Meatloaf is one of those meals that makes me think of my Nana. It isn’t anything fancy, just meat, seasonings, and binders finished off with a generous smothering of ketchup. Today’s meatloaf is NOT your Grandma’s meatloaf. Let’s get into the juicy details!
The Prep Work
All great meals start with what you do before you start cooking. Let’s begin with the meat choices. We selected 80/20 ground beef, ground pork, and cooked bacon. What could go wrong there? Begin by cooking the bacon, reserving the grease. Dice one medium yellow onion and three cloves of garlic, and cook them in the reserved bacon grease until slightly translucent. Put the onion, garlic and chopped bacon in a large bowl. Let the mixture cool in the fridge. Once cool, add the meats, Teacher Joe’s, eggs, and bread crumbs. Mix with your hands until incorporated.
Now that you have your mixture ready, line a meatloaf pan with plastic wrap. Pack half of the pan with the meat mixture, then add the cheese in the middle of the loaf (yes...we went there! Bacon AND cheese!!!). Finish packing the loaf pan with the remainder of the mixture, then wrap tightly with the plastic wrap (you should have the entire loaf wrapped with plastic wrap). Place the pan in the freezer for about two hours. This will assure that your meatloaf keeps its form, and prevent the meatloaf from drying out in the cooking process.
Once the loaf comes out of the freezer, take the plastic wrap off and wrap it with bacon, then rub it down with Teacher Joe’s. The loaf is now ready to cook!
We have a Pit Boss Austin XL pellet smoker, so you may need to adjust temperatures, and times depending on how you will be cooking your meatloaf. Our meatloaf was roughly a pound and a half, which took four hours at 225 until the internal temperature was 165. We placed a cooking rack on a sheet tray to reduce the mess, and allow the smoke to completely wrap around the meatloaf during the cooking process. Once the meatloaf is cooked through, allow it to rest for about thirty minutes.
I wasn’t kidding when I said that this is NOT your Grandma’s meatloaf. The combination of bacon inside and outside, plus the waterfall of cheese in the middle, topped off with the sweet heat of Teacher Joe’s will quickly make this an Oasis Spices family favorite.