Slow Smoked Barbecued Meat Loaf

Time for another meat loaf recipe, this time a little more on the traditional side as opposed to these, but definitely with a twist.  I feel like I have been on a roll lately with respect to dinners.  My kids have been shocking me with what they have been eating.  I do think there is a little bit of peer pressure that goes on with our dinners as well – if one takes a bite and likes it, the other one seems to be more compelled to eat it as well.  Now, that doesn’t happen all the time, because we have definitely raised two strong, independent girls, but they are both pleasers.  Hey, I will take it.

One of my very dearest friends loves food as much as I do – I love when we get to see each other, we always eat really well.  When I went to visit her in Japan years ago, she basically took me on a food tour of Tokyo – I enjoyed every minute.  Now she lives in San Francisco, one of the best food cities in America.  For my birthday this year, she sent me this amazing cookbook – Cooking My Way Back Home by Mitchell Rosenthal.  He owns a few restaurants in San Francisco, as well as one in Portland.  Well, I have never been to any of his restaurants, but after reading his cookbook, I need to get on an airplane as soon as possible.  His cookbook is incredible – every recipe looks spectacular, and the photos are rustic and wonderful.

As I was flipping through the first time, the Slow Smoked Barbecued Meat Loaf really caught my eye – it was something my husband could put on the egg, which always makes him happy.  The girls helped me put the meat loaf together – and they were so excited about it.  They love stuff smoked on the egg – so I was very optimistic.  The meat loaf smelled so good all afternoon – I couldn’t wait to dig in.  We finally sat down to eat, and my older daughter took a quick bite, she just couldn’t wait – and she burst into tears.  She had such high expectations for this meatloaf, and I think it was just a little too different for her – this was not your ordinary meat loaf – it was the most flavorful meat loaf I have ever tasted – I was in love.  As soon as my younger daughter saw that my older daughter was crying, she tried the meat loaf – and loved it.  She couldn’t get enough – and loved even more that her older sister wouldn’t eat it.  You just have to love sibling rivalry – it shows up in very unique ways, when you least expect it…


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups white bread, torn into small pieces (3 or 4 slides, depending on the thickness)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup spicy bourbon barbecue sauce or barbecue sauce of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ rub of your choice
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 2 or 3 handfuls hickory chips, soaked


Prepare a barrel smoker with an offset firebox.  You will want the temperature to be between 225 and 250 degrees.  Take the meats out of the refrigerator and allow them to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes while you get the fire ready.

In a frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes, or until soft and slightly carmelized.  Remove from the heat and let cool.  While the onion is cooling, combine the bread and milk in a bowl and let stand for about 2 minutes, or until the milk is completely absorbed.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a wooden spoon), combine the soaked bread, meat, cooled onions, eggs, Parmesan, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, spice mixture, and salt.  Beat on low-speed just until combined.  Shape the mixture into a loaf on a sheet pan, or pack into a standard loaf pan.

Place the meat loaf in the smoker and add a handful of the soaked hickory chips.  Smoke the meat loaf for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf registers 165 degrees.  Make sure that the temperature inside the smoker stays at about 225 degrees.

Remove the meat loaf from the smoker and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.  Any leftovers will make a great sandwich.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Slow Smoked Barbecued Meat Loaf

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8 thoughts on “Slow Smoked Barbecued Meat Loaf

  1. LOL! We have very similar sibling rivalry scenarios here as well. I haven’t been a fan of meatloaf – mostly due to my mom’s frequent experiments with it which often left me crying too. ;) That said, I have had a few decent varieties as an adult…maybe it’s time I gave it more of a fair shake. I know we typically love anything smoked around here too!

  2. Funny antics you have to love kids. I also made meatloaf last night with less than favorable results i tried to make it gluten free and let’s just say it will not be hitting my blog. Yours however looks and sounds wonderful. Bam

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