If you are looking for an easy, inexpensive and delicious recipe to cook on your Traeger then you have to try this smoked meatloaf recipe. This recipe is super flexible so you can add your own signature twists and it will still turn out great.
The meatloaf is spectacular when taken hot off the grill and sliced but is even better the next day when you use any leftovers for sandwiches!
Let’s get started!
Combine the Meatloaf Ingredients
Although this recipe is simple there is a trick that I use to get the texture that I like. Let’s start with the ingredients.
- 2.5 pounds ground beef (80/20)
- 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 3 tbls ketchup
- 1 cup sautéed veggies
- 3 teaspoons Traeger Garlic and Chili Pepper Rub
If you don’t have the Traeger rub on hand then here is the ingredient list so you can whip up a batch of something similar:
Traeger Garlic and Chili Pepper Rub Ingredients
- Cane Sugar
- “Spices (Including Basil)”
- Brown Sugar
- Chili Pepper
- Sunflower Oil
- Cane Molasses
You could also just skip the rub and use salt and pepper..it would turn out just fine.
Everyone has their favorite veggies to add to meatloaf so feel free to add whatever makes you happy. I started with a small sweet onion, 8 ounces of mushrooms and three stalks of celery. All of the veggies were diced, sautéed until tender and then cooled in he refrigerator before being added to the mix.
The Trick for Tender Meatloaf
I like meatloaf that is tender and fluffy. The trick to get this texture is to not overwork the meat when combining the ingredients.
Instead of squeezing and mashing the ingredients together I do the “lift and separate” technique.
Place your hands underneath the ingredients, lift them up and use your fingers to break up the strands of meat. Repeat this process 6-10 times until all of the strands of meat are separated and the ingredients are well mixed.
Prepare the Meatloaf for Your Traeger
Spray the inside of a loaf pan with Pam or other non-stick cooking spray.
I used a pan with dimensions of 8.5 x 4.5 x 3 inches and it was able to fit the entire meatloaf. You could use smaller pans and make a couple of loaves if desired.
Place the meatloaf mix into the pan and gently pack it down. You want the meat to fill the pan and be slightly compressed but don’t go crazy here…we still want the texture to be fluffy and tender.
Place the meatloaf into the refrigerator and let the loaf set for at least two hours.
Smoke the Meatloaf on Your Traeger in Two Steps
Turn on your Traeger and set the temperature to 180F. I was burning Traeger’s Gourmet pellets for this cook but Cheery or Hickory would also be just fine.
Take the meatloaf out of the refrigerator, turn the pan over onto a cutting board and tap the bottom and sides of the pan to get the meatloaf to slide out of the pan.
Place the meatloaf onto the grill and let it smoke at 180F for two hours.
After the meatloaf has smoked at 180F for two hours raise the temperature of your grill to 275F and let it smoke for thirty minutes.
Add Sauce to the Smoked Meatloaf
After the meatloaf has been smoked at 180F for two hours and at 275F for 30 minutes it is time to add the sauce! Again, everyone has heir favorite meatloaf sauce so feel free to use whatever makes you happy.
I decided to keep everything in the Traeger family and coated the top of the loaf with Traeger’s Texas Spicy BBQ Sauce.
After the meatloaf has been sauced, close the lid and let it cook for another 30 minutes at 275F or until an internal temperature of 160F is reached.
The Traeger Smoked Meatloaf Was Perfect!!
This was absolutely the best smoked meatloaf that I have ever made.
The texture was fluffy and tender, the smokiness was spot on and the loaf itself was incredibly juicy. The Traeger Texas Spicy bbq sauce was a great compliment to the beefiness. I loved the mushroom, onion and celery flavor profiles and man…this was dang delicious!
The only thing that I would do different is to place the meatloaf onto a piece of parchment or butcher paper when it went onto the smoker. It was challenging to remove the meatloaf from the grate with a spatula and I would have liked to have been able to lift it up with some supporting butcher paper.
Traeger Smoked Meatloaf
- 2.5 lbs Ground Beef (80/20)
- 1 cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs
- 1 Egg
- 1 cup Sautéed Vegetables (Onions, Mushrooms, Celery)
- 3 tbsp Ketchup
- 3 tsp Traeger Chili Garlic Dry Rub
- 3 tbsp Traeger Texas Spicy BBQ Sauce
- Combine all of the ingredients EXCEPT the bbq sauce by gently folding them together.
- Spray a loaf pan with non-stick oil and press the meat into the pan to form the loaf.
- Refrigerate the loaf for a minimum of two hours to let the form set.
- Turn on your pellet grill and set the temperature to 180F.
- Remove the loaf from the pan and place it onto the cooking grate of your grill.
- Smoke the meatloaf at 180F for two hours.
- Raise the temperature of the grill to 275F and cook for another 30 minutes.
- Glaze the meatloaf with the bbq sauce.
- Cook the meatloaf for another 30 minutes or until an internal temperature of 160F is reached.