Best Smoked Meatloaf

Let’s take an old classic comfort food recipe and throw it on the grill or smoker for even more flavor. Today we’re sharing a smoked and spicy meatloaf.

Do We Have a Winner?

If you’ve watched our videos before you may have seen us do Shan’s  Zesty Meatloaf  which is also in our first cookbook A Taste Of Cowboy, that beat my Mama’s meatloaf as the best.

If y’all would like to make both and then judge for yourself on a winner you sure can!

Pork and Beef Blend

I think what makes this meatloaf so special is the blending of beef and pork together. The other thing that’s unique is we aren’t using tomato sauce or ketchup, oh no! For this we are making a special sauce with some honey for caramelization and horseradish for a little kick (full recipe below).

Roll It up

Another unique characteristic of this “meatloaf” is its not actually a loaf at all but a meat “roll up.” It’s like a cinnamon roll except with meat and sauce.

Once you get the meat all mixed up, pat it out onto parchment paper, baste it with a little sauce evenly to get that good flavor throughout and then roll it up. Be sure to pull the parchment paper out as you roll.


The next secret weapon on this “meat roll” is sliced blistered Poblano Peppers on top.

Pro Tip: For perfectly pealed peppers, take your blistered peppers and place them in a zipper seal bag with a little water. Let them steam for a few minutes and then rub to release the skin.

All Things Smoke

We will be using an indirect smoking for this meatloaf, since it is a beef and pork mixture I like to use some cherry wood in addition to the mesquite and oak woods. Not sure about what woods you want to use? We have you covered there as well with our Smoking Woods Video

Now for this we don’t want to baste it right away because we want a little of that smoke to penetrate throughout to give it that oh-so-good smoked flavor. After about 30 min of smoking you’ll then baste it with a good coating of that delicious sauce.

For a full visual look at this smoking, be sure to join us in the backyard for our how-to video.

Smoked Meatloaf - Cowboy Kent Rollins

Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 to 8 servings


  • 1 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • ½ tablespoon horseradish
  • ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 lbs ground beef 80/20 blend
  • 1 lb ground breakfast sausage
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 2 serrano peppers stemmed, seeded and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • ¼ cup Red River Ranch Original see substitution
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers crushed
  • 1 to 2 poblano peppers


  • In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, adobo sauce, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce and smoked paprika. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl add the ground beef and sausage and mix well with your hands. Mix in the onion, peppers and garlic. Mix in the Red River Ranch Original.
  • Add the egg, cream and Ritz crackers. Set aside.
  • Cover an 11 x14 baking pan with plastic wrap or parchment/waxed paper. Evenly spread the beef mixture on top.
  • Brush a light coat of the sauce mixture on the meat and then roll up tightly, pulling the paper away as you roll and discard. Place the roll in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Reserve the remaining sauce.
  • Preheat and clean the grill/smoker. Heat hardwood or hardwood lump charcoal until the coals are white and place on one side of the grill/smoker. You can run your smoker at about 250 to 275 degrees F. during the cooking process.
  • Remove the meat from the fridge and place on a wire rack. Set the rack on a large cast iron skillet or pan and place on the smoker on the indirect side of the heat.
  • Shut the lid and add a few chunks of mesquite, oak or cherry wood to the coals.
  • After 30 minutes, baste the meatloaf with the sauce. Baste every 30 minutes for about 2 hours or until the internal temperature is 160 to 165 degrees F.
  • About 45 minutes before the meatloaf is done, add the poblanos to the grill and leave until blistered. Place in a plastic sack with a little water for a few minutes. The steam will help release the skin. Remove the skin and seeds and cut into thin strips. Lay the strips over the meatloaf and let finish cooking 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove the loaf from the smoker and pour over any remaining sauce. Cover with tinfoil and let rest about 10 minutes to allow the internal temperature to climb slightly. Slice and serve warm.


Red River Ranch original is available at You can also substitute with your favorite all-purpose seasoning blend, or seasoned salt and black pepper, to taste. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!