BBQ Meatloaf

One of America’s favorite comfort foods is meatloaf. BBQ Meatloaf, therefore, seems like a logical evolution to this awesome meal. First, it’s got meat which is a requirement for my BBQ menu. Actually, that’s it – it has meat, which gives us a platform to experiment from. So, along those lines, I prepared my first ever smoked BBQ meatloaf.

While this meatloaf recipe could be cooked in your oven- and you’d still get pretty good results – I wanted to go the whole mile and do it under real smoke. I was curious to see what effect it would have, after eating oven-style meatloaf my whole life. I like this recipe because it used 3 different types of meat, Ground Beef, Ground Turkey and Ground Pork.

BBQ Meatloaf Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound each ground beef, pork, and turkey
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 slices of white bread torn into very small pieces
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce

BBQ Gadgets Need

  • Super Large Mixing Bowl for larger batches
  • Gas Grill, Charcoal Grill, or a Smoker
  • Large Loaf Pan(s)


Since I was going to use my Bubba Keg Grill (now the Big Steel Keg Grill), which I can set up as a high-temperature convection grill, or as a low-temperature smoker. In this case, I set it up to work as a typical oven with indirect heat at about 350° F – I guess that’s three modes! The major difference is that being fired by natural lump charcoal, smoke will be inherent to the process. As a side note, you don’t always want smoke in everything you cook so you can limit smoke by wrapping what you’re cooking in aluminum foil. I won’t be bothering with that this time.

Now that I’ve got the grill started, I mixed all of the ingredients into a couple of large glass bowls (sans the BBQ Sauce – that comes later). If I’d been thinking, I would have used my super large plastic mixing bowl – but I wasn’t thinking. 

A long shot doesn’t do this justice. Here’s a close-up of these ingredients that will get you salivating…

Once I got the mixture into the bowl, the next step was to mix it all up – using my hands. This is where that super large bowl would have come in handy. This process can get a little messy since there was no extra room for maneuvering in this bowl. It’s always good to have a large mixing bowl and even better to remember you have it.

The mixture looks a lot different once you’ve mixed it up thoroughly.

Now that everything is mixed up and the grill is just about up to temperature, it’s time to move the BBQ Meatloaf mixture into some large loaf pans. I needed three for this recipe since I made a larger batch.

Now for the BBQ Sauce. Pour your BBQ sauce over the top of the meatloaf in each loaf pan prior to putting them in the cooker. .

The meatloaf will need to cook for about an hour and a quarter, or until the center is no longer pink. That seemed to be about the time required for the 3 loaves in the Bubba Keg. Generally, things seem to get cooked a little faster in this baby since it retains heat so well. So, make sure you know your smoker or grill before you make too many assumptions.

Once they are done, they tend to look like any other meatloaf.

The end result was a very tasty meatloaf. The recipe was excellent, and there was just the perfect hint of smokiness. The only thing BBQ beyond that was the BBQ sauce, which really isn’t all that different than using Ketchup – except that there is far more flavor.

You can do this BBQ meatloaf on a gas grill as well. However, you need to watch the temperature a bit more closely because they don’t retain heat as well as a convection grill. You’ll also want to use wood chips to get some smoke into the mix.

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