BBQ Recipe Secrets

An Awesome Idea for Barbecued Meatloaf

Craving some nice barbecued meatloaf? Well, here's a great way to prepare it.

Friday, June 01, 2018

It's too bad that truly grilled barbecued meatloaf is a physical impossibility. Given the crumbly nature of the dish, it's hard to imagine a grill fine enough to cook it on without it falling apart and burning to ash in the coals.

But I do love the way meatloaf tastes, and adding the smoky, seared flavor of the grill seemed an irresistible combination. So I started looking for a way to prepare it on the barbecue pit, assuming I'd be cooking it in a pan or maybe covering the grill with a couple of layers of aluminum foil to achieve it.

But I found something better.

Seasoning with Cedar

Generally, when you speak of wood in relationship to grilling, it's in the context of fuel. But while cruising the Internet one fine day, I discovered a delightful option.

You may have heard of fish cooked on a plank. Basically, the chef nails a fish to a wet cedar board, then places it close to a fire. As the fish sizzles away, the plank heats up. Assuming the chef hasn't miscalculated, it won't catch fire, but it should smoke enough to season the fish.

Stretching the Definition

When I saw that one fellow had stretched the planking concept to include meatloaf, I realized he'd invented something perfect.

In addition to adding the tasty wood seasoning, the plank solves the age-old problem of grilling the meat without resorting to a pan or foil. You don't get actual grill marks, but you can't have everything.

A Few Guidelines

This procedure works for any meatloaf recipe, so pick your favorite and whip it up. You may want to use BBQ sauce instead of ketchup, but that's up to you. The secret here is in how you prep the planks and do the grilling.

First, pick your plank. It needs to be short enough to fit your pit, and wide enough to hold a sizeable glob of meatloaf. A 1x12 about 14 inches long should work. Soak it for a few hours in water; overnight is good. Next, set up for indirect grilling: light half your gas grill, or put all the briquettes on one side.

Cooking It Up

Once you've achieved medium heat (about 350 degrees), position your meatloaf on the plank, then put the plank on the cool side of the grill and close the lid. After about 30 minutes, slather on a little sauce. Then let it go until the center peeks at 150 degrees (you'll need a meat thermometer).

Now, just take the whole plank off the grill with your big spatula, let it cool for a bit, and then slice up your barbecued meatloaf and serve it up hot!

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