on wood table

About the ingredients

  • Ground beef. You can use lean (90/10) beef, but I prefer 85/15 for more juice.
  • Dry crushed herb stuffing, such as Pepperidge Farm. If not available, just use a rolling pin to crush up herbed cubed stuffing a bit, but don’t pulverize it. We want stuffing, not crumbs.
  • Two large eggs.
  • Milk. Whole milk, 2%, or whatever. Just not skim milk.
  • Garlic.
  • Dried minced onion.
  • Fresh thyme leaves. I absolutely love the combination of fresh thyme in smoked meatloaf. But this ingredient is optional, or 1 tsp dried thyme can be a substitute.
  • Kosher salt. Meatloaf requires a good amount of seasoning. In fact, if your barbecue seasoning (below) does not contain salt, I recommend adding another couple pinches kosher.
  • Barbecue seasoning of choice for your perfect meatloaf with bbq sauce.
  • Barbecue sauce. This can be store-bought, or you can make your own. I highly recommend my Cherry Chipotle Barbecue Sauce recipe.
  • Crispy fried onions. You know the ones! They are the same that go on my Grilled Green Bean Casserole.
formed meatloaf in pan prior to cooking
meatloaf on open Big green Egg


What is the best wood for smoking meatloaf?

Applewood. And I say that not because of the meatloaf itself the beef, but because of the barbecue sauce. Smoking with a sweet wood complements the bbq sauce, and that wraps it all up together in harmony.

top down view of prepared meatloaf with bbq sauce on top

For the ultimate smoker recipe, also check out Over the Top Smoked Chili.

top down view of prepared meatloaf with bbq sauce and onions on top

Smoked Meatloaf

Smoked Meatloaf is quick to assemble and cooks in the same time as in the oven but with incredible smoke flavor.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: meatloaf with bbq sauce, smoked meatloaf, smoked meatloaf recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Authur: Erica
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 386kcal


For the meatloaf

For topping


  • Prepare smoker to cook with indirect heat at 350℉ according to the instructions for your smoker. (Note if using a Big Green Egg, this includes using the plate setter under the grill grate.)
  • In a large mixing bowl, lightly toss together all the ingredients for the meatloaf. Using your hands works best to avoid over-mixing as this leads to a denser loaf.
  • Form the loaf in a grill-proof pan or loaf pan. Using glass or Pyrex is not recommended.
  • Place the meatloaf pan on the grate in the smoker. Add the wood accordingly for the type of smoker (I recommend using applewood). Maintain temperature at 350℉ for 1 hour.
  • Meatloaf is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 155℉-160℉.
  • Drizzle meatloaf with barbecue sauce and top with crispy onions. Slice and serve.


Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 159mg | Sodium: 733mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g

Similar Posts

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments