Classic Smoked Barbecue Meatloaf

Smoked classic meatloaf recipe

​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
405 Calories
15g Fat
31g Carbs
35g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 405
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 6g 28%
Cholesterol 127mg 42%
Sodium 4074mg 177%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 35g
Calcium 92mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This classic meatloaf recipe is probably a lot like the one your mother made for you. The difference is that you step up the flavor by making this meatloaf in the smoker rather than the oven. This is the real barbecue-style version of a comfort food favorite.

You can serve smoked barbecue meatloaf with anything from mashed potatoes to potato salad or a delicious casserole. This dish is quite versatile and can be served for any occasion and at any time of the year. Try the leftovers in sandwiches.

For extra flavor, this meatloaf uses a combination of ground beef and ground pork. An 80/20 grind of chuck works best for the ground beef. You can use any type of ketchup or barbecue sauce you happen to have in your refrigerator. Or, for complete control of your ingredients, use your own homemade ketchup or barbecue sauce.

To expose as much surface to absorb the smoke flavor, you will shape the meatloaf into a loaf but it won't be pressed into a loaf pan. Make the loaf as thick as possible through the middle so the center will stay moist and juicy.


  • For the Meatloaf:
  • 3 slices white bread (crumbled)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for smoked meatloaf
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  2. Prepare the smoker for a 3-hour smoke at a temperature between 250 and 275 F.

    Prepare smoker
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Combine the milk and bread. Set aside for about 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Add the ground beef, ground pork, egg, ketchup, onion, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Using your hands, gently mix until everything is evenly combined. Try not to over-mix so that the ground meats retain their texture.

    Add ground beef
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Form the mixture into a loaf shape on a smoker-safe pan or parchment paper. Place into the heated smoker with a small amount of mild wood.

    Form into a loaf
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Smoke the meatloaf until the internal temperature passes 165 F. 

    Smoke meatloaf
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Combine the sauce ingredients and brush a generous amount toward the end of cook time (about 15 to 20 minutes before the end). You can do this a few times to ensure a nice flavorful topping on the meatloaf.

    Smoked barbecue meatloaf
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  8. Once the meatloaf has cooked through, remove it from the grill and tent it with aluminum foil. Allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

    Cover in tinfoil
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  9. Carve, serve, and enjoy!

    Carve meatloaf
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 


  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • You can reheat the meatloaf in the microwave to enjoy the next day.
  • Serve it cold (or warmed) in sandwiches.

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