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posted April 28, 2017

Jack’d Up Smoked Meatloaf

Jack’d Up Smoked Meatloaf gets it’s name from the insane amount of Jack going on inside! This meatloaf is insanely moist because of the Jack Daniels in the meat, ridiculously addictive because of the pepper jack cheese oozing from the middle, and unbelievably bold because of the spicy Jack Daniels sauce smothered on top. Add the subtle hints of wood smoke to the mixture and you’ve got a meatloaf worth eating.

A slice of glazed meatloaf on a spatula with melted cheese in the center

I love taking these old school classic recipes, and giving them a modern twist. I’m not really a traditionalist when it comes to BBQ (I’m from Utah after all, there isn’t much tradition to cling to!) I love using classic BBQ techniques and good old fashioned wood smoke to create new layers of flavor in exciting and updated ways. Meatloaf is about as old school as it gets, but I think the bold flavors I’ve added into the mix create a meatloaf like you’ve never had it before.

For this recipe, I use my homemade steak rub (grab that recipe HERE), but you can substitute for a beef or steak seasoning of your choice if you don’t want to make your own. The little pinch of cayenne in the homemade rub just adds a little kiss of heat inside the meatloaf itself and it is phenomenal!! That homemade touch really adds to the final Jack’d Up Smoked Meatloaf experience.

Glazed meatloaf on a wood cutting board with a single slice cut and melted cheese between

PRO TIP: For smoked meatloaf, you really need a pan that will allow the smoke to penetrate all sides. I smoked mine in a shallow grill basket with holes on the bottom so the smoke could circulate all around the meatloaf. You can also use a cooling or roasting rack!

A slice of Jack'd up smoked meatloaf on a metal spatula with the remaining meatloaf in the background.

Jack'd Up Smoked Meatloaf

4.95 from 39 votes
Prep Time : 15 mins
Cook Time : 4 hrs
Total Time : 4 hrs 15 mins
Servings : 6 people



  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 medium red onion (grated)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Jack Daniels whiskey
  • 1 Tablespooon homemade steak rub (recipe linked in post) (or your favorite steak rub)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 6 oz pepper jack cheese (cut into strips)

For the sauce

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Jack Daniels whiskey
  • 1 Tablespoon homemade steak rub
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes


  • Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F for indirect smoking. This meatloaf is awesome with hickory or oak wood.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, red onion, garlic, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, Jack Daniels, and milk. Mix gently with your hands until just combined. Don't overwork the meat or your meatloaf will be tough and chewy, just gently mix.
  • Spread half of your meatloaf mixture on the bottom of a grill basket. Layer on the pepper jack cheese, leaving about an inch of meatloaf on all sides. Top with the remaining meatloaf mixture and press the edges together to seal completely. Any exposed holes and the cheese will leak out while cooking.
  • In a small bowl. combine the ingredients for the sauce and then pour over the top of the meatloaf, letting it run down the sides a little bit.
  • Place the meatloaf on the smoker, close the lid, and smoke for 4 hours or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F. Let the meatloaf rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
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