Smoked Meatloaf with Sweet BBQ Glaze

Meatloaf is a classic dinner dish that has been bringing delicious flavor and sustenance to tables for generations. This tasty meal offers plenty of protein and is packed with rich flavor, making it easy for everyone to enjoy. Though classic meatloaf recipes include baking, you might be surprised to learn that meatloaf can be smoked to enjoy an even more amazing flavor. This beginner-friendly recipe is perfect for cooking with your favorite Z Grills model!

smoked meatloaf

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    What Do You Need to Make Smoked Meatloaf?

    Making incredible smoked meatloaf this fall all comes down to having the right ingredients. When preparing this kind of meatloaf, there are two sets of ingredients. The first set is for the meatloaf itself, and the second set is for the delicious glaze that will pack it full of even more flavor!

    Meatloaf Ingredients

    Gather the following ingredients to make the perfect smoked meatloaf base:

    • 2 pounds of ground beef (93% lean)
    • 1 medium onion
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 garlic cloves
    • Ketchup
    • Parsley
    • Panko breadcrumbs
    • Milk
    • Worcestershire Sauce
    • Black pepper
    • Kosher salt
    • Granulated garlic

    Barbecue Sauce Glaze Ingredients

    Create the perfect barbecue glaze for your smoked meatloaf with these tasty ingredients:

    • Ketchup
    • Brown sugar
    • White vinegar
    • Red vinegar
    • Honey
    • Garlic
    • Black pepper
    • Salt

    A full list of ingredients with amount required are listed on the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

    How Long Should You Smoke Meatloaf at 250F?

    The ideal cook time for your meatloaf will change depending on the amount of meat you are preparing and how it is spread out. For this recipe using 2 pounds of 93% lean ground beef, we recommend smoking the meatloaf for 2 hours at 250F and 45 minutes at 300F for the best flavor and texture.

    How to Make Smoked Meatloaf

    You can make the perfect smoked meatloaf using only a few simple steps. This process requires a little prep time, as well as a few hours of cook time to ensure that the meatloaf has the perfect taste and finish!

    Mix the Meatloaf

    Your first step when preparing delicious smoked meatloaf is to mix the ingredients for the meatloaf. Add all of the dry ingredients first. Begin mixing, then add the wet ingredients, including the eggs, Worcestershire sauce, milk, and more. Add the breadcrumbs at the end, then keep mixing. Be sure to mix the meatloaf—not the glaze.

    For the best results, we recommend mixing the meatloaf by hand. Mix it continuously to provide an even mixture of ingredients.

    It can be tempting to mix the meatloaf in a meatloaf pan—but remember, this is not traditional meatloaf. Form the meatloaf by hand instead. A meatloaf pan will actually block the smoke from the meatloaf. Though it might cook, it will not have that perfect smoked flavor. We recommend placing the meatloaf on a pizza screen or something similar as you put it on a pit. This way, it’s easier to maneuver when glazing.

    mix the meatloaf

    Preheat Your Z Grills Pellet Grill to 250F

    Now that your meatloaf is perfectly mixed, you can start cooking. Begin by turning your Z Grills Pellet Grill to 250F. This is the ideal smoking temperature for meatloaf. Allow the grill to heat to this temperature before moving forward to make sure that the meatloaf cooks correctly. We recommend using our cherry wood pellets, but you can experiment with different pellets for different flavors.

    Preheat Your Z Grills Pellet Grill to 250F

    Make the Barbecue Glaze

    While your Z Grills Pellet Grill heats, it is time to make the barbecue glaze. Mix all of the ingredients, then allow the mixture to simmer on low. The mixture should simmer for 15 minutes. Do not cook it too long to avoid burning it.

    make the bbq glaze

    Place the Meatloaf on the Grill

    After your Z Grills Pellet Grill has reached the ideal temperature, it is time to place the meatloaf inside the grill. Set a timer to cook the meatloaf for around 2 hours—or until the meatloaf reaches 145F for its internal temperature. Place the thermometer probe deep into the meat.

    place the meatloaf on the grate

    Apply Some Barbecue Glaze

    Now that the smoked meatloaf is almost cooked, it is time to add some additional flavor. Once the meatloaf reaches 145F for its internal temperature, increase the temperature of your Z Grills Pellet Grill to 300F and apply your glaze to the meatloaf. Do not use all of it. Instead, apply glaze to the meatloaf every 10 to 15 minutes until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 170F.

    apply some barbecue glaze

    Remove the Meatloaf from Your Pellet Grill

    Once your smoked meatloaf reaches 170F, it is officially done cooking. Remove the meatloaf and allow it to rest on a table for 15 to 20 minutes before serving it. The meatloaf should have a juicy and delicious interior with a slightly browned exterior underneath the glaze. There will be a slight smoke ring around the meat when you cut into it. The glaze should be settled into the meat, providing an amazing taste and smell!

    remove the meatloaf from you pellet grill

    For this recipe, we recommend using the Z Grills 7002F for that perfect finish that locks in flavor and keeps it nice and juicy! If you try this recipe and don’t get delicious results, it may be time to upgrade your pellet grill. Pellet grill technology has come a long way in the past few years and its now more affordable than ever to get your hands on a pellet grill that will give you mouth-watering results every time. Our Z Grills pellet grills are of the highest quality and you benefit from direct-from-manufacturer prices.

    What to Serve with Smoked Meatloaf?

    For this meatloaf, you want to complete your table with the perfect meal pairings. Allow your guests to snack on our smoked Chex mix in advance, or add even more flavor to your table with smoked mashed potatoes. For a fun dessert pairing, bring it all home with homemade tutti-frutti ice cream!

    Chef Tommy’s Tips for Smoked Meatloaf

    Chef Tommy is the master of creating smoked meatloaf. For the best possible experience, he recommends following these simple tips.

    What Temperature is Meatloaf Done Cooking at?

    Your perfect smoked meatloaf will be done cooking when it reaches 170F. At this temperature, it will be cooked while retaining its moisture and flavor.

    How Long is Meatloaf Good for in the Fridge?

    Meatloaf is a meal that keeps on giving—and you can enjoy it all week long! Your meatloaf will stay good in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 days as long as you preserve it quickly enough!

    Best Wood Pellets for Smoked Meatloaf

    For the best smoked flavor that gives your meatloaf that extra special touch, Chef Tommy recommends the Z Grills Cherry Wood Pellets. These pellets add a subtly sweet flavor that blends well with the glaze.

    5 from 1 vote

    Smoked Meatloaf

    Servings 4
    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Cook Time 2 hours 45 minutes
    Resting Time 15 minutes
    Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes


    • Z Grills 700D4E Wood Pellet Grill
    • Z Grills Cherry Wood Pellets
    • Small Bowl


    For the meatloaf

    • 2 pounds of ground beef (93% lean)
    • 1 medium onion (chopped)
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 garlic cloves (chopped)
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons of ketchup
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons of parsley (chopped)
    • ¾ cups of panko breadcrumbs
    • cup of milk
    • 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce
    • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
    • ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt
    • ¼ teaspoon of granulated garlic

    For the glaze

    • ¾ cup of ketchup
    • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon of white vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon of red vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons of honey
    • 1 ½ teaspoon of garlic (granulated)
    • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
    • ¼ teaspoon of salt


    • Preheat your Z Grills 7002F Pellet Grill to 250F. Be sure to add your favorite wood pellets. We recommend the Z Grills Cherry Wood Pellets.
    • Make your meatloaf by mixing all of the listed ingredients by hand.
    • Make your glaze by combining the listed ingredients in a small bowl. After the mixture is made, allow the glaze to simmer on low for 15 minutes.
    • Place your meatloaf into the smoker once it is heated. Close the grill and allow the meatloaf to cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 145F.
    • At 145F, turn your Z Grills Pellet Grill up to 300F and start applying your glaze.
    • Apply more glaze every 15 minutes until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 170F.
    • Remove the meatloaf and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
    • Slice up your smoked meatloaf and serve it up!


    Cost: 25
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: Beef, Smoked

    If you love this recipe or have any questions, let us know in the comment section below! 

    About The Author

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    Z Grills

    Z Grills is a grill manufacturer with over 30 years of experience within the industry. With over 650,000 pellet grills sold and 85 million cooks made, trust us.

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    1. Robert Newlon says:

      5 stars
      Excellent flavor! Will be doing this often.

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