How can you make meatloaf even better, you ask? SMOKE it!
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Smoked Party Meatloaf
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown
Yield: 12 to 14 servings
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Ease of preparation: Easy
Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
2/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 ounces chipotle peppers in adobo, with adobo sauce that clings to them, chopped fine
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
6 ounces ruffled kettle-style barbecue potato chips
3 cloves garlic
1 medium carrot, cut into 6 pieces
1 Fresno chile, seeded
1 medium onion, cut into 8 pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound ground chuck
1 pound ground sirloin
1 pound ground pork
3 large eggs
Combine the ketchup, tomato paste, chipotle peppers and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl. Remove 1/3 cup of the mixture and set aside.
Pulse the potato chips in the food processor until they are a coarse breadcrumb consistency, approximately 12 pulses. Transfer the potato chips to the bowl with the ketchup mixture.
Combine the garlic, carrots, chile and onions into the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped but not pureed, approximately 10 pulses.
Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch cast-iron pan set over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion mixture, sage and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables soften and begin to brown slightly, approximately 5 minutes. Add the mixture to the mixing bowl with the potato chip mixture and stir to combine and cool the vegetables slightly. Add the ground chuck, sirloin, pork and eggs and use your hands to thoroughly combine. Shape into a loaf that is approximately 12- by 4- by 2-inch. Make sure to press the meat into a compact, uniform loaf. Wrap the loaf in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.
Heat a smoker to 250 degrees F. Place 1 hardwood chunk in the smoker’s wood tray.
Flip over the meatloaf pouch and poke 12 to 15 holes in the aluminum foil package to allow the fat to drain off. Turn the pouch back over. Set the meatloaf in the smoker and place a drip pan on the rack immediately below the meatloaf. Cook for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, open the foil pack and fold down the sides of the foil to create a shallow “pan” around the meatloaf. Brush with the reserved glaze. Insert a probe thermometer into the meatloaf and cook until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F, approximately 40 minutes. Remove the meatloaf from the smoker and rest for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
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