I have always loved meatloaf. My mom made pretty good version when I was growing up, but she cooked it in a baking dish so there wasn’t nearly enough crusty exterior. And she never glazed it the way my friend Stanley’s mom did. But then Stanley’s mom used too many fillers and overcooked hers. Then there was Craig who lived behind my house. His mom put whole cooked eggs in hers. That just ain’t right. This one here though…just right.


  • 6 ounces homemade croutons or store-bought garlic croutons
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 onion (peeled and quartered)
  • 1 carrot (cleaned and broken into chunks)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (peeled but left whole)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (roughly chopped)
  • 18 ounces sirloin (trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes, chilled)
  • 18 ounces chuck (same as above, chilled)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 large egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 dash hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Combine the croutons, black pepper, cayenne, chili powder and thyme in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is like sand. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Combine the onion, carrot, garlic and red bell pepper in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped, but not pureed. Add to breadcrumb mixture.
  4. Load the sirloin into the food processor and pulse 10 times. Dump the sirloin into the mixing bowl and repeat with the chuck.
  5. Add the salt, then the egg to the mixing bowl, and using your clean hands, combine thoroughly.
  6. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Plop the meat mixture into the middle of the pan and shape it into a loaf. Or if you prefer precision, line a loaf pan with plastic wrap, mold the meat into it then flip it out onto the parchment.
  7. Insert the probe of a remote oven thermometer so that the tip is in the middle of the loaf. Set the thermometer alarm to go off at 155 degrees F.
  8. Bake in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, combine the ketchup, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and honey in a small bowl.
  10. After 10 minutes*, brush the glaze onto the meatloaf and continue to cook for 25 minutes, or until the loaf reaches 155 degrees F.
  11. Cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.**

* Seems like an odd step, but 10 minutes will harden the outside of the loaf enough to prevent exiting juices from pushing off the glaze. Also, if the glaze went on at the start it would probably burn…and burnt ketchup is never good eats.
**Don’t worry, carryover heat will continue to push the temperature higher. I’ve never had one come out under-cooked yet.


Add yours
  1. 1

    Dear Mr. B, I had recently seen an episode of “The Best Thing I Ever Made- Meat Lovers”, and am now currently looking for your Smoked Meatloaf recipe. I was informed by a Food Network Customer Representative that the recipe was no longer available on their website. Is there a cookbook that you have it in, or is it possible that you could post it here on your blog? Thanks!

  2. 5

    okay. try, some ground beef, some chopped onion (2), chopped garlic, cumin, papria (sweet), red pepper flakes, a little mustard powder, fresh ground pepper, salt (not too much. . .) Worcestershire Sauce, herbs (thyme + ), wal nuts opptional, kale or chard, choppped carrots, bread crumbs, yes: 1 egg, plus whatever tickles your fancy: olives, celery, peppers, mushrooms, green chillies, sweet potatoe, anchovies, and remember, these all add liquid. Mix with your hands and put in a dish or on a high sided foil lined cookie sheet ( avoid spillage during cooking), make a trough down the middle with the ends of the trough built up, and add the sauce: your favorite ketsup, Worcestershire Sauce, brown sugar, Tabasco Thai Chili Sauce. Bake at 325 or 350, skim off juice and save if you like. Good on potatoes, rice, etc.

  3. 6
    A. Cleary

    DH & I love this but the grandkids are unequivocal meatloaf haters. No exceptions! While tempted to just say “Well, more for us”, I decided last time to try using the meatloaf mix to make meatballs. Instant hit!! Kids are such suckers for packaging!

  4. 7

    Noticed you decided to forgo the panade route, was this because you didn’t sauté the veggies before hand, so they would exude enough juice to the mix for binding?

  5. 8

    Loved it, loved it, loved it. Fantastic just as is. Always liked Mom’s meatloaf but never found a recipe to compare. This is the best I’ve ever had (sorry mom!) Our meatloaf was always made in a loaf pan and was saturated in grease – this is moist and tender and full flavored and saucy and… just good eats!

    Now the challenge is to make one big enough so there are leftovers the next day!

  6. 14
    Kerra English

    My family also loves meat loaf – and it’s their favorite “Mom’s cooking” dish. We love to use “Tiger Sauce” as an ingredient, and possibly for dipping after it’s cooked. I will try your trick for a little more crustiness on the exterior. That’s what mine’s been lacking.

  7. 15

    i hate ketchup…….i despise ketchup in all its sickly sweet tomatoey vileness…… there an alternative to using Ketchup for the glaze (or tomatoes in general).

    • 16

      I’ve done it before with a mustard glaze for a friend who also hated ketchup. Basically Dijon mustard and a little honey. There are tons of recipes out there for various versions but it was good. However if you don’t hate ketchup, then stick with it as I didn’t care for the mustard as much (but still yummy)!

    • 17

      I use pure tomato paste in place of ketchup. I love the flavor of tomato paste…sweet and umami all at once. And it makes a decent crust.

    • 18

      I use ketchup, but i flavor it up. Last meatloaf I glazed with a bit of ketchup with a hot pineapple mustard and a little sriracha.

      Also, go find one that uses real sugar – Hunt’s all natural is good.

  8. 20
    Sherry-Lynn E.

    My meatloaf glaze has always been ketchup, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar – which I also have started cooking meatballs in – but will definitely give this one a try, too. My kids used to hate meatloaf, until I started glazing it!

    • 21

      Heinz makes a balsamic ketchup that I’ve been using. It’s not too “vingerary” but also not quite as sweet as regular ketchup. It’s pretty great and widely available.

  9. 22
    Sylvia Selgestad

    Looks good, but I come from the oatmeal (not breadcrumbs ) tradition. Plus I just put drained whole tomatoes on top. Really good.

    • 24

      Sometimes that’s tough to get. Most supermarkets have “ground beef” in various levels of leanness (80%, 85%, 93%), but there’s no telling what cut of beef those came from. They might come from the plate, the round, anywhere. Buying a cut and grinding it is the only way to really know what you’re getting. If your store still employs actual butchers, you can probably ask them to grind a cut for you (mine won’t simply because they grind whole primals in their beast of a grinder, and it wouldn’t reliably handle something as small as a 1 lb roast without throwing it everywhere). But be sure you’re still buying that original cut of chuck/sirloin!

  10. 25

    This is pretty close to my version only I’ve always just bought ground sirloin and I use maple syrup in my glaze instead of honey. Another sneaky veg is pulsing some zucchini into the onion/carrot. And I do agree that negativity is unwarranted. If we all just used our energy to be solutions not setbacks 😉

  11. 26

    Always HATED meatloaf! But became a Mom and made little cheddar meatloaves…cheeseburgers w/o buns, ANYWAY, this recipe sounds so good and fun, I think I may even be able to get the hubby to like meatloaf!!!

  12. 27

    My food processor was $10 and I bought it as a broke college student. Sure, its not the best, but it does the job. Food processors are not that expensive fyi.

  13. 29

    This is a new twist I’ve yet to see on meatloaf. I think it warrants a day in the kitchen. Tho why comments need to be negative against others just wanting to learn leaves me baffled.

  14. 30

    Wow – this sounds really good. I had no idea you could grind meat in your food processor. Does it really come out “ground” as in you could use it for burgers, etc?

    • 31

      I grind turkey in mine for alternatives for chili or burgers. I just buy it whole and cut it into smaller pieces and pulse it. Works really well in my little processor.

  15. 34

    Oh, Mr. Brown….. not EVERYONE owns a food processor. I know, it’s very strange in this day and age, but some of us (read *me*) don’t have all the fancy gadgets. I’ll try to modify this to work in my Ol’Fashioned crank grinder and maybe my blender. I’ll come back to let you know how I fare.

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