This Smoked Meatloaf is pure indulgence! The tender meat is jam packed with flavor, then stuffed with creamy mozzarella cheese, and smoked on the grill, and finally finished with a spicy Sriracha ketchup.
This is the meatloaf of dreams. You can also check out our cookbook for another great meatloaf recipe.
I was never a meatloaf fan growing up. No offense, mom, but you had other talents! Meatloaf was always too dry and bland for me. And the whole loaf idea just creeped me out.
Flash forward to these giant smoked meatballs, and everything changed. Our friend, Josh, created those giant meatballs because meatloaf grossed her out, so he made meatballs instead. With the same flavors he’d want in a loaf. Smart thinking.
So I started giving meatloaf a chance. And woah, when it’s not overcooked and filled with great complimentary flavors, it can be pretty awesome. And when it’s cooked on the smoker, it’s downright delicious. Stuff it with a little cheese and top it with a spicy and sweet Sriracha ketchup, and, well, let’s just say I’m ready to marry you.
How to make Smoked Stuffed Meatloaf
What we’re doing with the smoker is slowly bringing the temperature of the meat up, giving it that sweet smoke infusion, and then finishing it with the sweet and spicy glaze at the end. Similar to how you’d cook it in your oven, but the smoker gives this BBQ stuffed meatloaf incredible flavor.
We’re using a combination of ground beef and chorizo sausage. The flavor combination of these two is out of this world. Don’t have chorizo? Use any sausage blend you like like Italian sausage mix. We love using Snake River Farms ground beef, it’s a perfect mix of lean and fat.
You want to mix all of your meatloaf ingredients to fully incorporate (much like you would a meatball). But I learned a great trick from my foodie shero, Ina Garten, in that I don’t like my meatloaf add-ins raw.
- I like to soften my onions and garlic first (believe me, it’s worth this step!).
- I also don’t like milk in my meatloaf (I don’t think it needs it). Instead we’re adding chicken stock to the saute (you could use beef too), tomato paste, thyme, and Worcestershire sauce, just to give it that added moisture while it cooks.
- In a separate bowl, mix the beef, sausage, egg (as a binder), breadcrumbs (you can use gluten free as well with same ratio), dry rub, and onion mix.
- Once your meatloaf is mixed together (but not over-mixed) you can prepare to stuff it. We like to use our hands!
How to Stuff Meatloaf
Break the meat mixture in half and place it on a piece of parchment paper and press it out into the shape of a rectangle. In this case it was about 10″ long. Give it a sturdy base (close to 1″ if you can). Then place the cheese in the middle. I like mozzarella for this (because it melts well and it’s a mild flavor), but you can also use cheddar, gouda, or your favorite melt-worthy cheese.
Next roll out the remaining meat mixture as wide as the base and gently place it over the top, sealing the sides together, trying to avoid any holes or open areas for the cheese to seep out of.
Make sure the loaf is nice and sealed, and it’s now ready for the smoker.
How to Smoke a Meatloaf
I recommend you keep it on your parchment paper for this for ease of transferring. I take the extra step of keeping on a sheet pan while cooking (though this is optional).
Smoke your meatloaf at 250 degrees F using apple wood for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the internal temperature of the meat is 150 degrees F.
At this point add your Sriracha ketchup. We keep it simple by just adding about 1/2 cup of ketchup to 1/4 cup Sriracha. Taste it and if you find it too spicy add more ketchup (or even a smidge of brown sugar). It’s going to be up to your taste preferences and sensitivity to Sriracha. You can also use BBQ sauce instead of Sriracha if you don’t care for the spice (but I love me a little spice!).
Cover the loaf with the sauce and then close the lid and smoke for an additional 20-30 minutes (until the internal temperature of the meat is 165 and that Sriracha ketchup has caramelized a little.
Remove from heat, allow to sit for 5-10 minutes, just long enough to handle but you don’t want the cheese to harden up, then dig in!
Smoked Meatloaf Recipe
Smoked Meatloaf – Stuffed with Cheese
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground chorizo sausage
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 a medium onion)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon Ultimate Dry Rub
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (you can also use gouda or cheddar)
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup Sriracha (can also sub BBQ sauce if you don’t like the spice)
- Preheat the smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit using fruit wood like apple or cherry. Oak works great too.
- In a large bowl combine the beef and chorizo sausage and set aside.
- In a large skillet set to medium heat, add olive oil and onions and cook for 5-8 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and thyme and cook 1 additional minute. Remove from heat and add the tomato paste, Worcestershire, and chicken stock. Mix to combine.
- In the bowl with the meat mixture add the egg, breadcrumbs, dry rub, and onion/liquid mix. Mix, gently, using your hands, and separate into two equal parts.
- On a sheet pan covered with parchment paper add half the loaf and spread it into a rectangle shape about 1″ thick.
- Place the cheese in the center (see photos above), leaving about 1″ around all sides. Shape the other half of the meat mixture to the same size as the bottom layer, place it on top of the cheese, and seal all edges and sides.
- Place the loaf (on the sheet pan for ease) on the smoker and cook about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until internal temperature is 150 F.
- Cover the loaf with the Sriracha Ketchup mixture and cover the smoker lid, and continue cooking until the internal temperature of the meat is 165 F (this could take an additional 20-30 minutes).
- Remove and let rest 5-10 minutes. And dig in!
- Mix ketchup and Sriracha in a small bowl and stir to incorporate.
- Smoked Stuffed BBQ Meatballs
- Smoked Meatballs in a Cranberry Pinot Noir Sauce
- Smoked Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
- Smoked Mexican Burgers with Chorizo and Smoked Poblanos
- Classic All-American Cheeseburgers (with a twist!)
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