A fond memory I have is sitting in the living room watching America’s Test Kitchen with my dad. I was pretty young and not really into cooking at that time in my life, but it was fun to watch them test different ways of cooking things and finding the overall best.
I credit that show, and its associated memories, with getting me interested in cooking. Not really on a large commercial scale, however. If you have ever worked in a restaurant you can attest to how overworked and underpaid cooks are. Some make it out and go onto be grand executive and corporate chefs, but most will be in a late night, sweaty grind.
No thanks. My hats off to them, however.
My love of America's Test Kitchen pretty much made the transition into other food shows easy. One of my all time favorites is Good Eats with Alton Brown.
It's really fun watching a guy turn garbage into a world-class chef and beat what they sell in the stories at their own game. The guy just really knows how to cook and it's something I strive for daily. When you reach the point where you can just cook things without a recipe book and go off knowledge you have gained over the years, it’s a pretty awesome feeling.
One of Alton Brown's favorite things to eat is smoked meatloaf. I have never had it and was itching to give it a go. Luckily, one of my wife's favorite foods just happens to be meatloaf, so it wasn't a hard sell.
Her absolute favorite meatloaf is just an old-timey one from Betty Crocker. Super easy and straightforward. Without changing things too much on her, I just stuck with that recipe and smoked it.
I must point out that while I love a smoke flavor, I am discovering I don't like overpowered smoked flavor. I started off using hickory chunks and that was just way too overpowering for me in all forms. Since switching to cherry and just smoking at the start, things have been easy sailing since.
So for this recipe, I just put the meatloaf on aluminum foil and called it good. If you want ultimate smoke flavor, they suggest putting it directly on a grate.
1 lb lean ground beef
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup milk
1. Set your smoker to 225 degrees.
2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Pull out into aluminum foil and shape into an oblong log.
3. Place the meatloaf in the smoker and get the smoke rolling.
4. Cook until the internal temp reaches 165 degrees. (add a glaze of BBQ or ketchup around 160 degrees if you want)