Earlier this week I asked Home-Ec 101 readers to share their questions about grilling. Sandee asked how should I grill a meatloaf?
There are several methods out there on these wild, wild interwebz. Some of them are rather unsettling.
Foil packets are awesome for vegetables, but what foil packets create is an environment to steam food. Let that roll around in your mind for a moment, got that? Ok, now the most popular method I found while double checking my intended method to grill meatloaf was using a foil packet. No, we here at Home-Ec 101 do not steam our ground beef. No. Just no. I think I might make an exception for certain kinds of Asian dumplings, but I’ve not attempted to make those and that’s a very different taste profile.
The best meatloaves are moist, but have that wonderful caramelized glaze. If you weren’t going for the glaze, why not just have a meatball?
Try to keep the lid closed while grilling your meatloaf, you’re trying to create an environment similar to your oven. If you do not have a rack you can grill in a foil pan or a cast iron skillet, just be sure you are still grilling via the indirect method or you may scorch the bottom of your meatloaf. Consider using carrots or celery ribs to raise the meatloaf off the bottom of the pan. Perhaps I’m a bit picky, but I find a greasy meatloaf completely unappetizing.
Use a thermometer, every grill is different and a thermometer is much more accurate than a timer. Your grill, with the lid down may approach 400°F, while mine was at 350°F. It’s going to vary a lot from grill to grill, especially if you are just getting used to grilling. Also keep in mind that thermometers do fail, if you can see that the loaf is nearly done, your ground beef was fully thawed when you mixed it, but the thermometer still says 60°F, maybe it’s the thermometer. Take it out and reinsert it in a new place or cut open the meatloaf and take a peek. If the meat is brown, it’s not 60°F. Cooking safely is a balance of using tools and using good judgement when the tools fail,as they do on occasion.
Finally, let’s talk about surface area. To reduce the amount of time on the grill, you’ll want to increase the surface area of the loaf as much as possible. A low, flat rectangle will grill much more quickly than the traditional loaf shape. You’ll also have much more area on which to spread the glaze. U