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Ultimate Grilled Meatloaf Recipe

Smoked meatloaf sliced
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4.27 from 106 votes
This is the ultimate meatloaf recipe, moist, flavorful, and cooked on the grill, where it picks up smoke flavor as well.

Serve with: Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and sweet peas with sauteed onions. To drink: A nice simple rosé is my first choice. If you prefer beer, try Guinness stout, since it is served on top of mashed potatoes and reminiscent of shepherd's pie.

Main Course


Servings: 8 servings


Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


Wet Stuff

  • 2 raw eggs
  • 1 tablespoon  soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I prefer Chipotle Tabasco, or my homemade Controlled Burn Hot Sauce)
  • cup whole milk or 2% milk
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest (about 1 large orange)

Dry Stuff

  • 1 ½ cups unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons dried crumbled basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried crumbled oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Morton Coarse Kosher Salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg


  • 1 small onion
  • ½ small sweet red bell pepper or you choice of colors
  • ½ cup sun dried tomatoes


  • 1 pound coarsely ground beef chuck, 80 to 85% lean
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • ½ pound uncooked bacon
About the sundried tomatoes. Use soft, pliable sundrieds. If yours have dried hard, soak them in warm water for about 15 minutes before chopping or else they will soak up all the other liquids in the loaf and make it dense. I use my home made smoked sundrieds. If you wish, substitute chopped dried plums, raisins, or apples.
About the salt. Remember, kosher salt is half the concentration of table salt so if you use table salt, use half as much. Click here to read more about salt and how it works. 
Optional toppings. This loaf is flavorful and moist, so it should not need toppings, but I must confess, I like caramelized onion or even a sunnyside up egg occasionally.
Metric conversion:

These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page


  • Prep. In a big bowl, mix the wet stuff thoroughly.
  • In a small bowl, mix the dry stuff thoroughly.
  • Set aside 1/2 cup (118ml) of the dry stuff for the crust. Add the remaining 1 cup of the dry stuff to the wet stuff and stir it together. Let it soak for a minute or two.
  • Chop the onions, peppers, and sun dried tomatoes into small bits. Add the veggies to the big bowl. Chop the bacon into small bits and add that to the bowl along with the rest of the meat. Mix gently. Resist the temptation to overwork the mass and pack it tight. We don't need no stinkin' meat bricks. If it doesn't mix thoroughly, that's OK: bursts of flavor are fun. Form it into a cylinder about 3" (7.6cm) in diameter. Yes, I know this sounds weird, but this tube shape will insure that it cooks evenly on all sides and it makes it easier to roll around on the grill to brown on all sides.
  • Pour the remaining 1/2 cup (118ml) of the dry stuff on a flat surface such as a cutting board and set the loaf on it so the bottom gets coated. Sprinkle the rest of the crust over the rest of the surface and roll it around so the loaf is coated on all sides.
  • Place the meatloaf in the refrigerator to firm up while you prepare the grill.
  • Fire up. Set up your grill for 2-zone cooking. Preheat the indirect side to about 325°F (163°C). That's a good temp for browning things without squeezing out too much moisture. Start a pot of water boiling for the potatoes.
  • Cook. Place the loaf on the grate on the indirect side. If you like, throw some wood on the fire to add a bit of smoke, but not too much. Roast until the temp in the center of the loaf is 160°F (71°C), which is the temp at which the eggs are thoroughly cooked and safe.
  • Serve. Remove the meatloaf from the grill, slice and serve with mashed potatoes and/or your favorite side dishes.
  • Now tell us, what do you do with your leftovers?