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The reason this is the best smoked meatloaf is because YOU make it your own, using these key ingredients.

You choose what you like, and decide what’s “best” for your family tastes by either following my recipe exactly, or omitting or substituting from these essentials.

In a large mixing bowl, combine:

  • 1 pound of spicy Italian sausage
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 med onion diced very fine
  • 1/2 cup of bacon bits
  • 2 eggs
  • Carrot – appx 1/2 cup diced
  • Green pepper – appx 1/2 cup diced
  • Red pepper – appx 1/2 cup diced
  • 1 cup of EITHER barbecue sauce or ketchup

Mix everything together well with fingers

  • Mix in 1 cup of uncooked oatmeal
Form everything into a loaf, about 1 1/2 inches thick on top of a sheet of cellophane.  This will allow you to then flip it over onto the cooking grate. Otherwise, the meat will ooze through the grate as you form the loaf.
Flip the loaf upside down onto a well oiled grate with a drip pan underneath. I used a cookie cooling rack in the image below for the “grate”.

Using whatever smoker chips you like smoke at about 225 degrees for about three hours, or until you reach an internal temperature of 155 degrees. Whatever you do, don’t go past 160.

To help keep it moist, each time you open the smoker to stir or add chips, Baste it wit ha 50/50 mixture of cider vinegar and cooking oil. I keep a spray bottle of this mixture right by my bbq tongs, but you can use a mop or brush if you prefer.

Instead of my preference, oatmeal, try using fresh crumbs made from from saltines, triscuits, seasoned breadcrumbs, uncooked cream of wheat, or almost anything. Get creative! This is YOUR best smoked meatloaf – not just mine!

Be sure to personalize this recipe by using different BBQ sauce styles.  Try a sweet carolina style sauce or  a spicy tomato base, or even ketchup for a more traditional flavor.

For this one below that we made last night, we used a sweet molasses bbq sauce & oatmeal, and was smoked heavily with hickory chips for about 3 1/2 hours at 225, until it reached a core temperature of 155 degrees.

I usually add a final coating of BBQ sauce and then heat it for another 10-15 minutes, but I didn’t do that here – we were STARVING!

The next one we do is going to be stuffed with cheese, and maybe even wrapped in bacon, like the amazing Bacon Explosion we had last thanksgiving.

picture of the best smoked meatloaf

Got some ideas for being more creative?  I’d love to hear ’em…