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How Long to Smoke Meatloaf at 250

How Long to Smoke Meatloaf at 250

Smoked meatloaf is one of the best things you will ever taste. The trick to making the perfect smoked meatloaf is knowing how long to cook it. Smoke your meatloaf at 250°F for 2 1/2 hours.  

Tips For Smoking Meatloaf 

If you are using bread, soak it in milk before you add it to the meatloaf. The bread will absorb the milk and help keep the meatloaf moist. 

In contrast, if you are using breadcrumbs, grate the onions. Grating the onions will help soften the breadcrumbs and gives the meatloaf flavor. 

Sautee the vegetables with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Cooking the vegetables makes them softer and helps add moisture to the meatloaf. 

Do not overmix the meatloaf. If you mix it too much, the meatloaf will be tough. 

Do not eat raw meatloaf. Ground beef carries bacteria that could make you sick if you eat it raw. Fry a teaspoon of the meatloaf mixture in a small skillet to test for seasoning.

You can taste the fully cooked mixture to see if the meatloaf is too salty or under seasoned. 

Do not cook the meatloaf in a loaf or foil pan. Meatloaf releases a lot of fat and juices as it cooks. Letting it sit in this liquid can cause it to become greasy. 

Cook the meatloaf on a wire rack or wooden plank. This will allow the smoke to penetrate the meat and prevent it from sitting in its own juices. 

If you use a sheet tray, use an old sheet tray with holes so the juices can escape. 

Place an aluminum foil pan full of water directly beneath the meatloaf. The water will keep the meatloaf moist, and the pan will catch the drippings. The pan will also keep your smoker clean. 

Remove the meatloaf from the smoker once it reaches 160°F. You can also remove the meatloaf once it reaches 155°F. The meatloaf will rise to 160°F as it rests. 

Removing the meatloaf at this temperature ensures it is safe to eat. It also ensures the meatloaf does not overcook. 

Let the smoked meatloaf rest for 5-10 minutes before you slice it. Letting it rest helps minimize moisture loss. 

As the meatloaf cooks, moisture is drawn to the surface of the meat. The moisture needs time to return to the center of the meatloaf. 

If you cut the meatloaf, the juices will spill out, leaving you with dry meatloaf. So let the meatloaf rest. 

How Long to Smoke Meatloaf at 250

The smoking time of smoked meatloaf depends on the density of the meatloaf and the smoker. A 2-inch-thick meatloaf takes less time to cook than a 4-inch meatloaf.

If your smoker cannot maintain a stable temperature of 225°F, it will take the meatloaf longer to cook. 

Generally, it takes about 2 1/2 hours to smoke meatloaf at 250°F. However, the cooking time is fickle. Therefore, you should pay attention to the temperature of the meatloaf. 

How Long to Smoke 2 Pound Meatloaf at 250

A 2-pound meatloaf takes 2- 2 1/2 hours to cook at 250. However, check the meatloaf’s temperature before you remove it from the smoker. 

How Long to Smoke 3 Pound Meatloaf at 250

A 3-pound meatloaf takes about 3 1/3-4 hours to cook at 250°F. Keep track of its internal temperature to prevent it from overcooking. 

How Long to Smoke 4 Pound Meatloaf at 250

A 4-pound meatloaf takes about 4-4 1/2 hours to smoke meatloaf at 250°F. Since this is a bigger meatloaf, there’s a greater chance that the meat will be overcooked.

Do a temperature check after 3 hours to prevent the meatloaf from overcooking. 

How Long to Smoke Meatloaf at 250 in a Pellet Grill

Pellet smokers are not known for their speed. They are known for 1-3 pounds of pellets an hour. 

Therefore, it takes a little longer to cook meatloaf in a pellet smoker. It takes about 3-4 hours to smoke meatloaf at 250°F. 

Check the meatloaf’s temperature after 2 hours and adjust the cooking time as needed.

How To Make Smoked Meatloaf

You are probably craving smoked meatloaf right now. So, let’s talk about how to make smoked meatloaf. 

First, load your smoker up with fuel. Place a foil pan filled with 1-2 inches of water beneath the spot you intend to place the meatloaf. Add the cooking grate and preheat your smoker to 225°F. 

Sautee your onions, garlic, and bell peppers if desired, and let them cool. Add the sauteed vegetables to a bowl and add the breadcrumbs or bread soaked in milk, meat, eggs, fresh herbs, and seasonings and mix until combined. 

Form the ground beef mixture into a large loaf and place it on top of a wire rack. Place the meatloaf in the smoker directly above the pan of water. Smoke it for 2 1/2 hours until it has a temperature of 160°F. 

You can make your own homemade BBQ sauce by combining ketchup, vinegar, mustard, and brown sugar in a bowl. Brush the meatloaf with the BBQ sauce during the last 30 minutes of cooking time

You can also use the broiler to help the BBQ sauce caramelize. Remove the meatloaf from the smoker and place it on top of a cookie sheet.

Brush the meatloaf with BBQ sauce. Broil the meatloaf for 1-2 minutes until the BBQ sauce caramelizes.

Do not walk away from the meatloaf once you place it in the oven. The BBQ sauce can easily burn. 

How To Smoke Meatloaf Using A Grill 

Everyone does not have a smoker. Luckily you can easily convert your grill into a smoker. 

Place your charcoal into a chimney starter and light it. Once the charcoal ashes are over, arrange them on one side of the grill. Add a few wood chips on top of the charcoal. 

Add the second grate to the grill. Place a foil pan of water on top of the indirect side of the grill. Place the cooking grate on top of the grill and add the meatloaf directly on top of the water pan. 

Place the meatloaf onto the grill and cook it for 2 1/2 hours, rotating it every 30 minutes until it has a temperature of 160°F.

Final Thoughts

Smoked meatloaf is exquisite, especially when it’s cooked the right way. It is moist and juicy with a touch of smoky flavor. 

You know how long it takes to smoke meatloaf, so put what you learned into practice.