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Smoked Meatloaf...Catch up post with pics

Meatloaf is one of my wife's favorite meals. She it requested for her birthday recently, being a great husband how could I say no? We have been watching our carb intake in an effort to get a little healthier and more creative in our meals; so instead of making some kind of potato dish, I decided to do some mashed cauliflower. The meatloaf was cooked on my Big Green Egg, set up for indirect, and cooked at about 400 with some hickory chunks until the internal temp was 160.

I am always looking for new ways to try making old staples; and meatloaf is no exception. I did a little searching on Google and found several mentions of using a mixture of saltine crackers and milk to the meatloaf to keep it moist. There where also tips on the how finely ground the meat was before being mixed. Sauteing the veggies until they are tender before using them in the mix was also something I hadn't done before. Well, here we go...


Ingredient List


For the meatloaf...

  • 3lbs of 80/20 ground beef
  • 2 medium onions diced small
  • 1 large green pepper diced small
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 2 cups of crackers (didn't have saltines, so I used some Cheese Nips)
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • About a 1/3 of cup of seasoned bread crumbs

For the mashed cauliflower...

  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Garlic ( to taste, it doesn't  take much) 

Now for the pictures...

Saute the bacon for a few minutes; once it renders a little fat into the pan, add the peppers and onion. Cook on medium heat until they are tender. Add a little salt & pepper.


image

 

While the veggies where on the stove top, I began to prep the rest of the meatloaf. Here is my crackers and milk mixture. In hindsight; I think I would continue to use these instead of saltine crackers. The cheese crackers added some really good flavor to the meat.

image


Once the cheese nips and milk were blended well in the food processor; I began adding the ground beef to the mix of crackers in the processor. The meat was originally a courser grind, and as I was going for better texture, I decided to blend the meat in the processor with the cracker mixture.

image


Then it was time to add the rest of the ingredients. Once I had it all mixed up; I placed the mixture in an aluminum loaf pan and set it in the fridge for a few hours.

image

 

When the egg was up to temp; I took the loaf pan and turned it upside down in a baking dish so that when cooking the meatloaf, it could get more of crust over more of the meatloaf. I have it a quick coating of Dizzy Pig's Dizzy Dust as well...

image


Once the meatloaf was on it's way, I started to make the side dish. I simply cut the cauliflower up and cooked it until tender in the microwave. Then into the food processor with some milk, salt, pepper, melted butter, and garlic. Process just like if you were making potatoes...

image 

Once the meatloaf reached an internal temperature of 160, I pulled it off the egg and set it aside to rest.

image

 

Here is the finished meal...

image


My wife loved the meatloaf; saying the taste with the addition of the cheese crackers out it over the top. My family also like the texture of the meat, saying it was unlike any meatloaf they'd had before. The cauliflower was a big hit...


I will have to continue practicing making meatloaf, while this tasted very good, it didn't stay together as much as I wold have liked.


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Comments

  • Solson005Solson005 Posts: 1,910
    Looks great! Both meatloaf on the egg and cauliflower like that is on my short list of things to do. 
    Large & Small BGE, CGW Two-Tier Swing Rack for BOTH EGGS, Spider for the Wok, eggCARTen & and Cedar Pergola my Eggs call home in Edmond, OK. 
  • R2Egg2QR2Egg2Q Posts: 1,652
    I love meatloaf on the Egg! Yours looks good Hap! The cauliflower looks interesting. Might have to try that.
    XL, Large, Small, Mini Eggs
    Bay Area, CA
  • Meatloaf is one of my favorite things off of the egg.
  • shtgunal3shtgunal3 Posts: 2,902
    Meatloaf is my wifes favorite too. I egged some last week with ground venison and venison sausage. She said it was the best she ever ate. Good looking cook Hap, keep on keeping on.

    ___________________________________

     

     LBGE,SBGE, and a mini makes three......Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • What if you used half the milk and added 1 or 2 eggs? That might help to bind the meatloaf together better. No?
    I know the voices aren't real, but man, do they ever come up with some great ideas.
  • The loaf recipe I use calls for 6 eggs and 1 1/2 tubes of ritz crackers.
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 7,075

    Meatloaf looks great. Love the addition of the cheese crackers.

    We did mashed cauliflower once. I think I added so much butter and milk and/or cream it probably wasn't healthy. :)) Need to try it again.

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings

     

  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 5,586
    Yep, about time for another meat loaf. Looks great Griff
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • Looks great Hap, like the cheese nips idea, we use oatmeal but I think the flavor of the cheese crackers would be awesome! Also love the cauliflower but agree with Griff, after doctoring it up it's probably just as bad as potatoes
    LBGE
    Go Dawgs! - Marietta, GA
  • The meatloaf looks great, i like the way you got it to crisp up !!  And i have to remember the cheese crackers trick !
  • jgduscjgdusc Posts: 22
    Looks great to me.  I agree on the eggs to bind.  Love the bacon, gonna add that next time!
    2 LBGE, 1 SBGE, Stoker Wifi, White Thermapen, Igrill---Gilbert SC
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 7,075
    @Chubbs - it wasn't me....

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings

     

  • Nice job! When you incorporated the meat into the cracker mixture in the food processor did you use the blade or the dough hook?

    East Fallowfield PA

    KCBS Master CBJ/CTC

    Large and Small BGE

    BBQ Guru Onyx Oven Smoker

    Pit Barrel Cooker

  • Griffin said:

    Meatloaf looks great. Love the addition of the cheese crackers.

    We did mashed cauliflower once. I think I added so much butter and milk and/or cream it probably wasn't healthy. :)) Need to try it again.

    As a diabetic trying to avoid the carbs in potatoes, the faux mashed potatoes (mashed cauliflower ) has been a staple in my house for years. You are right about not using too much butter, etc., it just does not need much to taste great.

    Springram
    Spring, Texas
    LBGE and Mini
  • RACRAC Posts: 1,527
    Man that look's good! Great job.

    Ricky

    Spring, TX

  • Greeno55Greeno55 Posts: 617
    Just fired up the beast to make one based off this recipe (only a slight variation). Been forever since I've had meatloaf. Not gonna lie, I'm pretty pumped.
    LBGE (2012), MiniMax (2014), and too many Eggcessories to list.  - Sudbury, Ontario
  • I wonder if you added some cheese nips to the cauliflower if that would give it a nice flavor? 
    :-?

    Great looking meatloaf!  BTW, I did one recently and had no problem with it sitting directly on the rack.
    LBGE
    MS Gulf Coast - Proud member of the Who Dat Nation!
    My Not Frequently Updated Blog: http://datcue.wordpress.com
  • hapsterhapster Posts: 7,209
    Thanks everyone... I appreciate the feedback and tips. I will likely try adding a few eggs next time.

    I just used the blade when I mixed the meat and cheese nips and milk.

    The butter and milk are no where near as bad as the carbs in traditional potatoes ;)
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 5,586
    Griffin said:

    Meatloaf looks great. Love the addition of the cheese crackers.

    We did mashed cauliflower once. I think I added so much butter and milk and/or cream it probably wasn't healthy. :)) Need to try it again.


    :))
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • hapster said:
    Thanks everyone... I appreciate the feedback and tips. I will likely try adding a few eggs next time.

    I just used the blade when I mixed the meat and cheese nips and milk.

    The butter and milk are no where near as bad as the carbs in traditional potatoes ;)
    Regarding the carbs in mashed potatoes, if you not diabetic, enjoy everything, just in moderation. Just like all things....except the number of nights you cook on the Egg  :<) The more the better!
    LBGE and Mini
  • Hap,

    The only binder I use in burgers and meatloaf is dehydrated onion. Try it sometime.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • henapplehenapple Posts: 14,673
    Would an aluminum pan work?...I put my swmbo glass in the egg...I'll be lonely.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • Cheese Nips, what a great way to improvise.  Meatloaf has quickly became one of my favorites.  Thanks for posting.

    Damascus, VA.  Friendliest town on the Appalachian Trail.

    LBGE Aug 2012, SBGE Feb 2014

  • jlsmjlsm Posts: 860
    @heapple: Try a cheap aluminum pan with holes punched in the bottom. Put it, raised on AF balls, into another aluminum pan. That way, the grease drips away from the loaf. I do like the crust from the rub on this one! 
    *******
    Owner of a large and a beloved mini in Philadelphia
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 14,673
    @jlsm....thanks
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • Excellent cook. Going to try meatloaf with cheese nips and the cauliflower mashed potatoes
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 14,673
    Any smoke chunks?..@Hapster?
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,056
    I'm making both this weekend. Thanks for the idea.

    Big Lake, Minnesota

    2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • rtt121rtt121 Posts: 645
    edited February 2013
    Have never made/had meatloaf.

    Made cauliflower mashed potatoes a few times... they come out best in the microwave!

    A note: I have gotten cauliflower were the inside of the stalk is sort of harder than normal.  That has made the mash really griddy in the past and IMHO is best when the innermost core is removed prior to cooking.


    Medium, and XL eggs in Galloway NJ.  Just outside of Atlantic City.  
  • hapsterhapster Posts: 7,209
    henapple said:
    Any smoke chunks?..@Hapster?
    I used hickory chunks on this one :)

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