Monday, October 16, 2017

Fire Roasted Meatloaf with Honey Whiskey Glaze

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What is your favorite comfort food?

When Fall turns the Smoky Mountains red, yellow, and orange each year, I find myself craving one of my favorite comfort foods - meatloaf.  If you have never tried your favorite meatloaf recipe on a grill, you are missing out, friend.  Fire roasting meatloaf gives it a crisp, tasty exterior and another level of flavor.

To Pan or Not To Pan

I like to cook my meatloaf without a loaf pan, on a raised rack over a small sheet pan.  I do this for a few reasons.  
  • Better Texture - Cooking meatloaf without a pan lets the rendered beef fat drip away from the meatloaf.  Cooking it with a loaf pan leaves the meatloaf languishing in the grease.
  • More Flavor - Cooking meatloaf on a raised rack lets the entire exterior get the benefit of fire roasting.  A pan shields 5 of the 6 sides of a meatloaf and only lets the top get fire roasted.  

Here is a meatloaf that we cooked this weekend.  The recipe isn't anything radically different, but I do a few things to elevate the meatloaf.  
  • I start with a fresh ground Certified Angus Beef® chuck roast from our Food City.  
  • I add fire roasted red bell pepper and poblano chile to amplify the flavor.  
  • Of course, I grill it as already mentioned.
  • I use a delicious honey whiskey bbq sauce as the glaze instead of the typical ketchup glaze.

Recipe for fire roasted meatloaf with honey whiskey glaze

Fire Roasted Meat Loaf with Honey Whiskey Glaze


  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds ground chuck roast
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 poblano chile, roasted, seeded, peeled, and chopped
  • 1 sweet red bell roasted, seeded, peeled, and chopped
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1.5 tablespoon beef seasoning
  • 1/2 cup glaze (from recipe below)
  • 1 tablespoon spicy BBQ rub

    For the glaze

    • 1 cup BBQ sauce
    • 1.5 tablespoons honey
    • 1 tablespoon bourbon


    1. Preheat the grill. Set up the grill for indirect heat and preheat to 400°f (medium-high heat).  I allow plenty of time. Ground beef takes on any bad smoke aromas so it is important to have a properly burning fire.  If it is smoldering instead of burning, your meatloaf will taste like soot. Blech!
    2. Make the glaze. Mix together the BBQ sauce, honey, and bourbon, whisking until well combined.
    3. Make the loaf.  In a large bowl, mix together all of the meat loaf ingredients except the Spicy BBQ rub.  Lightly press the meatloaf mix into a loaf pan or 1/3rd sized steam pan.  Invert the pan onto a raised rack/pan.  Season the top of the loaf with the spicy BBQ Rub.
    4. Cook the loaf.  Place the pan with the loaf in the grill on indirect heat.  Close the grill and allow to roast until the meatloaf hits an internal temperature of 125°f, about 2 hours.
    5. Glaze the loaf.  Use a brush to glaze the top and sized of the loaf.  Close the grill and allow to finish roasting to an internal temperature of 160°f, about another 30 minutes.
    6. Finish the loaf.  Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 10 minute.  Slice into 3/4" slices, brush the cut sides with any remaining glaze, and serve.


    • Beef seasoning - I just used 50/50 kosher salt and pepper, also known as "Dalmatian seasoning" but my NMT Beef Rub V.2 would work great as well.  
    • Spicy BBQ rub - I used Smoking Guns Hot, a commercial seasoning that gets used a lot in BBQ competitions.
    • BBQ sauce - I used something close that we use for our rib sauce in competitions - 1/2 cup Head Country, 1/4 cup Blues Hog Original, and 1/4 cup Blues Hog Smokey Mountain.

    Certified Angus Beef has strict requirements that reject 70% of all angus.
    I ground a Certified Angus Beef® chuck roast using a coarse die on the first pass.  On the second pass, I used a fine die and added in the ground pork as well.  The label says it all - their 10 quality standards ensure that only the best beef earns the brand.

    Meatloaf often just has onions and maybe bell pepper.  I bring a little heat to the party with a poblano chile.  Blistering and peeling the chiles just adds that much more flavor.  [Grilling 101: How to Fire Roast Chiles]

    I used a little over 3 pounds of ground chuck which you can see maxes out a loaf pan. 

    Having the meatloaf on a raised rack like this lets the fire and smoke get all around the meatloaf and lets the rendered fat drip off.

    How to cook meatloaf on a kamado grill like big green egg, kamado joe, or Grilla Kong.
    The meatloaf might develop a few cracks and crevices as it cooks.  Don't stress over it.  First, it's meatloaf.  Second, they just give more room for the honey whiskey bbq glaze to hang out!

    For the best meatloaf you start with the #bestbeef Certified Angus Beef
    Now that's proper comfort food! 

    How to cook meatloaf on the grill.  Can I grill meatloaf?
    I could hardly wait to slice it open but I like to give it 10 minutes to rest.

    Sliced and this is great as is.

    But I had a little of the glaze left over and glazed the open face of the slices. This reinforces the tastes but it also keeps the meatloaf from drying out once sliced.  It's up to you.

    For another meat loaf recipe, check out Certified Angus Beef® for recipes like Rancher Family Barbecue Meatloaf.

    In hindsight, I should have made 2 meatloaves instead of 1...I would love a good meatloaf sandwich right now.