March 24, 2003

Smoked Meatloaf

It was a nice day out Sunday, so while waiting for the Oscars to go on, and trying not to watch too much CNN, and observing the pool cleaner circling around, I decided to make my smoked or BBQed meatloaf.

This is a recipe that I normally use for weeknights, and make a great change from normal meatloaf. It also adds flavor to what is normally a rather sad selection of commercial meats available at a normal supermarket. And except for the cooking time -- it goes together very fast, allowing you time to clean, make sides, set the table, and monitor that pool cleaner.

- 1/2 to 2/3 beef chuck (4 lbs this time)
- 1/3 to 1/2 other meats, I used a pound of pork and a pound of lamb
- 1 C cooked rice, breadcrumbs or other binder
- 1 egg
- salt, pepper and whatever meatloaf seasonings you like

I almost alway use chuck because it has the right amount of fat in it. I've used veal, pork, lamb, dark meat chicken, turkey, and pork sausage at the other meats. For all but the sausage, I usually grind the meat myself unless I'm in a real hurry. This time, I had some leftover basmati rice, so I thought briefly about going with an Indian style flavor, but instead just used some mixed Italian seasonings that I got for free with my last Penzey's order.

After grinding, mix well to ensure combined. Form into a loaf and place in a disposable pan. I use half sheet pans, but have used pie plates for smaller sided loafs. I don't recommend using non-disposable pans as the smoke will certainly color them.

Build a medium fire on one side of your grill (I have a 22 inch Weber kettle). Once the coals have reduced, add a chunk or two of wood. Place the meatloaf in the pan on the other side of the grill. Cover. Let smoke without peeking for around half an hour, after this check the coals (adding another chunk of wood as needed) and turn the meatloaf to ensure even cooking.

I cook the meatloaf to around 160, which will carry over to 170 when removed from the grill. This is much more well done than I normally like meat, but the combination of pork and non-high quality meats make me want to do a fuller cook. This takes between 1.5 hours and two depending upon the size of the meatloaf, how hot you are running the fire, and how well cooked you decide you want to make yours.

Let rest for around 15 minutes and then slice. You should see a nice red smoke-ring on the outside.

Posted by dowdy at March 24, 2003 08:32 AM