Sometimes you just need a hot, comforting meal that reminds you of home. Could anything rank higher on the comfort food scale than meatloaf? I remember eating it when I was a kid, and still love it today. This BBQ Meatloaf Recipe is my take on an old favorite. Let’s get started!
Meatloaf is one of those all-round crowd favorites. It’s hearty, tasty, and goes well with all kinds of side dishes. Plus it’s not that hard to make. I’m using two types of ground meat and some of my rubs, then cooking it up on my Traeger Pellet Grill to give it a rich, smoky flavor. Follow along for my take on the traditional meatloaf your mom used to make.
- Ground pork. Pork will give the loaf additional flavor.
- Ground beef. A staple of every meatloaf, my ground beef will mix well with the pork for the base of this dish.
- Eggs. Moist meatloaf is the best, and eggs are just the ticket to help all the ingredients stick together.
- Panko crumbs. The meatloaf needs these to maintain its form.
- Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce. This sauce resides at the delicious corner of savory and sweet perfection.
- Heath Riles BBQ Pecan Rub. A hint of nuttiness adds an aromatic, flavorful taste to all types of meat (and veggie) dishes.
- Heath Riles BBQ Everyday Rub. This is like salt and pepper on steroids. So good!
- Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Rub. This was the first rub I ever perfected and it’s still one of my favorites.
- Minced garlic. Amping up the flavor and adding an element of savory flavor required a little bit of garlic.
- Cooking spray. Nobody likes to scrape meatloaf off their pan.
The Equipment Setup
- Traeger Timberline Grill. I preheated it to 350 degrees F to cook my meatloaf perfectly.
- Traeger Pecan Pellets. Using these guarantees a delicious smoky flavor with hints of nuttiness to boot.
The Process for Making BBQ Meatloaf
- Start with the meat. Unwrapping the pork and beef I got from my butcher, I laid both in a large aluminum pan.
- Pour on the rest of the ingredients. Next came the cracked beaten eggs. I poured them right on top of the meat, following them with the panko crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, diced white onions, and chopped red bell pepper.
- Season it up. Once all the ingredients were in the pan, I poured in some of my Sweet BBQ Sauce, and sprinkled in some of my Pecan Rub, my Everyday Rub, and my Sweet BBQ Rub. Topping it all off with some minced garlic, I had everything in the pan I needed to make one heck of a meatloaf.
- Mix it up. The best way to combine a meatloaf’s ingredients is with your fingers. I started by rolling the mixture over a few times in the pan, then mashing it in. It took a couple of minutes to get everything mixed together like I wanted.
- Loaf the meat. Getting out my cooking sheet and cooling rack, I sprayed them down with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Using my hands again, I worked the mixture out of the pan and formed it into a log on top of the cooling rack.
- Dust the top. I sprinkled a really light layer of my Pecan Rub on the top of the loaf, following it up with a little thicker layer of my Sweet Rub.
- Get it grilling. Removing the cooling rack from the pan, I put it in the middle of the grill and closed the lid to let it cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees F. I added my ChefAlarm probe to alert me when the loaf got to the temp I wanted.
- Check and glaze the meatloaf. When I heard the alarm (it took an hour and 15 minutes) I opened the lid and, using a silicone basting brush, I glazed the loaf with my Sweet BBQ Sauce. I reset the alarm to 165 degrees F.
- Take it off the grill. Once the alarm chimed again, the meatloaf was ready. I took it off the grill and it looked and smelled delicious. I let it rest for 15 minutes.
- Slice and serve. I sliced up the loaf in pretty thick pieces, because that’s how I like them. The color was perfect and every piece was bursting with moisture.
I got a bite with the bark around the edges, and boy is this recipe a winner. It has it all, from a delicious sweetness to savoriness with hints of garlic and nuttiness. You just can’t beat this full-flavor dish. Bring on the mashed potatoes!
Serving Suggestions for BBQ Meatloaf
One piece is usually enough to fill up most people. Serve with some tasty sides like green beans, corn, and mashed potatoes.
Use an airtight container to store leftover meatloaf in the fridge for up to 3 days. Heat it up and eat it by itself or add it to a sandwich for a mouthwatering lunch.
Equipment and Tools
BBQ Meatloaf on the Traeger Grill
1 - 1.5 lbs ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1/2 cup Panko (you could use crackers or any bread crumbs)
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
2 large eggs
Heath Riles BBQ Sweet Sauce 1/2 cup in meat mixture, more for glaze
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp Worcestershire
2 tbsp Heath Riles BBQ Everyday Rub
1-2 tbsp Heath Riles BBQ Sweet Rub
1 tbsp Heath Riles BBQ Pecan Rub
Fire up Traeger Grill (or any pellet grill / smoker) to 350º. We used pecan pellets for this cook.
Mix all ingredients into meat mixture and form a "log".
Once "log" is formed, season outside with Heath Riles BBQ Sweet Rub and Heath Riles BBQ Pecan Rub.
Place on grill / smoker until an internal temperature of 150º is reached.
Glaze meatloaf with Heath Riles BBQ Sweet Sauce and continue to cook until an internal temperature of 165º is reached.
Our total cook time was 1 hour and 40 minutes