Smoked Meatloaf

An absolutely delicious spin on a dinner classic, this meatloaf combines 3 different meats with a bacon-weave so you can serve up the best meat loaf mankind has ever tasted.

I like to make the loaf the day before I want to eat, so all the flavors have a chance to meld in the tasty mounds of meat. Start with sautéing the following until soft:

  • 1T olive oil
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 1 diced stalk celery
  • 4oz diced mushrooms
  • 1/2 diced red onion

Cook the vegies until soft, about 10 minutes over medium heat. Allow vegies to cool, then mix in a large bowl with the following:

  • 2# hamburger
  • 1# hot Italian sausage
  • 0.5# cooked and crumbled bacon
  • 4 cloves diced garlic
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2t Worcestershire sauce
  • 2t salt
  • 1t pepper
  • 1C breadcrumbs
  • 1/2C condensed tomaoe soup

Mix everything together, form into a loaf, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

When ready to cook, start grill on Smoke or a temperature of around 165F. Smoke the meatloaf right on the grill grate for 3 hours.

While the meatloaf is smoking, prepare your bacon weave using 1# of regular or thinly sliced bacon. If you’re not sure how to do a bacon weave, just Google it. They are really cool, but can be a challenge to get crisp. You’ll see my secret for that below.

After smoking the meatloaf for 3 hours, wrap the top with the prepared bacon weave and turn up the heat to 350F. Let cook until the internal temperature reaches 155F, about 45 minutes.

At this point, you need to crisp up the bacon. Move the meatloaf to a cookie sheet and place under the broiler in an oven for 5-10 minutes until crisp. Watch the bacon closely, as it goes from not done to burnt very quickly.

Once the bacon is crisp, remove the meatloaf from the oven and brush with BBQ sauce before returning to the smoker to firm up the sauce. Smoke at 165F for 10-15 minutes to finish. Remove from smoker and let rest 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Smoked Coleslaw

Don’t knock it until you try it! A crispy, classic mayo based coleslaw with a hint of smoked flavor. Even my wife that’s not a big fan of coleslaw likes this delicacy!

You can either go the quick route and buy a coleslaw mix in the prepackaged lettuce section of your supermarket, and coleslaw dressing with the salad dressings, or make your own. In this example, I bought a bag of coleslaw mix that I tossed with a bag of broccoli slaw mix to add some color, while I made the dressing from scratch.

To make the slaw, shred the following:

  • 1 head green cabbage
  • 1 head purple cabbage
  • 2 carrots

Lay the shredded slaw out on perforated pans and smoke at the lowest setting on your smoker for about 30 minutes, until the cabbage just starts to take on a bit of the smoked color. Remove from the smoker and toss in the dressing. To make your own, mix the following:

  • 1 1/2C mayonnaise
  • 1/4 C white vinegar
  • 1t celery seed
  • 1t sugar
  • 1t salt
  • 1t pepper

You can serve it as-is, or for best results, refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to meld. Top with thinly sliced scallions before serving.

Smoked Cheeze-Its

So you’ve got all this grill space, what to do with it? Smoke Cheeze-Its!

What you see above represents one Costco sized box of Cheeze-Its with 2 packages inside the box. Empty the crackers into a bowl and spray/toss with cooking spray. Sprinkle with garlic salt and if you want a zing, cayenne pepper.

Lay out as close to one layer as you can. If you have perforated sheets, use those. Smoke between 150-180 for 3-5 hours, tossing/stirring every hour to keep the smoke even. After they cool, place in a zip lock bag and seal. You can eat them right as you pull them from the grill, but they will taste better the next day.

Barbecued Corn Ribs

An intriguing change from traditional corn on the cob. Start with 4 ears of corn, shucked. Cut cob in half, and then split each half down the middle by carefully cutting through the center of the cob. When you are done, you should have 32 corn ribs.

You can now use your favorite BBQ sauce and rub to slather over the ribs. Using direct heat, preheat the grill to a medium-high temp and oil the grates. Place the corn ribs on the grill and close the lid. Cook until they begin to char, about 6-8 minutes. Flip ribs and repeat.

You can either serve as-is, or brush with more sauce and rub. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.

Smoked Flank Steak

Started with a 2 pound flank steak. Marinated it in the juice of 3 oranges, 2 lemons and 4 limes, along with 3 cloves of garlic, 1/2C fresh Cilantro, 1 jalapeño, 1/2t cumin, 1/4C olive oil, 1t salt and 1t pepper. Let it sit in the fridge overnight then rubbed with my favorite beef rub and smoked for 1 hour at 165F. Finished on the gas grill over direct heat, until internal temp of 135F, about 6 minutes/side.

Made the salsa using fresh tomatoes from the garden. Skinned and crushed about 2 pounds of plumb tomatoes, 2 sweet onions chopped, 3 jalapenos, and 1 bunch of cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste plus the juice of 1 lime. Always better the next day!

Finished the meal with this homemade peach pie and margarita- recipes available on request.

Smoked Mac & Cheese

I adapted this recipe from Patti Labelle for the smoker. It is the BEST mac & cheese you will ever have!

Ingredients:

  • 1T vegetable oil
  • 1# macaroni
  • 9T butter
  • 1C muenster cheese, shredded
  • 1C mild cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1C sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1C Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 16oz Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 2C half-and-half
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1t seasoning salt
  • .5t black pepper

Dirctions:

Cook macaroni in 1T oil until somewhat tender, about 7 minutes. Drain & return to pot.

Melt 8T of butter and stir into macaroni.

Mix all the shredded cheeses and add 1 1/2C to the macaroni, along with the Velveeta, half-and-half, eggs, seasoning salt & pepper.

Butter a 2.5Qt casserole dish and add macaroni mix to the dish.

Set smoker for ‘smoke’ or lowest heat setting. Smoke the mac & cheese for 60 minutes, stirring at the 30 and 60 minute mark. Top with the remaining 1/2C shredded cheese and dot with 1T butter.. Turn the heat up to 350F and continue cooking for about 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and bubbly.

Smoked Tri Tip

Found this baby at my butcher, marinating in a soy/teriyaki mix. Decided to give it a try and it did not disappoint. Roast was about 4 pounds. Smoked at 165F for 2.5 hours, until the internal temp was 120F. Moved over to direct heat and seared for 4 minutes/side. Wrapped in paper and returned to the smoker at 225F. Continued cooking until IT was 140F. Pulled and let rest for 30 minutes.

Made a chimichurri sauce to garnish it with. Wife thought the sauce was better than the meat!

  • 2 Cup packed fresh Italian parsley
  • 4 Teaspoon dried oregano or 1/4 cup packed fresh oregano leaves
  • 4 Clove garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon red pepper flakes

Place all ingredients for chimichurri in a blender and pulse until it reaches a chopped-like consistency.

Smoked Pork Chops

What a beautiful and tasty cut of meat. Center cut, bone-in pork chop. About 2-3″ thick, brined overnight, smoked for 4 hours, seared, and moved back to the Traeger until the internal temperature gets to 145F.

Start with good bone-in, pork loin chops…looks like a Porterhouse steak. Cut at 2-3″ thick, will weigh 18-24oz each. The ingredients in this post will make 4 chops.

Brine the chops for at least 8 hours. Start with 2 Cups boiling water and dissolve 1/2C Kosher salt and 1/2C granulated white sugar. Add hot slurry to about half a gallon of cold water and top with ice to make 1 gallon of brine. Add the chops, submerging them completely, and let sit for 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. You can’t brine them too long, but the more they sit in the brine, the more ham like your pork chop will be (which I don’t see a problem with). These went 24 hours in the brine.

About 5 hours before you want to eat, take the chops out of the brine, rinse in cold water, pat dry, and cover them in this rub: 1/4C brown sugar, 1t onion powder, 1t garlic powder, 1T chili powder, 2t Kosher salt, 1t cumin, 1t ground black pepper and 1T paprika.

Once rubbed, place on smoker at lowest level- I used 165F and supersmoke. Let smoke for 3-5 hours, or until internal temperature gets to 120F. At this point, sear the chops over high heat for a couple of minutes/side. I use my gas Weber Genesis cranked up to about 700 degrees. Watch the chops closely, as the fat will start dripping over direct heat and create one heck of a fire! Get them good and seared, but not burned, before returning to the Smoker.

Once seared, turn up the heat on the Smoker to 225F and cook until the internal temperature gets to 145F. Lather on your favorite BBQ sauce for the final 20 minutes, cooking for 10 minutes on each side.

After you pull the chops, let rest for 10-15 minutes before diving in.

Smoked Chuck Roast

Just bought a simple chuck roast. Seasoned it and let it go on super smoke for 3 hours. Turned the heat up to 250 and cooked for another 6 hours, spritzing every 90 minutes with a 50/50 mix of apple cider vinegar and water. Got the internal temp to 200 before letting it rest for 30 minutes before eating. Was really surprised at how much it shrank, but it was good. Not the best cut of meat I’ve ever had, but very good.