Smoked Meatloaf “Fatty”

Tired of the same old “Meat and Potatoes”. Try a smoked meatloaf...or “Fatty” as it is commonly referred to in the BBQ circuit.

As with so many things regarding cooking, there is a whole lot of room for “self expression”. Try it your way. Try it with several different  ingredients, different meats, stuffed or unstuffed, the sky’s the limit.

But here is the basic roadmap if you will.


What You’ll Need

  • 1 - package of Bacon (12oz-16oz)
  • 1lb. ground beef
  • 1lb. ground breakfast sausage
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup saltine crackers
  • BBQ seasoning mix or rub (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 sheet of plastic wrap (approx. 15” long)

These are the “Basic” ingredients for your meatloaf. See my tips below for what I normally include.


How it’s done

  Preheat your grill / smoker to 275F using indirect heat. 

  In a large bowl, add the ground beef, ground sausage and the egg. 

  Then crush your crackers well, either by hand or in a plastic bag, and add the        crushed crackers into the bowl.

  Either by hand or with a large spoon, mix all the ingredients together until well blended. Form the meat into a “loaf” and set aside.


  • Lay out your plastic wrap on the counter then lay out your bacon strips into a basket weave design on the plastic wrap. Weave it until it is as wide as the loaf is. (This may take a little practice but is well worth learning to do). 

Grabbing the plastic wrap closest to you, carefully bring the wrap and bacon up until the bacon ends are on the loaf. Then roll the loaf away from you at the same time pulling the wrap away from the loaf until the loaf is completely covered with the bacon. 

Discard the plastic wrap and apply BBQ seasoning or rub on the entire surface of the loaf if desired.

Place your creation seam side down on a rack in a disposable aluminum pan and place on your grill. Cook the loaf uncovered in a covered grill (in other words...don’t foil your pan) at 275 for approximately 2 hours or until you get an internal temperature of 170F.


The amount of smoke to a great degree determines how dark the bark is. By adding less wood chunks to the fire a lighter bark is produced.      


  DO NOT OVER SMOKE YOUR MEAT.  Use a milder wood such as pecan and only use 1-2 chunks OR a handful of chips. The loaf may be dark when it is ready, this is due to the’s not burned.

  I prefer to use 1Lb each of 90/10 ground beef and Hot Breakfast Sausage. 

  In place of Saltine Crackers try using a handful of “Frito Corn Chips” or Italian Bread Crumbs. 

  I also add about a 1Tbs of Worcestershire Sauce, 2 tsp of “Old Bay” seasoning, Basil and Thyme. 

  I have also been known to dice up some pickled jalapeño peppers to add to the meat. 

  Another great idea is to press out your loaf into a 12” square about an inch thick. Layer the meat with different cheeses, spinach, fresh herbs, etc. to within an inch of the edges. Then loosely roll the meat up to form your loaf, sealing the edges.  

  The amount of bacon depends on how big a loaf your making. On this particular cook, a 12oz package was perfect. 

  To create the basket weave, start by laying out a vertical piece on the left side followed by a horizontal piece along the top. Then work down and over as you go. 

  I usually use a disposable pan on my smoker / grill since the smoke tends to discolor the pans. The rack is also helpful to keep the meat from resting in its own juices making for a soggy bottom.