Best 7 Tips How To Barbecue Meatloaf? [For The Ultimate Taste]

How To Barbecue Meatloaf

Food historians do not share a common stance on how to barbecue meatloaf became a part of our food habit. But undoubtedly, they are considered as one of the most favorite party dishes in the modern culinary world. 

Now and then, many of us crave a tender piece of meatloaf. For a social occasion, meatloaf can be a great decision. And knowing how to barbecue meatloaf at home could be a blessing. 

My personal experience with meatloaf barbecue started with a mess. I almost burnt it when I tried it for the first time 12 years ago. With all these years, it just got better and better with every attempt. I learned it the hard way. But you can start with a winning stride if you follow my recipe.

In this article, I have shared my recipe for barbecuing meatloaf. I intend to present to you the easiest way of barbecuing the best-tasting meatloaves, with a minimum risk of spoiling the party. The later part of the article contains a read-worthy question-answer part and some suggestions on what to serve barbecued meatloaves with.

7 Easy Steps To Barbecue Meatloaf:

Now, let us start our journey towards one of the most delicious foods the world has ever seen.

Step 1- Gather All The Ingredients Together:

The very first step to barbecue a meatloaf would be to get all the required ingredients ready at your reach. All the ingredients are listed here:

Ground Beef2 Lbs
Bread Crumbs2 Cups
Diced Onion1 Cup
Diced Tomato1 Cup 
Diced Pimento Pepper¼ Cup
Chopped Parsley¼ Cup
Minced Garlic2 Cloves
All-Purpose Barbecue Rub1 Tablespoon
Egg (Half Beaten)1 Piece
Barbecue Sauce1 Cup
Brown Sugar2 Tablespoons
Mustard  1 Tablespoon
Hot Sauce1 Tablespoon

After arranging all the required ingredients for a tasty meatloaf barbecue, you are now ready to start the journey.

Step 2- Get Your Smoker Or Cooker Ready:

To give your barbecued meatloaf a traditional smoky flavor, I recommend you use a smoker. You can use wood or specially flavored cooking pellets for the smoker as you prefer it to be. You can find a variety of cooking pallets in nearby shops or online stores. 

However, instead of using a smoker, you can also use an electric cooker to barbecue meatloaf. Your electric cooker may not give you the smoky flavor but it will be able to bake a perfectly tasty barbecued meatloaf. Start heating the smoker or the cooker and keep on heating it until the temperature is 350°F. 

Step 3- Prepare The Mix-Up For Meatloaf:

After turning the smoker/cooker on, do not waste any time and start making the mixture for the meatloaf. Get the ground beef in a large bowl and break it up a little with your hands. Do not forget to wear gloves. Now add all these ingredients one after another to the ground beef following the previously mentioned quantity: 

  • Diced Onion,
  • Diced Tomato,
  • Diced Pimento Pepper,
  • Chopped Parsley,
  • Minced Garlic Cloves,
  • Bread Crumbs,
  • Half-Beaten Egg,
  • All-Purpose Barbecue Rub.

Mix these ingredients sequentially and make the mixture as fine as you can make it. Give the mixture shapes of two meatloaves. 

Step 4- Start Cooking:

Now, the smoker/cooker is ready with a temperature of 350°F and your meatloaf mixture is also ready. So, start barbecuing them now.  Get a clean baking tray and brush a little vegetable oil on it. Put the two meatloaf mixtures on the baking tray and place the tray right in the middle of the grills. Your target will be to cook the meatloaves until they are 160°F hot inside. 

Usually, it takes 45 to 50 minutes. You should check on the meatloaves after 25 minutes of cooking. Watch out if they are being too stiff or not. After 45 minutes of consistent cooking at 350°F temperature, check the inside temperature of the meatloaves with a food thermometer. 

Get the meatloaves out of the smoker/cooker, if they are 160°F hot inside. But do not turn off the cooker yet. We will need to cook some more later at the same temperature. While the cooking of this phase is done, prepare the sauce mix as described in step 5.

Step 5- Get The Sauce Ready :

A great barbecue requires a perfect sauce. Now prepare your sauce mix. In a clean jar add and mix the following ingredients:

Barbecue Sauce1 Cup 
Brown Sugar2 Tablespoon
Mustard1 Tablespoon
Hot Sauce1 Tablespoon

After mixing these ingredients properly, heat the mixed sauce before using it on the meatloaves.

Step 6- Add Sauces:

So, now you have got two meatloaves, cooked for about 45 minutes at 350°F temperature and a nice mix of sauce is also at your hand. Use a kitchen brush to coat the two meatloaves with a thick layer of mixed sauce. 

Make sure you do not miss any spots. Meatloaves tend to dry up quickly. The sauce will not only make them tastier, but it will also keep them tender too.

Step 7- The Final Touch:

Now put back the meatloaves into the cooker again. This time I cooked it for about 15 minutes only. By now the inner temperature of the meatloaf should be more than 165°F. 

The sauce mixture, integrated with the meatloaves pretty well, will give them an awesome look. Your meatloaves are now ready to be served.

What To Serve With BBQ Meatloaf?

You can serve these items with barbecued meatloaf:

  • Baked Wedge Fries:

Baked wedge fries can be served beside a big slice of meatloaf. It will only make the platter more attractive. Since they are baked oil-free it is good for health too.

  • Cornbread:

Serving cornbread with barbecue items is traditional in some parts of the United States. It complements meatloaf barbecue pretty well. 

  • Greek Pasta Salad:

Another good decision for meatloaf can be Greek Pasta Salad. They are filled with feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives. Which are refreshing for both the mouth and stomach. 

  • Mac & Cheese:

Mac & Cheese can also be served with barbecued meatloaf. It is a drool-worthy partnership. Its creamy taste is satisfying for many. 

  • Baked Beans:

Sweet baked beans are a classic companion of barbecued foods. The beans, bacon, and onions of Baked Beans make them irresistibly good with meatloaf.

  • Coleslaw:

Coleslaw pairs perfectly with the savory flavors of barbecue meatloaf. Both the creamy mayo-based slaw and the vinegar-based slaw are good for meatloaf. It is easy to prepare and easier to digest.

  • Sweet Potatoes:

Sweet Potatoes can be a fantastic side dish. Be it fried, baked, or mashed, sweet potatoes are always carved at a party. It is an excellent side dish for meatloaf.

  • Corn On The Cob:

Corn-on-the-cob is a classic side dish to accompany barbecued meatloaf. Crunchy and buttery corn-on-the-cob is famous for picnics.

  • Corn Pudding:

Serve barbecued meatloaf with homemade Corn Pudding. It will be loved and cherished by your guests. Besides, it’s super easy to make. 

  • Potato Salad:

As a side dish, potato salad is classic. It works perfectly with meatloaf. This creamy and delicious dish will make your meatloaf platter happier. 

  • Fried Okra:

The bite-sized fried okras are a delight when presented beside a barbecued meatloaf. Though it is not that famous, I believe it is a worthy try. 

  • Fried Green Tomatoes:

You will be surprised to know how fried green tomatoes can make a party more colorful. Especially when served with meatloaf. Use firm, unripe, green tomatoes. Fry sliced green tomatoes after soaking them in cornmeal batter.

  • Watermelon:

Freshly cut watermelons can cheer up the party crowd with a little effort. On a summer day, they are a blessing after barbecued meatloaf.

  • Rice:

Steaming white rice is a superb decision with barbecued meatloaf. They soak up the smoky sauce making it taste greater. You can also use brown rice. They have got a special taste.

  • Garlic Bread:

Garlic bread is considered a good compliment for a nicely baked meatloaf. Feel free to add any kind of spice on top of garlic bread to make it more interesting. 

  • Quinoa Salad:

If rice is too much for you, you can choose quinoa. It has a high food value, including protein, potassium, and calcium. You can make a salad with it by adding tomatoes and mozzarella.

  • Strawberry Shortcake:

Do not forget to keep a dessert item beside the barbecued meatloaf. Strawberry shortcakes make the finest desert in the summer. It is sweet, creamy, and refreshing. 

Some Commonly Asked Questions On BBQ Meatloaf:

Is Meatloaf An Unhealthy Food?

Some people think meatloaves are full of animal fat and thus –  injurious to health. But researchers think otherwise. Laboratory test shows a big slice of meatloaf has only 180 to 294 calories and 27 grams of total fat. So compared to many other foods, meatloaf can not be labeled as an injurious food.

What Type Of Ground Beef Should You Choose For Meatloaf?

Nowadays, there are a lot of options in the market for ground beef. Which is the most important ingredient of a meatloaf barbecue. But, I recommend the regular beef ground with a lean of 70 to 77 percent. 

They are inexpensive and at the same time, have got the right amount of fat for a barbecue. You can also make your beef ground at home by grinding raw beef in a blender. Remember that, without the proper amount of meat fat inside, your meatloaf will dry out.

Should You Add Milk As An Ingredient For Meatloaf?

If you are not allergic to dairy products, you can add milk to the meatloaf mixture. It will maintain the moisture of the meatloaf and prevent it from being dried up. But the same job could be done with water or beef stock.

Should You Bake Meatloaf Without A Cover?

To avoid the moisture being vaporized, it is suggested to cover it while baking. Some prefer to bake it open for the last 15 minutes only. It is believed to give the meatloaf a glaring look.

What Are The Substitutes Of Barbecue Sauce For Meatloaf? 

Though barbecue sauce is meant to be used for barbecuing, some people do not like the taste. In that case, regular ketchup is suggested. It gives the same look to a meatloaf that barbecue sauces would give. The taste is also very similar.

What Are The Substitutes Of Breadcrumbs For Barbecuing Meatloaf?

Along with eggs, breadcrumbs are helpful to hold the whole mixture of a meatloaf together. Some other items can do the same job. You can use oatmeal, cracker crumbs, crushed tortilla chips instead of breadcrumbs in a meatloaf.

Is Mayonnaise An Alternative To Eggs In Meatloaf?

The role of an egg in a barbecuing meatloaf is not significant. It mainly works as a binding agent. You can also use ¼ cup of mayonnaise to do the same job. Using mayonnaise will increase the moisture of the meatloaf.

Is Your Meatloaf Too Soft?

A perfect ratio of all the ingredients ensures a perfect texture of meatloaf. If your meatloaf is too soft, that means you have added breadcrumbs and milk much more than you had to. Next time try to reduce the amount of these ingredients.

Did Your Meatloaf Crack?

Generally, meatloaf cracks when the outer part of the mixture is cooked quicker than the inner part. By this uneven cooking, the proteins of the outer part of the meat tighten and create cracks on the surface. 

The solution is to maintain the recommended temperature of the cooker and to strictly follow the baking time suggested in the recipe.

Can You Eat A Meatloaf Right After It Is Cooked?

You can eat your meatloaf right after you have gotten it out of the oven. But slicing a meatloaf right after it is cooked can be difficult. It is suggested to rest the meatloaf for about 15 minutes before slicing it.

What Flavors Can Be Added To Barbecued Meatloaf?

In the sauce mix, you can add a little mayonnaise. It will brighten the taste. Some prefer to add sugar-free salsa to the sauce mix, which also tastes nice. Another good option is the mushroom sauce. You can add it with the sauce mix to get a richer taste. 

Final Words:

I can guarantee you that all the meat-lovers among your friends and family members will start loving you more when you serve them barbecued meatloaves, cooked using my recipe. This write-up will be meaningful only when you try it. 

You will feel some more control over life, after mastering some glorious recipes like this. Best of luck with that.

You may also want to read:

How to clean cast iron grill grates:

Best wood for smoking ribs.


I am a barbeque specialist who can spend a lot of time, love, and passion on the grill. A barbecue expert is someone who is not only creating a great tasty steak on BBQ, but is skillful of using any pit or grills to do so, and able to offer appropriate advice on Barbecuing.

Recent Posts