This 3-Meat Meatloaf (beef, pork and turkey) on the grill retains its juicy flavor and is a terrific grilling staple.
1 lb each ground pork, beef, turkey (or veal)
1 lb thin center cut bacon, partially cooked
3 large eggs
¼ cup bread crumbs (fine not chunks)
¼ cup each chopped carrots, celery, white onion
5 large cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon mustard powder
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
¼ cup ketchup
Lightly cook bacon in a fry pan (if it is thick bacon) and remove before cooked thru and just starting to brown, just enough to render some of the fat in the pan, set bacon aside to cool.
Sauté carrots, celery and onion in bacon fat ? add pinch or two of salt to help draw out moisture.
Cover pan and allow to sweat and brown a bit ? but not thoroughly cooked.
Remove from pan and spread out on jelly roll sheet to cool.
Place all 3 lbs of meat in large bowl and roughly mix by hand.
Beat eggs before adding to meat.
Add all ingredients but bacon including cooled sautéed Mirepoix and mix into meat by hand.
Place thoroughly mixed meat and ingredients into oven proof loaf pan (or two if smaller meat loafs are desired) and weave bacon on top of meat mixture.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for up to 24 hrs.
Pre-heat grill to high for about 10 minutes with hood closed.
Gas grills: Turn center burner OFF and reduce heat on outer burners to a setting so that temperature of cooking chamber with hood closed will be approximately 350F degrees. (You may need to experiment with this before the cook to get a sense of what settings work. And you may want to keep a note of the settings for future reference)
Charcoal: After coals have burned to white hot ? bank on either side of fire box and leave grate in center ? the goal is to create a consistent temperature inside the cooking chamber of approximately 350F degrees.
Place smoke bomb of wood chips wrapped in foil and pierced with knife on grates or fire, or use a smoker box, or toss wood chips or chunks on charcoal ? depending upon your grill type and preferred smoke process.
Remove wrap or cover and place pan with meatloaf in center so heat is on both sides, close hood and relax. As long as the temperature holds and the smoke is constant ? don?t bother it! ?If you?re looking you ain?t cookin!?
Checkpoint 1: about 30 minutes into the cook to see that all is well
Checkpoint 2: about 1 hour into the cook lift hood of grill insert an instant read thermometer in a couple of places to get a sense of what the internal temperature of the loaf is at the center. At that point you will need to guestimate when the next time to check will be.
Checkpoint 3: Based upon your guestimate at Checkpoint 2 give a look at the progress and use the thermometer as your gauge of doneness.
At this step ? if the meat has begun to set so it?s firm - you may want to get creative. I like to grasp the loaf pan using insulated gloves or dry kitchen towel and quickly invert it onto a foil lined jelly roll pan ? then remove the loaf pan so more meat is exposed to smoke.
I position the pan so the meat loaf is in the center of the grill, add more wood chips to the smoker box and close the lid of the grill to let it continue to cook.
When the internal temperature of the meat loaf is 155F degrees at several points in the loaf tested with an instant read thermometer you may remove it from the grill.
At that internal temperature you can safely cover it with foil and let it sit on the kitchen counter or in a dry empty insulated cooler until the internal temperature of the meatloaf climbs to 160F degrees (USDA SAFE temperature for ground beef, pork and turkey.)
At about 15 - 20 minutes of resting after cooking the loaf is ready to slice.
If you haven?t already removed it from the pan as I noted above, you may wish to do so now. Invert a tray or plate over the top of the loaf pan and with hands on the plate and pan, invert and let sit ? some juices may run out onto the plate and you should be able to easily lift the pan off the meat loaf.