This Cheese Stuffed Smoked Meatloaf is the ultimate comfort food, and a great alternative recipe for Thanksgiving if turkey isn’t your jam.
Smoked on my Oklahoma Joe’s Bronco Drum Smoker, it is cheesy deliciousness wrapped in smoked ground beef and covered in a bacon weave. If you get it right, no one will even miss turkey as the main entree!
Post Sponsored by Oklahoma Joe’s.
What is Cheese Stuffed Smoked Meatloaf
Meatloaf is a dish consisting of ground meat and other ingredients formed into a loaf shape. It is usually served as a main course for dinner, making it perfect for busy weeknights or holiday parties.
For this Cheesy Smoked Meatloaf, I took a traditional meatloaf recipe, stuffed it with cheese, topped it with bacon, and then smoked it to perfection using my Bronco Drum Smoker.
Because stuffing stuff with cheese and covering it with bacon makes it better… always.
Why You’ll Love Cheese Stuffed Smoked Meatloaf
The melty cheese and smoky flavor of this juicy meatloaf takes it to a whole new level. Wrap your cheesy loaf in bacon, and you’re in heaven.
This is seriously the most flavorful meatloaf I’ve ever had, mostly due to it’s delicious seasoning and melty cheese interior.
Plus, it’s a relatively easy recipe you can make and because it’s a whole loaf, you could serve a crowd or make your meal prep for the week. It’s so darn good!
How to Make Cheese Stuffed Smoked Meatloaf
Cheese Stuffed Smoked Meatloaf Ingredients
Ready to make the best meatloaf you’ve ever had? If so, you’ll need these ingredients:
- Ground Beef
- Bacon Slices
- Monterey Jack Cheese
- White Onions
- Panko Crumbs
- Whole Milk
- Diced Hatch Chiles
- Minced Garlic
- Favorite BBQ Seasoning
- Favorite BBQ Sauce
Let’s Get Cooking
Prep Breadcrumbs and Bacon
Begin by adding your panko breadcrumbs, beaten eggs, whole milk, and ½ of the seasoning (I used my Tennessee Smoke Rub) to a small bowl. Mix to create a paste, then let sit on the counter for 5 minutes. Allowing the panko crumbs to soak will help trap the moisture and therefore keep your meatloaf from drying out.
While that sits, let’s make our bacon weave by laying out 1-2 sheets of wax paper. Layer 8-9 bacon strips down parallel to each other. Next, at the end of the bacon strips, weave a single bacon slice perpendicular to the other slices, with every other slice lying on top and every other piece going underneath the strip. Continue this until you have a full weave.
Pro tip: be sure to weave your bacon on top of some wax paper to make it easy to transfer.
Prep the Meatloaf Mixture
Next, add your ground beef, fresh onion, diced hatch chiles, and breadcrumbs/egg mixture to a bowl. Mix thoroughly, then place half of the meat mixture on wax paper.
Create an oval shape, making it flat, and then press out a “bowl” in the middle for your cheese. In the “bowl,” add your cubed cheese, then add the other half of the meatloaf over the top. Make it as secure as possible, so the cheese does not break through.
Finally, remove the wax paper and place it onto a wire rack or wood plank.
Again, I used my Tennessee Smoke rub for this recipe. It’s a sweet kiss of hickory smoke and sweet BBQ that’s perfect for this meatloaf! Not to mention it’s inviting redish/orange color that makes all food look delicious.
Carefully add your bacon weave over the top of the meatloaf and tuck the excess bacon underneath. Season the outside of the bacon with the rest of your BBQ seasoning. Place the meatloaf in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set.
Let’s Get Smoking
Preheat your Oklahoma Joe’s Bronco Drum Smoker to 275 degrees F. Add some wood chips or wood chunks for additional smoke flavor if desired.
Add your meatloaf to the Bronco to cook for about 2-2.5 hours until the internal temperature is 155-160F. While the meatloaf cooks, baste the outside with BBQ sauce every 30 minutes. Once the meatloaf is done, pull off and let it rest for at least 20 minutes.
Finally, slice, serve, and enjoy!
What to Serve with Smoked Meatloaf
This Smoked Meatloaf recipe is one of those recipes that goes well with anything. Serve it with a side of mashed potatoes, green beans, roasted veggies, or something more creative. It just depends on what you like!
If you end up with some leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. You can even portion it out and store it in individual Tupperware to use as an easy meal for those days when you’re on the run.
To reheat your leftover meatloaf, place a slice on a plate and place it in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute.
What is the secret to moist meatloaf?
The sauce is the secret to achieving a juicy meatloaf. Make sure to add wet ingredients like eggs and milk. Also, remember to soak your breadcrumbs; this will help lock in that moisture and give you a moist loaf.
What is the best temperature to cook meatloaf?
For the best results, you want to cook your meatloaf at 350F in an oven or 275F in a smoker. You don’t want to cook at too high of a temperature and risk it burning the outside before the inside is fully cooked.
On the other hand, if you cook too low, you won’t achieve that delicious crust. Cooking at an optimal temperature will ensure your meatloaf cooks all the way through while remaining moist.
Cheese Stuffed Smoked Meatloaf is one of my favorite recipes to serve for Thanksgiving because it can give you a break from the turkey, or come alongside it.
It’s the Robin to our turkey Batman, and brings tons of flavor into every bite. Your guests will be impressed, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they ask you for the recipe on their way out.
If you give this delicious smoked meatloaf recipe a shot, let us know how it turns out by leaving a comment!
Cheese Stuffed Smoked Meatloaf
- 2 lbs Ground Beef
- 15-16 Bacon Slices
- 2 Eggs Beaten
- 1 block Monterey Jack Cheese cubed
- ½ White Onions diced
- 1 cup Panko Crumbs
- 1/4 cup Whole Milk
- 6 oz Diced Hatch Chiles
- 1.5 tbsp Minced Garlic
- 3 tbsp Tennessee Smoke Rub or your Favorite BBQ Seasoning
- 2 cups Favorite BBQ Sauce
- Begin by adding your panko crumbs, beaten eggs, whole milk and ½ of the seasoning to a bowl. Mix together to create a paste then let sit on the counter for 5 minutes.
- While that sits, begin our bacon weave by laying out 1-2 sheets of wax paper. Layer 8-9 bacon strips down parallel to each other. Next at the end of the bacon strips, weave a single bacon slice perpendicular to the other slices with every other slice laying on top and every other slice going underneath the strip. Continue this until you have a full weave.
- Next, add your ground beef, onions, diced hatch chiles and egg mixture to a bowl. Mix together thoroughly, then place half of the mixture down on a wax sheet of paper. Create an oval shape, making it flat and then press out a “bowl” in the middle for your cheese. In the “bowl,” add your cubed cheese then add the other half of the meatloaf over the top. Make it as secure as possible so that the cheese does not break through. Finally, remove from the wax paper and place onto a wire rack or wood plank.
- Carefully add your bacon weave over the top of your formed meatloaf and tuck the excess bacon underneath. Season the outside of the bacon with the rest of your BBQ seasoning. Place the meatloaf in the fridge for at least 2 hour to set.
- Preheat your Oklahoma Joe’s Bronco Drum Smoker to 275F. Add some wood chips or wood chunks for additional smoke flavor if desired.
- Add your meatloaf to the Bronco to cook for about 2-2.5 hours until the internal temperature is 155-160F. While the meatloaf cooks, baste the outside with BBQ sauce every 30 minutes. Once the meatloaf is done, pull off and let rest for at least 20 minutes.
- Slice, serve and enjoy!
Derek is the driving force behind Over the Fire Cooking. He started cooking with live fire in 2016 and decided to start a social media page so his friends and family could follow the journey. Fast forward to today and Over the Fire Cooking has spread across multiple platforms with millions now following Derek’s fire cooking journey. He’s a southern fellow who enjoys everything from classic BBQ to Central and South American inspired dishes. Whatever he’s cooking up, it’s guaranteed to be so freakin’ delicious!