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Meatloaf in the kettle: Wood or no wood?

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  • JeffJ
    Charter Member
    • Feb 2015
    • 2457
    • Michigan
    • Jeff

    Meatloaf in the kettle: Wood or no wood?

    I am contemplating cooking meatloaf in the Performer next week. It will be indirect heat so no smoke from drippings. Should I use a little wood? I've heard that ground beef has a tendency to REALLY absorb smoke, so I was thinking just a small chunk of pecan or cherry.

    Thoughts?
  • Jerod Broussard
    Moderator
    • Jun 2014
    • 10022
    • East Texas
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    #2
    LOTTA wood.

    My first cook on my offset was with mesquite wood chunks and meatloaf. I put the mack daddiest bark on that dude. Course, 450+ pit temps and flames shooting out the firebox into the smoke box will do that.

    LOVED it.

    Comment

    • DWCowles
      Founding Member
      • Jul 2014
      • 9702
      • Smiths Grove, Ky
      • Hi, my name is Darrell. I'm an OTR truck driver for over 25 years. During my off time I love doing backyard cooks. I have a 48" Lang Deluxe smoker, Rec-Tec pellet smoker,1 Weber Genesis 330, 1 Weber Performer (blue), 2 Weber kettles (1 black and 1 Copper), 1 26" Weber kettle, a WSM, 8 Maverick Redi Chek thermometers, a PartyQ, 2 SnS, Grill Grates, Cast Iron grates, 1 ThermoPop (orange) and 2 ThermoPens (pink and orange) and planning on adding more cooking accessories. Now I have an Anova sous vide, the Dragon blower and 2 Chef alarms from Thermoworks.

      #3
      I did a meatloaf last year with the Lang and it turned out great plus hickory wood was the only heat source. Funny you mention meatloaf my wife ask me to do another when we get home.

      Comment

      • Jerod Broussard
        Moderator
        • Jun 2014
        • 10022
        • East Texas
        • Pit Barrel Cooker "Texas Brisket Edition"
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          Thermoworks Thermapen w/ Back light (gift)
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          Cambro Model 300MPC110 w/ Winco SS Pans
          B & B and Kingsford Charcoal
          B & B Pellets

        #4
        Layer some bacon on that bad boy. Ground meat gives the prettiest, most defined, thin little smoke ring you never saw.

        Comment

      • JeffJ
        Charter Member
        • Feb 2015
        • 2457
        • Michigan
        • Jeff

        #5
        Thanks for all of the responses. I will go heavy on the wood. I am glad I asked. Bacon is a great idea but my wife is seriously dieting and she'd probably thump me in a sensitive area if I slathered a loaf with bacon, at least right now.

        Comment

        • _John_
          Former Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 2447

          #6
          Just did one, 1/3 mesquite and 2/3 hickory. Crust was so good I said we need to do the next one in one of those all edge brownie dishes.

          Comment


          • Jerod Broussard
            Jerod Broussard commented
            Editing a comment
            I put mine on frog mats. All sides pretty much bare.

          • _John_
            _John_ commented
            Editing a comment
            Same here
        • JeffJ
          Charter Member
          • Feb 2015
          • 2457
          • Michigan
          • Jeff

          #7
          The last loaf I made had enough form that I'd be able to put it right on the grate, which I think would be optimal.

          Comment

          • MattTheGR8
            Charter Member
            • Dec 2014
            • 190
            • Backwoods Party
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            #8
            You're definitely on the right track, especially cooking it on a rack and not in a pan. I always do mine that way, wrapped in bacon and with a chuck of hickory on the coals. If your wife ever lets you do one wrapped in bacon, be careful not to burn the bacon. I always end up wrapping mine in foil toward the end of the cook to keep the bacon from burning and finish the loaf in a timely fashion.

            Comment


            • JeffJ
              JeffJ commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks for the tip, Matt. Burning the bacon never entered into my thought process. The only time I've used bacon on the grill was when I wrapped shrimp in it. For a short cook like that I had to pre-cook the bacon a bit so it wasn't just a mushy pile of fat wrapped around a nice piece of shrimp.
          • Huskee
            Administrator
            • May 2014
            • 15564
            • central MI, USA
            • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

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            #9
            On a kettle you may find a little wood goes a long way, especially on ground beef. Taste is all subjective of course, but I'd opt for one *small* chunk and no more.

            Comment


            • JeffJ
              JeffJ commented
              Editing a comment
              I think I'll heed that advice. This will be the first time I've done it on the grill and I'd rather have too little than too much smoke.

            • Huskee
              Huskee commented
              Editing a comment
              JeffJ I like a lot of smoke flavor, I burn logs, but when I do burgers I tend to use very little wood on the kettle. Lower airflow, more smoke punch. Your plan is solid, since you'll know for next time if you should use a lot or stick with a little.

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