Bacon-wrapped meatloaf is the juiciest most flavorful meatloaf ever. Top it off homemade buttermilk mashed potatoes, caramelized onions and BBQ sauce for an absolutely delicious meatloaf recipe.
This is such a classic old school dish that so many of us grew up on. I, unfortunately, did not have a good experience with it growing up, but now understand how to add ingredients to it to make it incredibly delicious and enjoyable.
It can dry it very easily and often times lake flavor because of it’s few simple ingredients, but I’ve got some foolproof ways to make your recipe restaurant-worthy. Just like all recipes, this one should be used as a guide with a base, please feel free to get creative and add other ingredients and seasonings to it to customize it to your liking.
Making Moist Meatloaf
There are a few tricks to ensure you are making it extremely moist.
- Processing mushrooms in a food processor until it’s the consistency of duxelles, and then add it to your ground beef mixture. If my meatballs and meatloaf weren’t awesome enough, using this technique makes them even juicier, more tender and more flavorful. I did it for the first time in my Mushroom, Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onion Burger and was immediately in love!
- Soaking French or Italian bread in water before squeezing out the water and adding it to the meatloaf mix. This immediately adds moisture to your meatloaf and helps create a wonderful flavor and texture.
- Use a high ratio of fat ground beef, like 85/15 or 80/20. I know those 93/7 or 90/10 lean to fat ratios are tempting because it is healthier, but it will absolutely cause your meatloaf to dry up also making it less flavorful.
How Long Does It Take to Cook
My basic rule of thumb when it comes to cooking meatloaf is 25 minutes per pound at 350°. It is incredibly important to check the internal temperature of the meat before removing it from the oven and serving it.
Does It Need to Be Covered
It does not need to be covered, in fact, this bacon-wrapped meatloaf recipe needs to be uncovered so the bacon can crisp up giving more texture and delicious crisp bacon flavors. The only time I cover it is when I’m reheating it.
How to Grill Meatloaf
For this recipe, I grilled it up outside by cooking it in a loaf pan. Cooking this recipe on the grill allows for the bacon to get nice and crispy since those grates are so hot.
With that being said, it may cook quicker because grills tend to get so hot. When grilling it, use a 20 minute per pound at 350° on the grill until it is done. Not only is their indirect heat on the grill there is also direct heat from right below.
How Do You Reheat It
It can be tricky when it comes to reheating it because you don’t want it to dry out and lose flavor. There are 2 ways to do this.
- Slice off your desired amount and simply reheat it in the microwave with 1-minute bursts. Cook for 1 minute, let rest for 10 seconds, cook for 1 more minute, etc. until it is hot and ready to be eaten.
- Add the meatloaf to a baking dish and add about a 1/2 cup of beef stock to the pan and cover the entire meatloaf pan in foil. This will help keep the meatloaf moist by steam baking it also helping to preserve the flavor.
How to Keep It From Falling Apart
The biggest tricks to keeping meatloaf from falling apart are not overcooking it and using enough eggs. You actually do not need breadcrumbs when making it help keep it together.
- The most important thing to keep the meatloaf from falling apart is eggs. Use a ratio of 1 egg to every 1 pound of ground beef.
- I like to pull meatloaf out of the oven when it is about 155° and then I let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving it. Doing this will allow all the juices to soak back in plus it will be perfectly cooked so it won’t fall apart.
How to Make It
- 1. Preheat the grill to 350° to 400°.
- 2. In a large bowl vigorously mix together the ground beef, processed mushrooms, peppers, onions, garlic, eggs, tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Meat, in general, loves salt and pepper so season generously. For this recipe, I seasoned with about 1 1/4 tablespoons of sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper.
- 3. Prepare an 8×4 or 9×5 loaf pan with non-stick spray to ensure the bacon-wrapped meatloaf does not stick to the pan.
- 4. Line the pan with bacon strips slightly overlaying each one so that when they cook the form together completely covering the meatloaf. The bacon strips should be long enough that they should be hanging over the side of the pan. Check out how to bake bacon to make it crispy.
- 5. Add the mixed meatloaf mixture from the bowl on top of the bacon lined loaf pan and press the ground meat mixture down completely forming it into the inside of the pan.
- 6. Fold the extra bacon hanging over the outside of the pan over top of the ground meat mixture completely covering it, bacon wrapping it.
- 7. Place directly on the grill and cook for 20 minutes per pound or until it reaches an internal temperature of 155°.
- 8. Remove from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes before turning it over on a cutting board, draining off any excess liquid, slicing it and serving it. I like to tilt the pan a little bit into the sink or trash can to pour off as much of the fat/liquid as possible before turning the pan over.
Recipe Chef Notes + Tips
How to Store: Store this covered in plastic and refrigerate for up to 4 days. It also freezes well for up to 45 days covered in plastic and can be reheated in the microwave or in the oven with a small amount of liquid and covered in foil.
I personally like to add the mashed potatoes, caramelized onions, and BBQ right on top of the meatloaf, but please feel free to serve it on the side as accompaniments.
When instilling the mushroom technique you can use mushrooms such as portabellas, creminis, buttons, shiitakes or oyster mushrooms. Now yow you can take this method and apply it to not only ground beef but to chicken, pork and turkey as well!
The numbers on the ground beef packaging indicate the lean-to-fat ratios, such as 85/15 which means 85% of the mixture is lean meat and 15% of it is fat. You can also use a combination of ground meats to achieve the perfect ratio.
More Beef Recipes
Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf Recipe
For the Meatloaf:
- 3 pounds of ground sirloin
- 1 ½ pounds of ground chuck
- 8 ounces of domestic mushrooms processed until smooth
- 1 seeded and small diced red bell pepper
- 1 seeded and small diced green bell pepper
- 1 small diced sweet onion
- 4 finely minced cloves of garlic
- 4 eggs
- 15 strips of bacon
- Tabasco to taste
- Worcestershire to taste
- sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
For the Potatoes
- 2 pounds of peeled and quartered russet potatoes
- ½ cup of buttermilk
- 2 ounces of unsalted butter
- 2 ounces of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 ounces of sour cream
- sea salt and ground white pepper to taste
- 2 large sweet onions cut into thick rings
- 1 ounce of unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoons of sugar
- your favorite bbq sauce
- Preheat the grill to high (350° to 400°).
- Meatloaf: Mix together all of the ingredients except for the bacon in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.
- Next, spray the foil with non-stick spray and evenly place on each bacon strip next to one another on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the ground meat mixture to the top of the bacon strips and wrap the bacon around so that it is completely surrounding all sides of the meatloaf.
- Place the meatloaf pan on a hot grill for 60 to 75 minutes or until there it reaches 155° internal temperature. Let rest for 10 minutes before draining, topping off with other ingredients slicing and serving
- Remove the meatloaf from the grill. Add on to the top of the meatloaf the mashed potatoes, then the caramelized onions, then drizzle on some bbq sauce over the top.
- Potatoes: While the meatloaf is cooking, boil the potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water until the potatoes freely fall off a for once pierced.
- Drain the potatoes and mash them along with the buttermilk, butter, olive oil, sour cream, salt, and white pepper until combined and keep warm and set aside.
- Onions: While the meatloaf and potatoes are cooking, in a large saute pan on low heat with butter add in the thick-cut sweet onions and caramelize. This may take up to 45 minutes. After 20 minutes add in the sugar to help brown. Keep warm and set aside.
- Just like all recipes, this one should be used as a guide with a base, please feel free to get creative and add other ingredients and seasonings to it to customize it to your liking.
- The numbers on the ground beef packaging indicate the lean to fat ratio, such as 85/15 which means 85% of the mixture is lean meat and 15% of it is fat. You can also use a combination of ground meats to achieve the perfect ratio.
- When instilling the mushroom technique you can use mushrooms such as portabellas, creminis, buttons, shiitakes or oyster mushrooms. Now yow you can take this method and apply it to not only ground beef but to chicken, pork and turkey as well!
- Meat in general loves salt and pepper so season generously. For this recipe I seasoned with about 1 1/4 tablespoons of sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper.
- The bacon strips should be long enough that they should be hanging over the side of the pan.
- I personally like to add the mashed potatoes, caramelized onions and BBQ right on top of the meatloaf, but please feel free to serve it on the side as accompaniments.