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Planked and Grilled Meatloaf

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My wife looked at me a little funny on this one.  Yes, I was serious, I was going to stick a meatloaf on a piece of wood and then grill it.  It was a beautiful Spring-like day and I had ground beef and a few cedar planks, so why not?  Meatloaf is not one of those items we (well, most of us) often think about grilling.  The logistics of getting the thing on and of of the grill in one piece seem like a nightmare.  Well, that’s where the plank of wood comes in.  Not only does the plank make a great platform for cooking a meatloaf, it also provides a nice smokey taste to the loaf and even provides a great platter to serve on the table.  That’s right, just slide it off of the grill, slice and serve on the plank! You can use your favorite meatloaf recipe if you’d like, but I’ll share mine as well if you are looking for a new one.  Let’s get going…

Ingredients

1 cedar or other grilling plank, soaked for a few hours in water

1.5 pound lean ground beef

1.5 pounds “fatty” ground beef (like sirloin or round)

3/4 cup breadcrumbs

1 egg

1 carrot peeled

1 onion

1 red or green pepper

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Glaze:

1/2 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon hot sauce

Directions

  1. Put the carrot, red pepper, onion and garlic in a food processor and pulse until chunky (not quite pureed).
  2. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and add the ground beef.
  3. Add the bread crumbs, salt, cumin, cayenne pepper and egg to the bowl and combine all ingredients thoroughly with the meat.  Your hands are your best tools for this so roll up your sleeves and get dirty!
  4. Form the meatloaf into some kind of shape that fits onto the plank.  I used a large Tupperware container for mine, but go crazy.  A thinner meatloaf will cook quickly.  A thicker meatloaf will take longer to cook and develop a nice crust on the outside while the inside is very juicy.
  5. Light the grill and prepare for indirect grilling.  You know the drill by now, light half of your burners on a gas grill or pile all of the coals to one side.  We are looking for around 350 degrees here…
  6. The plank will soak up most of the drippings from the meatloaf, but it is still good to stick a drip pan under the cool side of the grill to catch any left over grease.
  7. Transfer your plank with the meatloaf onto the cool side of the grill and close the lid.
  8. Combine all of the glaze ingredients in a bowl.
  9. After the meatloaf has been grilling for around 30 minutes, brush all sides with the glaze and then close the lid again.
  10. Now sit back and relax and wait until a meat thermometer in the center of the meatloaf hits 150 degrees.  Don’t peak on the meatloaf too much or you will loose a lot of heat.  Mine took around an hour and a half at 350 degrees, but it all depends on the shape of your meatloaf.  Obviously, we want to cook for temperature and not time.
  11. When the meatloaf has cooked through, use a large spatula to transfer the plank of delicious meatloaf to a large platter and allow the meatloaf to rest for about 10 minutes before carving.
  12. Slice large slices and serve on the platter!
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