Rita's Apple-Smoked Meatloaf w/ Honey-Beef BBQ Sauce (long)


Rita Y

TVWBB Emerald Member
Sorry this is so long - it's not that complicated, but I thought I'd include the details for newbies. It's a BIG recipe and I think it would be almost impossible to mix in one batch if it was any larger. It can be halved or quartered, but make a lot...it freezes well. -- Rita


Makes 4 large meatloaves (maximum that a 2-rack WSM will hold). This is a composite of several good recipes. ALWAYS make enough meatloaf for leftovers: cold meat loaf sandwiches or broil slices until brown. Cut into cubes the size of meatballs, heat in marinara sauce, and serve over linguine. Or crumble and use as a topping for pizza. I use a rather odd arrangement of pans to be able to collect the drippings to add to the BBQ sauce and to keep the meatloaf from stewing in its own juices. With this arrangement even the bottoms of the meatloaves get a nice smoke ring.

WINE: A friend brought a 2000 Delas (Saint-Esprit) Cotes-du Rhône which was perfect. Susan Z makes a killer Sangria.

CAUTION: Go light on the smokewood. Meatloaf absorbs a lot of smoke very quickly. I use 4 ounces apple (2 small chunks), Minion method, and 6 quarts/1 Weber chimney Kingsford.

EQUIPMENT (see Smoking Day): [Edit: Since I posted this, it was suggested here on the forums to shape the meatloaf on parchment and trim the edges around the bottom of the loaves when you place them on the grate. I'll do this the next time. Parchment drains well and allows a smoke ring to form on the bottom of the meatloaf. You won't need any of the equipment except the loaf pan and that's optional too. - RDY] 2 perforated pizza pans, 2 foil pizza pans, 2 flat-ish aluminum pizza serving pans (all fit into smoker); a 9x5x3” loaf pan (to use as a mold)

Honey-Beef Barbecue Sauce (below)(add defatted drippings from meatloaf before serving)
Danny Gaulden’s Glaze (below)

3 tablespoons (1.5 oz, 42 g) vegetable oil
10 (1.3 oz, 36 g) garlic cloves, minced
24 ounces (680 g) onions, chopped (about 5 medium)

10 large eggs
2 teaspoons dried sage
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
3 tablespoons Tony Chachere’s Original Seasoning (maybe 3 1/2 T?)
2 teaspoons table salt
2 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 2/3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 1/3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 1/2 cups whole milk or plain yogurt
6 tablespoons Danny’s Glaze (below)

5 pounds extra-lean ground beef (12% fat or less - Costco) [Edit: This is a little too lean; worked well 3 times, a little dry on the 4th - ground chuck would probably be better - RY]
2 1/2 pounds ground pork (I grind mine from Costco’s country ribs)
2 1/2 pounds ground turkey (not turkey breast) or ground veal
100 (10.4 oz, 295 g) crushed saltine crackers, pulsed in processor (1 sleeve of Costco saltines = 122 g, 40 crackers)
1 2/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

ONE DAY AHEAD: (Chilling the meatloaf mixture firms it up a little so it won’t settle as much before it’s cooked -- it’s a soft mixture.)

1. Make Honey-Beef Barbecue Sauce (below).

2. Make Danny Gaulden's Glaze (below).

3. Aromatics for meat loaf: In a 12-inch nonstick skillet sauté onion and garlic in oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Cool while preparing remaining ingredients.

4. Mix eggs with sage, thyme, Cajun rub, salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, milk or yogurt, and glaze.
Toss meats with crackers, parsley, and cooked onion-garlic mixture.
Add egg mixture to meats in a large bowl along with crackers, parsley, and cooked onion and garlic. Toss lightly with your hands until evenly blended and meat mixture does not stick to bowl. (If mixture sticks, add additional milk or yogurt, a couple tablespoons at a time, until mix no longer sticks.)

5. Divide mixture into 4 portions. Refrigerate overnight, or at least 3 hours to firm up a bit. Meat mixture will be soft.


1. About 1 1/2 hours before cooking, [see comment in EQUIPMENT above about using parchment instead of this setup] set foil pizza pan (to catch drippings) on top of an aluminum pizza pan (for stability). Place perforated pizza pan on top of foil pan and spray with Pam. Lightly pack 1/4 of meat mixture into the loaf pan and dump it onto one half of the perforated pan. Repeat with second portion of meat mix and add alongside, but not touching, the first. Shape into somewhat high loaves (meat will settle a bit). Repeat with remaining meat mixture and the second set of pans.

2. Smoke meat loaves with 4 ounces of applewood (about 2 small chunks) in a 275°F smoker for about 2 1/2 hours or to 150°F internal temperature.

3. Glaze: Remove from smoker, brush with Danny Gaulden’s Glaze, and return to pit for 15 minutes longer, or to 155–160°F internal.

4. Remove meatloaves from smoker, wrap in Saran Original (won’t melt) and then heavy-duty aluminum foil. If desired, wrap in towels and place in a preheated cooler.

5. Reserve drippings, chill if there’s time, and defat. Add drippings to your barbecue sauce if desired.

6. Rest meatloaves for at least 30 minutes, slice, and serve. Add any additonal drippings to BBQ sauce if desired.



(Makes 1 1/4 cups, more than you’ll need; use extras to glaze grilled pork chops)

1 cup (7.7 oz, 220g) packed brown sugar
1/3 cup (2.8 oz, 80g) apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup (2.8 oz, 80g) yellow prepared mustard

In a 1 quart saucepan, combine brown sugar, vinegar, and yellow mustard. Bring to a simmer (Do not boil.) Set aside to come to room temperature.

(Adapted from ”Paul Kirk’s Championship Barbecue,” © 2004, p. 151.)

Makes about 5 cups of a somewhat thin type barbecue sauce. (Great with smoked meatloaf, brisket, beef ribs.) With the flavor of beef from consommé or beef stock, the sweetness of honey, and a little garlic, this sauce is great served with grilled onions or other grilled vegetables. Make sure you use clover honey or another mild honey so as not to overpower the flavor of the sauce. This is not a thick sauce; if you want a thicker sauce, you can simmer it down to the thickness you want or add one 6-ounce can of tomato paste with the other ingredients and simmer for a total of 30 minutes.

Note: This sauce improves if made several days before serving.

1 tablespoon (14 g) unsalted butter
6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 (10.5-ounce) can(s) beef consommé or 2 cups home-made beef stock (page 81)
1 cup (300 g)* Heinz tomato ketchup, or homemade (page 43)
1/4 cup (72 g) soy sauce (I use 1 or 2 tablespoons Pearl River Bridge mushroom soy sauce in place of some of the regular soy sauce for a meatier flavor)
1/4 cup (60 g) Worcestershire sauce, store-bought or homemade (page 50)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (OMIT if using canned consommé until you taste the reduced sauce)
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
I added 1/2 cup water (used to rinse ketchup bottles - I think Chef Paul adds more)
1/2 cup (170 g) clover honey

1. Melt the butter in a medium-size (2-quart) nonreactive saucepan (8-quart stockpot for 4 meatloaves) over medium heat and cook the garlic, stirring, until soft; be careful not to brown.
Add the next 6 ingredients and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Strain sauce while it is hot through a chinois or a fine strainer to remove bits of garlic (so the sauce will pass through the nozzle of a squirt bottle).

3. Let the sauce cool to lukewarm (160–165°F) and then stir in the honey.

4. Check consistency of sauce after it has cooled. The sauce should be a bit thinner than most barbecue sauces. Add water to adjust the thickness if needed.

* If the consommé makes the sauce too sharp, increase the ketchup.

[Edits: 1) Changed ground beef to ground chuck. 2) Use parchment instead of perforated pizza setup.]

Keri C

TVWBB Wizard
Oh yes, oh yes! Now WHERE is that "drool" icon? Rita, this sounds like a major winner to me.
I've used Danny's glaze many times, both in the modified form that you posted, and in its "original" form (1 part each of mustard, brown sugar, and cider vinegar). Great on ribs. I had been eyeballing that Honey-Beef sauce recipe, as well...

You go, girl!

Keri C, smokin' on Tulsa Time

Rick G

TVWBB Member
I just made this for the 2nd time. The first time I only made half the recipe. But it was SO good, this time I made the full 10 pounds (as Rita predicted).

Here is your drool icon: