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Meatloaf needs no introduction but BBQ smoked meatloaf is something you should know about! Seriously, this is an incredible smoker ground beef recipe you can make on a pellet grill or Traeger. And when it comes to smoked meatloaf Traeger pretty much ensures an impressive result. The rich, meaty flavor and garlicky tomato meatloaf recipe glaze will make you think you died and went to heaven. It really is that good – make it for yourself and you’ll see!

Overhead view of a smoked meatloaf with slices taken.

This gorgeous smoked meatloaf is so tasty and so popular you’ll want to make one every week! The list of side dishes that pair well is endless and it’s just so good!

If you are a fan of meaty dishes, you might also want to try Italian meatloaf, sloppy joes sliders or any of these ground beef recipes.

Slices of the best smoked meatloaf with a glaze on top, served on a wooden board with a fork on the side.

Why You’ll Love This

Incredibly flavourful: There’s no way anyone will be disappointed with this Traeger smoked meatloaf. It’s so rich in flavor and then you have the unmistakable smoky element that elevates it way above classic recipes. If you have a smoker or a grill, you absolutely must try this!
Easy to prepare: There’s nothing difficult about Traeger meatloaf. If you’ve made meatloaf in the oven, it’s pretty much the same process, except you’ll end up with a more flavorful dish that boasts an incredible smoky aroma and flavor.
Always popular: Whether you’re making this for the family or you have friends over, nobody is going to be able to resist! In fact, most will want a second helping. This meatloaf is the best bar none, and adding the fantastic smoke from a Traeger grill is just the icing on the cake. Meatloaf heaven, here we are!

If you’re wondering whether to make your next meatloaf recipe on the smoker, I’d say go ahead. You won’t regret it. This is the best smoked meatloaf recipe I’ve had, and I’ve tried a fair few! The incredible smoky flavour adds so much appeal to this smoked meatloaf recipe. So if you’re a meatloaf fan looking for a brand new take, try this BBQ smoked meatloaf on your pellet grill or Traeger and see what you’ve been missing!

Slices of BBQ smoked meatloaf with ketchup glaze on a wooden cutting board.

Ah, this meatloaf recipe is so good! It’s a traditional comfort food is something many of us grew up with and have fond memories of. However, it’s usually baked in the oven. You’ll find the smoke from the grill adds a very special taste.

Once the smoke combines with the tomato-based meatloaf glaze, the result is a smoky, BBQ type flavour. Smoking also keeps this smoker ground beef recipe moist. Meatloaf on the smoker won’t dry out like the oven-baked type sometimes does.

A plate of BBQ smoked meatloaf accompanied by mashed potatoes and corn kernels, with a fork resting on the meatloaf.

Smoked Meatloaf Ingredients

Now you’ve added this BBQ smoked meatloaf to your ‘must make immediately!’ list, let’s have a closer look at what’s in it. A combination of 2 parts ground beef to 1 part ground sausage seems to work best, although you can use whatever ground meats you prefer. Veal, venison or poultry can also go into meatloaf recipes. It’s completely up to you.

Assorted cooking ingredients neatly arranged on a wooden surface, including ground meat for the best smoked meatloaf, bacon, eggs, onions, spices, and sauces.

Egg and pork rinds help bind the meatloaf recipe while bacon, onion, peppers, garlic, and paprika add flavor. I often use smoked paprika when cooking (especially in BBQ peach Bourbon wings!)

A slice of BBQ smoked meatloaf with a side of mashed potatoes and corn kernels on a white plate, viewed from above, with utensils on a wooden table.

However, you can just use regular paprika in this meatloaf recipe, since it’s going to come out smoky anyway.

A plate of food featuring a slice of the best smoked meatloaf with a bite taken out, served with sides of mashed potatoes and corn.

Cream cheese and sour cream also feature in this Traeger smoked meatloaf, along with cumin, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. And it goes without saying you’re going to need a pellet grill or Traegar to cook your amazing BBQ smoked meatloaf.

A plate with a slice of the best smoked meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and corn, set on a wooden table with condiments in the background.

How to Make Smoked Meatloaf

This smoker ground beef recipe is as easy as you’d hope. Let’s take a look at the basic steps.

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Precook some of the ingredients: While the smoker is preheating, you can cook the bacon then the peppers and some of the onion in the bacon grease. Mix in the cream cheese, sour cream and garlic.
Mix more ingredients: Next you can mix the onion with the meat, eggs, crumbled pork rinds, salt, pepper, and paprika.
Shape and bake: Once everything is combined, shape a loaf and put in a loaf pan, then smoke for 2 hours.
Make the glaze: Mix the onions with the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and cumin. Use half to glaze the meatloaf.
Apply more glaze: Add the remaining glaze and then cook for 20 minutes more.
Rest and serve: Let the Traeger smoked meatloaf rest and then slice, garnish with parsley, and serve warm, perhaps with your favorite BBQ sauce on the side.

Slices of the best smoked meatloaf with a glaze on top, served on a wooden board with a fork on the side.

How to Serve It

I love meatloaf comfort food style, which means with mashed potatoes and plenty of them! Some green beans on the side are also nice. Or you could make some veggie kabobs on the pellet grill or Traeger since it’s already hot. You might like extra BBQ sauce on the side.

Close-up of a plate with a slice of best smoked meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and sweet corn, partially eaten with a fork resting on it.

Tips for Storing and Freezing Meatloaf

Store: Wrap any leftovers in heavy duty foil and keep them refrigerated. They will be good for up to 4 days this way.
Freeze: If you want to freeze leftovers, freeze them in portions (so you don’t have to thaw the whole thing at once) and use within 6 months.
Reheat: To warm it back up, put the meatloaf in an oven-safe dish and add a tablespoon of water or beef broth. Cover the dish with foil and then give the meatloaf 20 to 30 minutes in a 250 degrees F oven. Check it’s hot in the centre before serving.

A plate with a slice of the best smoked meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and corn, set on a wooden table with condiments in the background.

Just look at this amazing meatloaf, how can you resist!

Overhead view of a meatloaf on a cutting board.

Fun Meatloaf Facts

While you are enjoying your succulent BBQ smoked meatloaf, you might find this meatloaf trivia entertaining:

  • European home cooks in the Medieval Age added spices, nuts and fruit to meatloaf recipes.
  • Meatloaf was first mentioned in a Roman cookbook in the 5th century! Roman cooks added wine-soaked bread to theirs.
  • Some Greek, Hungarian, German, Filipino, and Italian meatloaf recipes include boiled eggs.
  • The dish was a staple during the Great Depression since the meat could be stretched further using oats or breadcrumbs.
  • Considered a basic dish by many, there are gourmet meatloaf recipes today. Fancy ones with exotic ingredients often appear on the menus of top-rated restaurants, while those with your favorite BBQ sauce and other add-ins are equally popular at your house!
A plate of the best smoked meatloaf with mashed potatoes and corn, served on a wooden table.

Smoked Meatloaf FAQs

How do you make sure meatloaf doesn’t dry out?

There are two parts to the answer. First, you need to ensure you are using ingredients which help keep the meatloaf juicy. So, in this recipe, you have pork rinds, bacon, egg, vegetables, and other ingredients which have fat and/or liquid to help with this. Second, take care not to overcook it because this will dry it out.

Can you make a smoked meatloaf recipe without a smoker?

Yes, of course you can. Some of the tastiest meatloaves are cooked in the oven every day. You won’t get the smoke flavor (unless you add a few drops of liquid smoke!) but you can use an oven or a covered grill to make it and get (almost) the same results.

A plate with the best smoked meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and corn next to a fork.

BBQ Smoked Traeger Meatloaf Recipe

5 from 6 votes

BBQ Smoked Meatloaf with Glaze

By: Bella Bucchiotti
BBQ smoked meatloaf is something you should know about! This is an incredible smoker ground beef recipe you can make on a pellet grill or Traeger. The garlicky tomato meatloaf glaze on this smoked meatloaf Traeger dish will make you think you died and went to heaven. You will taste the meat, your favorite BBQ sauce and all the other amazing ingredients in your smoked meatloaf Traeger style.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes
Servings: 9


  • 2 Pounds ground beef 
  • 1 Pound sausage , ground
  • 1 egg
  • 4 Cups pork rinds
  • 8 Slices bacon, thick center cut
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 4 Cloves garlic
  • 3 Ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 Cup sour cream
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon black pepper, coarse
  • 1 Teaspoon smoked paprika 
  • 1 Cup ketchup  , unsweetened
  • 1/2 Tablespoon worcestershire
  • 1 Teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cumin 


  • Preheat smoker to 225 degrees F lid closed for 15 minutes.  
  • Add pork rinds to a food processor and pulse until they are a fine crumb texture.  
  • Meanwhile, cook the bacon. Once crispy, remove from heat and mince. Set aside.
    *Keep bacon grease in the pan!*
  • Lower the heat and Add diced onions and bell peppers. Cook until soft and browned. Remove ⅛ cup and set aside for the glaze.
  • Stir in minced garlic, cream cheese, and sour cream. Once combined, remove from heat.  
  • Add onion mix to a large mixing bowl. Combine with beef, sausage, eggs, pork rinds, bacon, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.
  • Form into a loaf and place into a loaf pan. Place into the smoker and cook for 2 hours.  
  • When 20 minutes are left, use a food processor to purée the ⅛ cup of caramelized onions (set aside in step two). Add to a small mixing bowl with ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and cumin. Whisk to combine. Use half to glaze the meatloaf.
  • Cook for 20 minutes, then carefully remove meatloaf from the loaf pan and place onto a baking sheet. Glaze the top with remaining ketchup and cook for 20 more minutes. 
  • Remove meatloaf from the smoker and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and enjoy 


Calories: 580kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 152mg | Sodium: 1172mg | Potassium: 578mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 537IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 3mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

So if you want comfort food but also something deliciously different, try this BBQ smoked meatloaf. It really is the best smoked meatloaf recipe I ever tried!

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.


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