Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf Recipe That Meat Lovers Will Rejoice Over

Meatloaf might seem like a wintry comfort food dish, the perfect thing to serve alongside mashed potatoes on a night when the cold gets into your bones, but with her smoked bacon-wrapped meatloaf, Stephanie Rapone Pantry to Plate has turned it into a delightful summertime dish perfect for barbecue season.

"It's one of those crazy things my husband saw someone do on a BBQ YouTube channel," she says of the inspiration for the recipe. "We used my standard family cheesy mini meatloaf recipe, and bam — it was great!"

The meatloaf mixture for this recipe is made with a rich combo of pork and beef, into which are scattered cubes of cheddar cheese for "fun cheesy bombs" throughout, explains Rapone. "It also helps add moisture inside the meatloaf so it doesn't dry out with such a long cook time." The final loaf is then wrapped in a bacon lattice that's as beautiful as it is delicious. And while it might look complicated to master, Rapone is here to show you all the secrets.

Gather the ingredients for the smoked bacon-wrapped meatloaf

To make this smoked bacon-wrapped meatloaf, you'll first need a mix of ground beef and ground pork. "Usually meatloaf is a blend of two to three different types of meat," explains Rapone of her decision to use this combo. "I think the pork adds richness to the ground beef."

The meat mixture is then seasoned with breadcrumbs, ketchup, Parmesan, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. The cubed cheddar cheese is folded in along with an egg to hold everything together.

To finish things off? A sauce made with even more ketchup, mustard, and garlic powder, as well as a touch of brown sugar and a whole pound of bacon to make that pretty lattice, which will keep the meatloaf moist and oh-so-flavorful. Oh, and some cooking spray. Can't have all that hard work sticking to the rack when smoking is complete!

Make the bacon lattice for this smoked bacon-wrapped meatloaf

To begin making this smoked bacon-wrapped meatloaf, start with what Rapone calls the toughest part of the recipe: actually getting the smoker going! "That's just not my area of specialty," but while smokers can be finicky, the instructions here are not that complicated. Just preheat your smoker to 275 degrees Fahrenheit for indirect smoking. "This meatloaf is awesome with hickory or oak wood," adds Rapone.

While the smoker heats, turn your attention to weaving the "bacon blankie." Begin by laying out four slices of bacon horizontally on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them about the width of a slice of bacon apart. Lay one piece across them, vertically. Atop the vertical slice, lay another four pieces of bacon horizontally to fill in the spaces in between the first four slices.

Pay attention, now! Fold back the horizontal pieces of bacon that are under the first vertical piece. Lay down another vertical piece, then lay those horizontal pieces back down. Continue, alternating which horizontal pieces you fold back, until you have a weaved rectangle. Set in the fridge until ready to use. This may look tricky, but it's easy once you get the hang of it, according to Rapone. "Just take your time and do all the steps!" she says.

Make the meat mixture for the smoked bacon-wrapped meatloaf

Next, it's time to make the meat mixture and sauce for the smoked bacon-wrapped meatloaf. For the latter combine half each of the ketchup, mustard, and garlic powder with the brown sugar in a small bowl and stir well.

Then make the meat mixture by combining the breadcrumbs, remaining ketchup, remaining mustard, and remaining garlic powder with the Parmesan, onion powder, salt, black pepper, cheese chunks, and egg. Mix well with a fork, then add the ground pork and beef. Mix by hand until well combined.

Assemble the meatloaf for the smoked bacon-wrapped meatloaf

It's time to assemble the smoked bacon-wrapped meatloaf! First, remove the bacon sheet from the fridge, and brush it with about half of the sauce. Then, assemble the meat mixture into a loaf shape about four inches wide and two inches high in the middle of the bacon sheet.

Next, using the parchment paper to help, wrap the meatloaf in the bacon sheet. "It won't cover completely, and that's okay!" notes Rapone. In just a moment, the seam will be on the bottom of the meatloaf, so no one will ever know.

Prepare the smoked bacon-wrapped meatloaf for the smoker

As for how to get the smoked bacon-wrapped meatloaf onto the smoker, this will require a bit of balance and precision. Begin by spraying the rack you plan to use in the smoker with nonstick spray. Next, place it upside down on the seam side of meatloaf. Flip carefully, using the sheet pan beneath the meatloaf to keep it secure, and voilà! Peel off the parchment, and the loaf should be right-side up on the rack.

At this point, if you don't have a smoker, you could also preheat the oven to bake it. "I would cook it at 325 for an hour, then baste with the sauce, and cook for 15 more minutes," explains Rapone, who notes that while still delicious, with this method, "you definitely compromise the flavor."

Smoke the meatloaf

It's finally time to cook! Place the rack containing the smoked bacon-wrapped meatloaf on the smoker, and cook for two and a half hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit (use a probe thermometer to assess). At this point, remove the lid of the smoker and baste the outside of the meatloaf with the rest of the sauce. 

Continue cooking an hour more, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. It's a long wait, but it's worth it! And since you've waited this long, you won't mind waiting 10 minutes more for your meatloaf to cool before slicing and serving.

Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf Recipe That Meat Lovers Will Rejoice Over
5 from 26 ratings
The meatloaf mixture for this recipe is made with a rich combo of pork and beef, into which are scattered cubes of cheddar cheese for cheesy bombs throughout.
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
3.5
hours
Servings
8
servings
smoked bacon-wrapped meatloaf served
Total time: 3.83 hours
Ingredients
  • 1 pound bacon (regular cut, not thick cut)
  • ½ cup ketchup, divided
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard, divided
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs (panko, plain, or Italian-seasoned)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese (from a brick), cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef (85% lean)
Optional Ingredients
  • Non-stick cooking spray
Directions
  1. Preheat the smoker to 275 degrees Fahrenheit for indirect smoking. This meatloaf is awesome with hickory or oak wood.
  2. While the smoker is heating, lay a piece of parchment, wax paper, or a silicone baking mat on a large cutting board or baking sheet, and weave the bacon blankie. To do so, lay out four slices of bacon horizontally on the parchment, spaced apart about the width of a slice of bacon. Lay one piece across them, vertically. Now, lay another four pieces of bacon horizontally to fill in those spaces in between the first four slices.
  3. Fold back the horizontal pieces of bacon that are under the first vertical piece. Lay down another vertical piece, then lay those horizontal pieces back down. Complete the process alternating which horizontal pieces you fold back until you have a weaved rectangle. Place in the fridge while you make the sauce and meatloaf.
  4. Make the sauce by combining ¼ cup ketchup, 1 tablespoon yellow mustard, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and the brown sugar in a small bowl. Stir well.
  5. Make the meat mixture by combining the breadcrumbs, ¼ cup ketchup, Parmesan, 1 tablespoon yellow mustard, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, cheese chunks, and egg in a large bowl. Combine well with a fork. Add the ground pork and ground beef, and mix well by hand.
  6. Spread about half the sauce over the bacon blankie. Then take the meatloaf mixture, and form into a loaf in the middle of the bacon, about 4 inches wide and 2 inches high.
  7. Use the parchment to help bring the bacon up around the sides of the meatloaf. It won't cover completely, and that's okay: What is the top now will become the bottom.
  8. Spray the rack for the smoker with nonstick spray. Place the rack upside down on the meatloaf. Then, carefully grab the baking sheet/cutting board and rack, and flip it so the meatloaf is now on the rack right-side up.
  9. Place on the smoker. Cook for 2 ½ hours or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the lid and baste the outside of the meatloaf with the rest of the sauce. Continue to cook for about 1 more hour or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  10. Remove from the smoker and rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 581
Total Fat 46.4 g
Saturated Fat 17.5 g
Trans Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 137.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 11.8 g
Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
Total Sugars 5.4 g
Sodium 789.9 mg
Protein 28.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe