Grilled Meatloaf – Yum.

My wife & I were pondering options for lunch today.  On the weekends, we tend to eat the larger meal for lunch and a smaller dinner.  Today, we settled on meatloaf, garlic mashed red potatoes and peas.  Rather than our usual broil & bake process, I decided to do the meatloaf on the grill, as it was a lovely day outside.

We shamelessly lifted this recipe from the nice folks at Cooks Country, and re-adapted this slightly.  Ordinarily, we make this as described below, using very lean ground beef with ground pork.  Today, we just had beef on hand, so we went all beef, but used higher-fat content on the ground beef to make up for the lack of pork.

Make the glaze first…

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar (light or dark, whatever you like)
  • 2 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce

Put all that in a small saucepan.  Mix, and heat to combine & thicken over medium heat, about 5 minutes. Put some glaze to the side to use while cooking.  You should be fine reserving about ¼ cup to glaze with.  What hot sauce?  Whatever you want.  You can’t go wrong with Frank’s RedHot.  This time, I used the Tobasco Chipotle sauce for a slight amount of heat, and more smokey flavor.  I’ve also read tales of people using Sriracha as well.  I also used dark brown sugar today, and really liked the overall flavor.

On to the meatloaf…

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2/3 cup Saltine crackers, crushed (about 17 crackers)
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 pound 90/10 ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 large whole eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper

Put the oil in the pan, heat it up over medium heat, add the onion.  In about 8 minutes, you’ll have nice, golden brown & delicious onions.  Add the garlic, keep it on the heat for another 30 seconds.  Done?  Into a large bowl with that veg.

Dump your crackers and milk in the food processor and unleash the blades upon them until it’s a smooth mixture.  Add the meat and pulse to combine nicely.. That should be about 10 1-second pulses.  Dump the resulting meat-goo into the bowl with the veggies.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix it all up.  Get in there with your hands and work that meatloaf.  Get everything nice & combined, but don’t over-work too badly, ok?

Here’s where we diverge from Bridget Lancaster’s officially sanctioned cooking method..  Instead of forming a single loaf on a foil-lined sheet pan, we’re going to cut the mix in half, making two smaller loaves.  This cooking method is similar to the also popular Weber recipe for grilled meatloaf.

Setup the grill for indirect cooking.  You want to get that grill stable at about 350F. For me, I’m cooking on a Weber Genesis E-330, and I’ve got the optional smoker box kit installed.  So, I kick on the right and center burners, and keep them just about 1/3 of the way between low & medium on the dials.  For a bit of extra flavor, I dropped in a wood chunk.  Today, I went for Hickory, since it pairs so nicely with beef.  Before long, the grill was ready, and blue smoke was rising from the smoker box.  Success was mine for the taking.  I lightly oiled up the grill and with a couple of spatulas, I deposited the meatloaves on the far left side, where the burner was completely turned off.  Down went the cover, and I set a timer for 30 minutes to check on progress.  At the 30 minute mark, we were at an internal temp of 120F.  I was looking for 155F, so we carried on.  While I had the grill open, I applied a coating of the glaze that I’d reserved earlier.  At the 45 minute mark, they were at 155F, and it was time to pull them.  It would have probably only been 40 minutes, but I don’t currently have a probe thermometer, and was relying on our instant-read, so I had to keep popping the top to get a reading.

As an aside, if any of the super nice people over at iDevices happen to be reading this, I’d sing of your glory and valor forever if you’d send me an iGrill2. 🙂  I’d love to get my hands on one with 3 probes and an ambient temp probe as well.  But I digress, and that’s enough begging for today.

After pulling the loaves at 155F, I put them on a foil-lined sheet pan, applied another coat of the glaze, and then it was off to the broiler.  I put the spurs to them for about 5 minutes, to make a nicely caramelized and delicious crust on top.  We pulled, rested a bit, sliced and served with the remaining glaze.  I think next time I would broil first without the glaze on, then go to the grill.  But, that’s just a minor difference, really.

It was absolutely delicious.  I could see making meatloaf sandwiches out of this recipe too. Yum part two, revenge of the taste buds…

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