A couple of years ago I decided to introduce my (then) ten-year-old grandson to the fine art of smoking meat Texas-style. I got a fire going in the fire box, chopped a pile of wood and soaked it in a tub of water,
laid a brisket on the grill etc.
He watched me intently during this process and then it turned into “Are We
There Yet?” after that.
“No” I explained to him; “we're slow-cooking this”
He waited patiently as I shoveled wood stick by stick into the firebox, but he didn't really get the beauty of watching the blue-gray smoke escape from the steel tube on top of the smoker. After an hour or two I lost him and he made his way into the house to get lost in a game of Minecraft.
Twelve hours later however he was more than ready to sink his teeth into my brisket.
Ah...kids these days; whattya going to do?
“Not THIS again” a week later as I laid a rack of ribs on the grill. “Oh don't worry; these only take SIX hours” which for some reason was little comfort to him; once again his attention span was somewhat brief.
We were watching TV the other night and saw someone doing something I just HAD to try.
I've smoked briskets, ribs, turkeys, whole chickens and even burgers but there was a guy showing one of his restaurants best selling items I would have never thought of attempting in a smoker. And I wish I had known about this while my grandson was here.
The guy on the show was showing how he smoked meatloaf in his smoker. YES meatloaf.
Often referred to as a “comfort food” meat loaf was something my own mother served up frequently when I was a small child, but she merely cooked it in a pan in the oven. I wasn't nuts about it but it was a meal I could drown in ketchup and not get chewed out.
But smoking it was something I might never have thought of and as it turned out this is something we will probably be doing a lot more of in the future.
For one thing it was very economical. For under $10 we got about five meals for two out of it.
And as my grandson would no doubt appreciate, it only took about three and a half hours to cook.
We bought a five-pound package of ground beef from the store, used a pound for another recipe and used four pounds of beef for our loaf. Mrs Mom kneaded it in a large mixing bowl with an egg, some bread crumbs, chopped onion.
After about two hours I rotated it end to end and we coated it with a sweet Memphis-style barbeque sauce (once again; you can use whatever style sauce you want ) and about 90 minutes later it was cooked according to the thermometer we stuck into the loaf. (170 degrees F)
Not sure if this would have held my grandsons attention any longer than the brisket or the ribs, but it didn't take ALL day to fix. And I'm pretty sure even he could appreciate that.
4 lbs ground beef
3/4 cup milk
4 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
2/3 cup BBQ sauce
1 onion, chopped fine
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp BBQ rub
Combine all ingredients, except for rub and 1/3 of the BBQ sauce in a large bowl and mix well. Shape into one large loaf on a foil pan. Coat all exposed sides with BBQ rub.
Baste meatloaf after 2 hours with remaining BBQ sauce.
250-300 F for 3 - 3 1/2 hours until internal temperature reaches 170F.