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posted January 24, 2023

Jack’d Up Smoked Meatloaf

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

Smoked meatloaf sliced on a white serving plate with text overlay - Jack'd Up Smoked Meatloaf.

Smoked Meatloaf

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!). Despite this, 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 smoked meatloaf as you’ve never had it before.

For this recipe, I use my Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub but you can substitute for any beef or steak seasoning of your choice if you don’t have a bottle of my Beef Rub on hand. You can also use equal parts salt, pepper, and garlic powder if you’re in a pinch.

Ingredients for smoked meatloaf in a large glass mixing bowl.

Ingredients for smoked meatloaf being mixed in a glass bowl.

Ingredients for Smoked Meatloaf

Here’s what you’ll need to assemble to make this jack’d up smoked meatloaf.

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Jack Daniels whiskey
  • 1 Tablespoon Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 6 ounces pepper jack cheese

This meatloaf also has a great sauce that cooks on top of the meat while it’s on the smoker. Here’s what you’ll need for the sauce:

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

Pepperjack cheese being added to a layer of meatloaf.

 

Jack Daniels meatloaf sauce being poured over meatloaf.

How to Smoke a Meatloaf

This meatloaf isn’t too difficult to make, but it does require a bit of time in the smoker (around 4 hours). It can be hard to wait this long for this tasty meatloaf, but I guarantee it will be worth it. Here’s how to smoke a meatloaf.

  1. Preheat. Fire up your favorite smoker and preheat it to 225 degrees F. Hickory and oak are delicious with this recipe.
  2. Make the meatloaf. Combine all ingredients for the meatloaf in a bowl. Mix very gently, and take care not to overmix (your meatloaf will end up too tough if it is handled too much).
  3. Form the loaf. Form half the mixture into a loaf on a grill basket. 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. Next, add the cheese on top of the first layer of meat and then add the remaining meatloaf mixture on top of the cheese. Press and reform the loaf to seal the cheese inside (you don’t want the cheese seeping out on the smoker!).
  4. Sauce. Combine all ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and mix well. Pour it over the top of the meatloaf so the loaf has a nice, even layer of sauce all around the top and sides.
  5. Smoke. Place the meatloaf in the grill basket on the preheated grill grates. Close the lid, and smoke for 4 hours or until the internal temperature of the meatloaf reaches 165 degrees F.
  6. Dig in! Remove the meatloaf from the smoker. Rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Watch out for melty cheese oozing out the middle of the loaf!

Meatloaf on the smoker reading a temperature of 165 degrees F.

How Long to Smoke Meatloaf

It takes 4 hours to smoke this jack’d up smoked meatloaf. Other meatloaf varieties will likely take less time to fully cook, but with the added layer of cheese and the double meat stack, 4 hours is optimal for this recipe. 

Slightly more important that watching the clock for this meatloaf is ensuring the meat reaches a safe temperature for consumption. This meatloaf can be pulled off the smoker when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Make sure you have an internal meat thermometer handy so you can track the temperature of the meat while it smokes.

Jack'd up smoked meatloaf sliced on a white serving plate.

More BBQ Meatloaf Recipes

If you loved this smoked meatloaf, but you’re looking for a few other more traditional recipes, check out these other favorites from the Hey Grill Hey site. Click on the links below to head straight to the recipe posts.

Smoked Meatloaf Recipe

Follow the video below and let’s make something delicious! I’m all about helping you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a BBQ hero. If you want to see more of my recipes, tips, and behind-the-scenes action, follow along on my social channels. You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube!

This post was originally published in April 2017. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.

Jack'd up smoked meatloaf sliced on a white serving plate.

Jack'd Up Smoked Meatloaf

Susie Bulloch
"Jack'd Up" Smoked Meatloaf gets its name from the insane amount of Jack going on inside. This smoked meatloaf is insanely moist from the Jack Daniels in the meat, ridiculously addictive from the pepper jack cheese oozing from the middle, and unbelievably bold from the spicy Jack Daniels sauce smothered on top. Add subtle hints of wood smoke to the mix and you've got a meatloaf well worth eating.
4.95 from 57 votes
Prep Time : 15 mins
Cook Time : 4 hrs
Total Time : 4 hrs 15 mins
Servings : 6 people
Calories : 652kcal

Video

Ingredients
 

Meatloaf

  • 2 pounds ground beef (at least 85/15 fat content)
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ½ medium red onion (grated)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 2 Tablespoons Jack Daniels whiskey
  • 2 Tablespoons Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub (or your favorite beef or steak seasoning)
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 6 oz pepper jack cheese (cut into strips)

Jack Daniels Meatloaf Sauce

  • ½ cup ketchup
  • cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup Jack Daniels whiskey
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Preheat. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F. This meatloaf is awesome with hickory or oak wood.
  • Make the meat mixture. In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients for the meatloaf. Mix gently with your hands until just combined. Don't overwork the meat or your meatloaf will be tough and chewy.
  • Assemble the meatloaf. Spread half of the meatloaf mixture on the bottom of a grill basket. Layer the pepper jack cheese on top of the meatloaf, leaving about an inch of meat 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.
  • Add the sauce. 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.
  • Smoke. Place the meatloaf on the smoker, close the lid, and smoke for 4 hours or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F.
  • Enjoy. Remove the meatloaf from the smoker. Let the smoked meatloaf rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 652kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 188mg | Sodium: 566mg | Potassium: 608mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 638IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 299mg | Iron: 4mg
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