Moist, tender, flavorful, and topped with crispy, smoky bacon, there are few things as good as Bacon Wrapped Smoked Meatloaf. Easy to make and just as good the next day, this is a must-try recipe for smoked meat fans if you love amazing flavor!
Sick of plain old meatloaf? Yeah, me too. This smoked bacon-wrapped meatloaf is the best way to take regular meatloaf to a whole new level. Whether you make smoked meatloaf on a traditional smoker, pellet grill smoker, on a charcoal grill with wood chips, or in a vertical barrel smoker, swapping the oven for a smoker creates the most amazing results.
And you can never go wrong with anything that’s wrapped in bacon!
Of course, this isn’t just any old smoked meatloaf recipe. With a double dose of bacon INSIDE the meatloaf and wrapped over the top, there’s bacon in every bite this ultiamte comfort food.
And, because I’m all about big flavors, you’ll find flavor through and through this classic meatloaf recipe. Starting with a blend of spices, plenty of onions and garlic, and a tasty combination of meats, this sure ain’t your Mama’s traditional meatloaf!
There’s nothing fancy in this bacon-wrapped smoked meatloaf recipe – but if you can’t find Porter Road’s Beef vs Bacon blend, you can use a mix of ground beef and ground pork with some chopped bacon added in.
- Beef vs Bacon Mix – I use Porter Road’s Beef vs Bacon for this easy smoked meatloaf recipe. See more on where our favorite sources to order meat online are. Alternatively, use a mix of ground meat like beef and ground pork.
- Olive Oil
- Onion and Garlic – Onions add a subtle caramel-y sweetness while garlic adds a punch of nuttiness.
- Chili Powder
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Breadcrumbs – Breadcrumbs help keep the smoked meatloaf moist.
- Parsley – Fresh parsley.
- Bacon – Thick-cut bacon works best, so it doesn’t overcook.
How To Make Smoked Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf
Prep your grill with neutral flavor wood chunks and get it ready to smoke at 225-250ºF.
Preheat a skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion in the olive oil until soft. Add in the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, then mix in the paprika, chili powder, and red pepper flakes. Remove the mixture from the heat.
In a large bowl, add eggs, breadcrumbs, parsley, beef bacon mix, and the onion to make the meatloaf mixture. Stir to combine.
Form the meat mixture into a loaf shape, then layer and wrap the bacon on top of the meatloaf. If you’re feeling fancy, make a bacon weave to adorn the top. Place the loaf into a loaf pan.
Place the pan on the preheated smoker rack and close the lid. Smoke the meatloaf over indirect heat until the bacon is crisp and the ground meat is 160ºF with an instant read meat thermometer.
Rest the smoked meatloaf for 10 minutes. As it rests the meatloaf’s internal temperature will rise to 165 degrees F, before slicing and serving.
Follow these tips to make the best smoked meatloaf recipe:
- Use neutral flavor wood chunks. I recommend using mellow wood for a more mild smoke flavor. I use Western Wood Hickory Chunks. Stay away from fruitwoods so the smoke can work its magic.
- Don’t over-mix. Mix the meatloaf ingredients only until just combined. If you mix too much, the meat can become tough and dry.
- The key to keeping this our favorite meatloaf recipe and not dried out like mama used to make – is not skimping on the fat. We use 85% or higher fat ground beef and even mix with Italian sausage when we can’t find the bacon mix listed above for an incredibly juicy meatloaf.
- Use thick-cut bacon in this smoked meatloaf with bacon recipe so that it cooks at the same rate as the meatloaf. Thin-cut will cook too fast and could burn in the smoker.
- Drain off excess fat. As the meatloaf starts cooking, drain off any excess fat if it starts to accumulate, so the meatloaf doesn’t end up soggy or greasy. Fat is good, but greasy is just bad. You can use a spoon to remove the fat or simply tilt the pan to drain it once or twice while it’s smoking. Also, by draining the fat, this allows the bacon a better chance to crisp up.
- Don’t overcook the smoked meatloaf! Stop cooking the meatloaf as soon as it reaches an internal temperature of 160ºF. Overcooked meatloaf isn’t as tender and moist.
Wondering what to serve with Bacon-Wrapped Smoked Meatloaf? This easy meatloaf recipe pairs so well with so many dishes, but these smoked side dishes are some of my favorites:
- Smoked Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese
- BBQ Glazed Smoked Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
- Smoked Corn on the Cob
- Smoked Potato Salad
Leftover Bacon-Wrapped Smoked Meatloaf will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 3-4 months. To reheat it, thaw it in the fridge (if frozen) and reheat it in the oven until it is heated through and the bacon is crisp.
Frequently Asked Questions
I use a combination of paprika, chili powder, and red pepper flakes. This is a simple trio of seasonings that gives the smoked meatloaf a spicy, smoky flavor.
For smoked meatloaf, you want an internal temperature of 165ºF. The key is to keep a close enough eye on your meatloaf that you cook it to 160ºF, but no more. The temp will continue to rise 5 degrees while it rests. If it’s overcooked, the meat will be dry and tough.
A perfectly cooked meatloaf will probably take around 2 hours in the smoker. Keep in mind that there are a lot of factors that can alter the smoking time. I recommend using a quick-read digital thermometer, like a Thermapen, to verify that it’s cooked to the right temperature before serving.
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Perfect Bacon Wrapped Smoked Meatloaf
- Pit Barrel Cooker or any smoker.
- 2 lbs beef vs bacon mix see note*
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
- ½ lbs thick-cut bacon
- Preheat your smoker with good neutral flavor chunks and get it ready for a smoke at 225 – 250 degrees.
- Line a 9″ loaf pan with parchment paper or butcher paper.
- Meanwhile, preheat a skillet over medium heat.
- Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan.
- Sautee the onion 5 minutes, until soft.
- Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add in the paprika, chili powder, and red pepper flakes and stir to coat.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, and beef bacon mix.
- Add in the onion mixture.
- Stir to combine well.
- Form into a loaf and gently layer the bacon atop as desired, based on the length of the bacon.
- Place the meat in the prepper loaf pan.
Smoke Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf
- Smoke the meatloaf over indirect heat until the bacon is crisp and the meatloaf temps at 160 degrees F in the center with an instant read thermometer.
Rest and Serve
- Remove the meatloaf from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack.
- Carefully wiggle the meatloaf from the pan and slice into even portions to serve hot.