Lake Norman Magazine

Triple Threat Smoked Meatloaf

Courtesy of Richard Rudisill.
Courtesy of Richard Rudisill.

We’ve all had it. A solid mass of ground meat; baked until unrecognizable and covered in pure ketchup. Yes, it’s true; meatloaf is a dish some love and most despisethat is until now. Why make meatloaf when you can take ground beef, form it into patties and give it a nice char on the grill. Slap it between two buns and top with everything imaginable. True, burgers are wonderful. But what if told you that this meatloaf is better; dare I say, better than most burgers?Ok, just give this a chance and I am telling you that you will make this again and again; and probably even slap it between two buns at some point because it is just that good. Meatloaf starts with fillers. Not just for flavoring or to bind but to help keep it moist even after time in the oven and finished on the smoker/grill. Mushrooms, whether you like them or not, are perfect for meatloaf; they will absorb some of the cooking juices and keep them in the meatloaf. The addition of other flavoring components, pepperoni, peppers, onions, garlic; take this to another level of meatloaf. Wrap anything in bacon and of course it will be better than anything you’ve had before, but add some smoke and now you have something that deserves a better name than meatloaf. Maybe “your highness” “your majesty” “greatest of all times”; wellyou get the point.Give this a try along with the bourbon balsamic glaze and you family surely won’t ever miss meatloaf night again, ever. Serve this dish with sides like stewed tomatoes, or my roasted buffalo style cauliflower and or grill smashed jerked potatoes. For all of these recipes and lots more visit

Triple Threat Smoked Meatloaf

2 Tablespoons-Extra Virgin Olive Oil

¼ Cup-Onion-diced

1 Each-Poblano-seeded, chopped fine

8 Ounces-Crimini Mushroom-chopped

2 Each-Garlic-smashed into paste

2 Each-Eggs-beaten

3 Tablespoons-Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tablespoons-Hot Sauce

1 Cup-Ketchup

To Taste-Kosher Salt/Black Pepper

1 Pound-Ground Beef

1 Pound Ground Pork

1/2 Pound-Sandwich Pepperoni-thin sliced, chopped

2 Cups-Panko Bread Crumbs

8 Slices-Bacon

Bourbon Balsamic Glaze

1 Cup-Ketchup

2 Tablespoons-Bourbon

1 Tablespoon-Balsamic Vinegar

½ Teaspoon-Black Pepper

1 Teaspoon-Granulated Garlic


1. Warm oil over medium high heat in a sauté pan and add onion, poblano and mushrooms.

2. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent and mushrooms reduce in size by half, 6-8 minutes.

3. Add garlic, cook another minute, remove from heat and cool.

4. In a mixing bowl combine eggs, Worcestershire, hot sauce and ketchup.

5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

6. Soak wood/wood chips in warm water.

7. In a separate bowl add pork, beef, pepperoni, breadcrumbs; cook/cooled vegetable mixture, egg mixture and season.

8. Mix by hand until well combined.

9. Spray loaf pan with pan spray and line with bacon across pan.

10. Add meat mixture to pan, press to all sides and fold over bacon.

11. Combine ingredients for sauce and spoon over about ¼ cup on top of meatloaf.

12. Place in oven and cook for 45 minutes.

13. Preheat/smoker for indirect heat cooking to about 225 degrees.

14. Remove meatloaf from oven, drain off grease and turn out gently on top rack of grill/smoker.

15. Add wood/wood chips to smoker box, close lid and cook over indirect heat for 30 minutes or until tender.

16. Baste with remaining sauce every 5-10 minutes.

17. Remove, sliced (place on grill if desired) and serve.