Grilled food is pretty much my favorite overall type of cooked food. I mean, you can grill just about anything, breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert! If you have yet to try your hand at making a Grilled Meatloaf, you don't know what you are missing!
My husband really likes meatloaf. However my teen son, well he' s bonkers for it and considers meatloaf its own food group, lol! Which is why I make meatloaf in a variety of ways as well as often.
My sons favorite meatloaf has always been one where I sauté a good amount of onions, jalapenos (and/or poblano's or green or red peppers), season them well and then add them into the meat mixture already partially cooked.
You really can't go wrong when making a meatloaf. Add just about anything to it and it should work out. The trick is to season your mixture well (a bland meatloaf is so not worth eating) and inject as much flavor into it as possible by what you add to it.
I actually love making meatloaf (for me) with diced sautéed sweet potatoes, carrots and onions. It's so delicious and different. You get a nice sweet flavor from the veggies. Y-U-M!
How To Make Meatloaf On The Grill
When it comes to grilling a meatloaf, the best way to approach it (and the easiest way) is by making your meatloaf and then grilling it on foil. Double or triple up the foil, give it a quick spray of Pam or whatever you choose to use, place your formed meatloaf on the foil, mostly "open" and then place it on the grill.
After 20 minutes, move your meatloaf to indirect heat and keep grilling until its done to your liking or a thermometer inserted into the middle of the meatloaf registers about 155. Since the temp will continue to rise a bit, I pull it typically at 155 vs 160 as to not take the chance of a dry meatloaf.
Often, the temperature on top of the meatloaf is lower than the rest of it...so do you know what I occasionally do?? YUP, I flip the whole thing over for 5-7 minutes to finish it up PLUS it crisps up the top a little with some grill marks, love it!
The grill lends such a nice smoky flavor to the meatloaf. If you have flavored wood chips, go ahead and use them and see what comes of it. Nothing but deliciousness...Especially Bourbon chips, delish!
You can also stuff peppers with your meatloaf mixture (here I used poblano peppers but you stuff any pepper you want! Like I say, you-do-YOU! These are flavor-BOMBS plus they cook QUICK! Let me know if you try these, visit my recipe post for Grilled Meatloaf Stuffed Peppers by clicking this link of the image below.
- Choose to sauté the vegetables you add (in 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil). The vegetables DO cook as the meatloaf cooks if you do not sauté them first, this method just gives a more subtle texture since they are partially cooked first. I actually do it both ways depending on my time and mood. Typically, I do sauté the veggies when I cook a meatloaf in the oven, however I usually don't sauté them first when I cook a meatloaf on the grill, the high heat makes that unnecessary IMO.
- Add in sautéed sweet potatoes or carrots to your meatloaf. Since they are both harder vegetables, sautéing them, makes for the best turnout. plus they are delicious in meatloaf.
- Add in some ground pork for a different flavor. Typically I add in 1 pound of ground pork for 2 pounds of ground beef.
- Try wrapping your meatloaf in bacon...Ummm, bacon! Enough said! Tip: if you have a dry rub you love, rub the bacon down with that after your wrap it. Y to the U to the M!
- Try adding chili powder to your mixture, it gives the meatloaf a great smoky flavor.
- For a little heat, add in red (cayenne) pepper or red pepper flakes to your mixture or an extra jalapeno.
- Speaking of heat, add as much or as little jalapeno as you wish. remember leaving in the stems and seeds typically adds more heat, however that depends on the jalapeno, so burn your ears off and some are more mild
- Use any pepper you wish, use all green or green, red, orange, yellow. It doesn't matter. Choose to use a poblano pepper or two (love that) or shishito peppers. Just clean out your fridge, lol!
Tips for Grilling Meatloaf
- To eliminate as much fat as possible, cut thick rings of onion and sit the meatloaf on top of those (almost like its on a rack). The fat will collect in the foil below and the onions will impart additional flavor.
- In place of the onion, you can make rings from foil and accomplish the same thing.
- Remember to move the meatloaf (or turn the burner off directly under it) and finish grilling on indirect heat. If you don't the bottom will burn.
- Use a digital thermometer. I swear its life changing once you do. You will never overcook your meats again! This one from Amazon is perfect. Inexpensive, folds up and it does the job!
Promise me you will try making meatloaf this way (pinky swear!!). Like I said, a great flavorful meal, easy clean up AND the house stays cool. Toss some potatoes on the grill or grill some veggies and you are set!
Grilled recipes to try
- Grilled Chicken Lime Skewers
- Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken Sausage
- Grilled Asian Flavored Wings
- Spicy Grilled Mushrooms
Note: Since I am neither a registered dietitian or a nutritionist, for the nutritional calculations I use a WordPress plug-in to calculate.
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 2 TBS minced garlic or garlic paste
- ¾ cup chopped onion
- 1 whole jalapeno pepper, chopped
- 1 cup breadcrumbs (or up to an additional ½ cup)
- 1 eggs plus 1 yolk
- 1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup your favorite BBQ sauce
- salt & pepper to taste, don't be shy
- Place ground meat in a large bow.
- Add in the garlic, onion, jalapeno, breadcrumbs, egg and yolk and mix until just incorporated.
- Add in the Worcestershire, barbecue sauce (or ketchup) and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Form into classic meatloaf shape.
- Place meatloaf on a double or triple folded piece of foil large enough to have room on the sides and ends (so you can almost envelope the meat).
- Heat your grill to high and place the meatloaf (in foil) onto the grill. Leave the foil mostly open almost like your cupping your hands under something. This will allow the sir to circulate around the meatloaf and crisp it up.
- Cook on direct heat for 10-12 minutes, then continue cooking on indirect heat (turn the burner off below where the meatloaf is placed) until done. Use a digital thermometer and remove meatloaf when temperature is 155 degrees in the center of the loaf. The temp will continue to rise after you pull it off the grill (to 160). Pulling it at 155 ensures a juice loaf.
- Choose to brush your meatloaf a few times with additional barbecue sauce. Sometimes I actually FLIP the meatloaf, directly onto the grill to crisp the top and speed up cooking time...Plus get those grill marks! You just need to use a hefty spatula and flip gently but quickly. Up to you.
- Allow the meatloaf to stand for 5-8 minutes, cut into it and enjoy!
Doesn't the grease from meat just stay in foil so meatloaf stands in grease? I made one in crockpot with baked potatoes & it just sat in the grease & I did not like it at all!
Hi Carol, Its not bad at all, I guess it really depends what kind of meat is used. I like to flip the meatloaf towards the end (not not always but often) so typically no grease is left. You can easily remove the package mid cook and drain any grease. Punch a hole or tilt, your call. Hope you try it!
I added ketchup, BBQ sauce, garlic powder, salt,, pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, diced sautéed peppers and onions, 1 lb. sausage, 1 tsp turmeric, 2 cups fine Italian bread crumbs to the 2 lbs of low fat hamburger; next time I’ll back off to 1.75 cups crumbs . I appreciate your commentary, Colleen; helped guide me through my first time grilling a meatloaf!
Sounds delicious Barb! I too sometimes add ground sausage or pork to meatloaf (and burgers and meatballs). Glad your first Grilled Meatloaf was a success!
Sandra D says
I’m making this grilled meatloaf for Father’s Day. I read we start cooking on high then move to indirect heat. What temp? High is way too hot with my gas grill. Thanks! I’m excited to try this.
On my gas grill I begin with all 4 burners on high (Saber Grill). Once things get going I then turn off the two middle burners and continue cooking that way via indirect. Hope it was a success.