This Bacon-Wrapped Smoked Meatloaf is so good you’ll wonder why you’ve made meatloaf any other way. It’s juicy, moist, packed with flavor, and topped with crispy, smoky bacon.
Sick of plain old meatloaf? Yeah, me too. This bacon-wrapped smoked meatloaf is the best way to take regular meatloaf to a whole new level. Whether you have a pellet smoker, a charcoal grill with wood chips, or a vertical 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!
What you need to make this recipe
- Beef vs Bacon Mix – I use Porter Road’s Beef vs Bacon for this recipe, but you can use a mix of 50% ground beef and 50% ground pork if preferred.
- Olive Oil – used to sauté the aromatics before adding them into the meatloaf.
- Onion and Garlic – onions add a subtle caramel-y sweetness while garlic adds a punch of nuttiness.
- Paprika, Chili Powder, and Red Pepper Flakes – a simple trio of seasonings that gives the meatloaf spicy, smoky flavor.
- Eggs – binds the ingredients together so the meatloaf can hold its shape.
- Breadcrumbs – soaks in the moisture from the meat as it cooks to keep the loaf moist. The moist breadcrumbs also act as another binding agent.
- Parsley – I recommend using fresh parsley for the best flavor. If all you have is dried, that will work as well.
- Bacon – use thick-cut bacon so it doesn’t overcook in the smoker.
How to make bacon-wrapped smoked meatloaf
First thing’s first, prep your grill with neutral flavor chunks and get it ready for a smoke at 225-250ºF.
Next, preheat a skillet over medium heat, add in the olive oil, then sauté the onion 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 heat and let sit in the pan.
In a large bowl, add eggs, breadcrumbs, parsley, beef bacon mix, and the onion mixture. Stir to combine.
Form the meat mixture into a loaf, then layer the bacon on top as desired. Place the loaf into a prepper loaf pan.
Smoke the meatloaf over indirect heat until the bacon is crisp and the meatloaf is 160ºF, then rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
What is the internal temperature for meatloaf?
For meatloaf, you want an internal temperature of 160ºF. The key is to keep a close enough eye on your meatloaf that you cook it to 160ºF, but no more. 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 though that there are a lot of factors that can alter the smoking time so I definitely recommend using a quick-read digital thermometer, like a thermapen, to verify that it’s cooked to the right temperature before serving.
Tips, tricks, and notes for this recipe
- Use neutral flavor 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.
- Use thick-cut bacon. Use thick-cut bacon so 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 overly soggy or greasy.
- Don’t overcook. Stop cooking the meatloaf as soon as it reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF. Overcooked meatloaf isn’t as tender and moist.
What to serve with bacon-wrapped meatloaf
This bacon-wrapped smoked meatloaf is the best smoky twist on classic comfort food, so I love to serve it next to classic smoky sides. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Smoked Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese
- BBQ Glazed Smoked Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
- Smoked Corn on the Cob
- Smoked Potato Salad
How to store
Leftover meatloaf will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 3-4 months. To reheat, thaw in the fridge if frozen, then reheat in the oven to warm and re-crisp the bacon until heated through.
More smoked meat recipes you’ll love
- Bacon-Wrapped BBQ Fatty
- Easy Vertical Smoked Ribs
- Spicy Deviled Eggs with Chicharrones
- Char-Grilled Pork Roast
If you’ve tried my Perfect Bacon Wrapped Smoked Meatloaf Recipe or any other recipe on GirlCarnivore.com please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know where you found it in the comments below. I get inspired by your feedback and comments! You can also FOLLOW ME on Instagram @girlcarnivore as well as on Twitter and Facebook.
Perfect Bacon Wrapped Smoked Meatloaf
- Pit Barrel Cooker
- 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 cook.
- 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 in the center.
Rest and Serve
- Remove the meatloaf from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes on a write rack before slicing.