Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

How to Grill in a Monsoon: Smoked Meat Loaf Sandwiches

It has been a soggy few days in paradise. I know the monsoon season has never even heard of Minnesota, but here lately I tell you, you would have been hard pressed toIMG_80301 enlighten me otherwise. Flash floods, and torrents of falling water. Gales like Joshua’s trumpets. Lightening bolts the shape of Idaho. Thunder so loud you swear mother earth had just split at the seam. Everybody, even the resident ducks, were to take cover from the tempest, huddled in our respective shelters, listening to the rain drum over the roof like pitch forks and hammer handles. Magnificent weather, to say the least. You cannot deny. But a might challenging, shall we say, in which to go outside and light the BBQ. What’s a pit jockey to do! Eventually tho, and mercifully, all the flags suddenly went limp, and a golden shaft of light pierced down from a gray sky. Water gently dribbled off the roof, and the tweety birds burped back to life. We all emerged from our holes, every living thing, scratching our collective heads, and admiring a world so fresh and anew. So wet and green and clean. And countless pools of standing water where water ought not stand.

It wasn’t over yet, however. A glimpse at the Doppler radar revealed the bitter truth. That yet another green blob was advancing fiercely from the West. The short of it was we had but two, possibly three precious hours of semi-damp respite in which to frolic accordingly before the first, fat, rain drops spattered on the ground again. One hundred and twenty minutes or so, give or take. Well, under those circumstance, that was just long enough I figured,  for a Patron of the Pit. Just long enough indeed, for a smoked meatloaf sandwich hot off the grill. Here is how to do it effectively!


Truth be told this started out as a simple round of hamburgers, but after mashing about the ground beef a bit, you might say inspiration struck. I quickly cracked an egg over the meat, and added about a cup of bread crumbs. Squirted some ketchup in there, then some garlic and onion. An envelope of Lipton Onion Soup Mix. And maybe a few other things. You all have your own kinks for your meat loaf I’m sure. Do henceforth what moves thee. Anyways, I shaped the obscene looking meat muck into the relative dimensions resembling that of a wayward bun I had sitting about. I had an orphaned hoagie roll you see, one that I didn’t know what to do with. It was all alone, and frankly wasn’t reaching its potential. So why not match the meat to fit the bun, its common sense really. I ended up with an oblong loaf of meat about an inch thick, of which I dusted over in some Cajun seasoning just because. This was carefully placed on tin foil and put opposite the hot coals to tighten up there.



After the meat has tightened up enough to safely pick the loaf up without destroying it, go ahead and get that tin foil out of there. You might be able to forego the tin foil stage altogether if your loaf is sturdy enough, but that is up to your pit master instincts to decide. Anyways, the sooner you get the foil out of there, the sooner then you can commence with the infusion of smokey goodness. The smoke, after all, is what will set this meatloaf sandwich apart from any other. With eyes on the skies, we smoked this hunk of meat for a good hour in a continuous parade of curling oak wood smoke. And it was glorious. An entire hour in which to sit by the pit and do nothing at all. As usual, I was up for the task. Up for the undeniable attributes of not cooking in the rain. Like not wondering where the next lightening bolt may strike, or fighting a stormy gale. The way of course to grill in a monsoon is not to fight it, but to patiently hold your charcoal, biding your time. Like a adventure climbers who bandy together on the flanks of Everest, waiting on a small window of weather in which to assault the summit. And so it is today, and between the tempest,  that we strike!


Checking in on the plunder is OK. You may wish to turn the meatloaf from time to time, for even cooking. But always keep it tucked back, opposite the hot coals. When in doubt, go indirect people. Ten minutes from the end of the cook, we plunked on a naked corn on the cob, and roasted it over direct heat. Rotating it often with the tongs. A little butter and salt, man, is there anything better! And lastly we toasted up the orphaned hoagie roll, to add that extra touch to a meal well executed. And whilst we dressed the bun in mayonnaise and ketchup, we put a few globs of every one’s favorite ghetto cheese on the meat to melt. Mercy!


Oak Smoked Meatloaf Sandwiches on a toasted hoagie roll. Oh buddy!  It don’t get more comfort food than this! Just the ticket for what ails you, between the storms, and under fair skies.



39 responses

  1. Reblogged this on Martha Keim-St. Louis' blog and commented:

    June 5, 2014 at 9:42 am

  2. Wow, looks like the docks at a couple of my bass lakes earlier this spring. Love meatloaf! Mama always makes extra cause she knows how I love leftover meatloaf for sandwiches.

    June 5, 2014 at 10:00 am

    • Sounds like it was a wet spring were you’re from too. About to go do some bass fishing at said dock. I love to fish. Meat loaf too. We are of the same ilk, Rick!

      June 5, 2014 at 10:10 am

  3. Okay, I wondered how you were going to get the loaf to hold up – starting on the foil is a smart way to go!
    I’ve never put that cheese on my meatloaf… and I’m a huge fan of it! I just might have to try that next time I have left overs that are turned into a sandwich!

    June 5, 2014 at 10:33 am

    • Yes, meatloaf can be a fickle partner indeed, in it’s infancy. I think it might have almost oozed through the grates had it not been for the tin foil.

      I’ve never done cheese on my meatloaf sandwich before, but this time around it just seemed the thing to do. And the lowly ghetto cheese was all we had in stock. It worked fabulously.

      Have a good day, Kate. Thanks for chiming in!

      June 5, 2014 at 2:09 pm

  4. In England we are accustomed to bad weather which could only be described as mediocre in comparison to yours! You are a place of extremes! Whilst we go in for perpetual drizzle and Summer days where you need a cardigan ( terribly English- cardigans, we never go anywhere without one) you go in for temperatures so low that videos of deer being rescued from frozen Minnesotan lakes go viral. And, to be honest, I am fearful that this latest weather of yours which I can only describe as biblically bad, might be followed very shortly by a few plagues ( frogs, locusts or similar).
    But between downpours and with no fanfare, The POTP just got out there and did their job, bringing comfort and sustenance to those whose spirits were low and rain sodden.
    I really think that an oak smoked meatloaf sandwich would have me and most people “singing in the rain” and for that, you deserve the sincere thanks of those followers, world wide who are presently suffering bad weather.
    As for me, yesterday it was so wet, cold and windy that I lit the open fire, switched on the Rayburn, cooked a casserole and yes—–put on another cardigan!

    June 5, 2014 at 11:21 am

    • Another lovely comment by Karen. Well done! Your comments are like mini posts in and of their own. A most pleasant and agreeable articulation.

      I think it helps an outdoor cook if he or she actually -likes to be outside. We love the out-of doors, and everything about it. Cold or hot, rainy or not. It is just a pleasure to be there, and watch the world slowly revolve. Let us hope tho, and even so, that your prediction of frogs and locusts is proven wrong! Tho I would probably try and cook those too, on the humble Weber grill.

      Thanks kindly, Karen,

      All the best to you and yours.


      June 5, 2014 at 2:17 pm

  5. There’s a lot of stuff going on here! Some solid food-thoughts and we get to celebrate the greatness of a Weber Grill. Always.

    June 5, 2014 at 11:30 am

    • Amen. Grilling was always more than just about the food.
      Thanks Ryan!

      June 5, 2014 at 2:10 pm

  6. Debbie Spivey

    Wow, S.O.S. for the dock! We’ve been unusually dry lately. I hope the trend is not starting here. The meatloaf sandwich looks awesome! Never thought about smoking one…

    June 5, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    • Oh yes, have David put some smoke to one of your meat loafs some time. It’s good!

      June 5, 2014 at 2:11 pm

      • Debbie Spivey

        I smell a blog story coming on… 😉

        June 5, 2014 at 2:25 pm

  7. Reblogged this on Country Smoke House Blog and commented:
    Sounds like Michigan Lately!

    June 5, 2014 at 1:48 pm

  8. i want to eat this right now.

    June 5, 2014 at 2:15 pm

  9. Reblogged this on THAT DANG OL' SHOW and commented:
    Great food-thoughts here. That and we celebrate the greatness that is the Weber Grill!

    June 5, 2014 at 2:25 pm

  10. Get stuffed! Just get stuffed!

    I want that now!

    June 5, 2014 at 3:09 pm

  11. Ahhh, she’s beautiful boys. Do stay dry. The rains will soon pass and we will all have some new weather to complain about. But hey – that’s the beauty of the outdoors.

    June 5, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    • Thank you kindly , old boy. I don’t mind the shifty weather, but I suspect California weather is about as nice as it comes most days. Save for them there earth quakes. You can keep those. Anyways, always glad when you check in. All the best to you and yours.

      June 5, 2014 at 6:29 pm

  12. Looks good PotP. I guess if it isn’t snow, it is rain. Right?

    June 5, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    • Pretty much, Bill. Pretty much. Next comes the heat waves, iffin the locusts don’t descend first. I like it all long as there is meat involved.

      June 5, 2014 at 6:25 pm

  13. Oh wow, I love meatloaf and never grilled it before. Love that juicy sandwich you made. You grill in blizzard conditions, you are the intrepid griller, a monsoon, it’s just a little rain.

    June 5, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    • Right, what’s a little rain between food and one’s belly!

      Hope all is well in Brooklyn!

      June 5, 2014 at 9:03 pm

  14. Liz

    Yes, mercy! Nom nom nom. And I smile as I will now look at all rolls and wonder if they are living up to their potential. Fantastic 🙂 I love how you put the meatloaf together with a little of this, a little of that. Recipes are nice, but they are a luxury folks don’t often have time for. Better to do it by feel than to not do it at all.

    June 5, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    • Oh yes, raise your rolls right! Let them be all that they can be, lest they grow up to be croutons or something! Hmm croutons. There’s something I wanna try making some time. I like croutons. Anyways, as always, we appreciate the comment contribution to our meat prose here. I always look forwards to yours. Thanks Liz!

      June 6, 2014 at 9:47 am

  15. laurie27wsmith

    I had images of soggy bread rolls, sweating mince and the ducks lining up on the porch to get out of the rain. Did you have life jackets for them? There’s nothing like a good meatloaf, hmm what’s missing? Oh yeah, hard boiled eggs. Come on PotP man up and stick some eggs in there. 🙂 The finished product looked delightful, especially with the crispy, toasted rolls.

    June 6, 2014 at 4:48 am

    • Life jackets for ducks, Laurie? Don’t be silly, we set them up instead with some outriggers!

      Yes I know, I know, my meat loafs will never reach their fullest potential until there is hard boiled eggs involved. I do want to try that. I shall call it the Laurie Loaf, because I’ve never heard of it save from you. I trust your taste buds!

      June 6, 2014 at 9:52 am

      • laurie27wsmith

        Outriggers? Hmm, strapping them on could be hard. 🙂 The Laurie Loaf sounds great and I’ll stand by my taste buds, figuratively speaking that is. It makes for a great meat to serve cold with a salad. Great between a couple of hunks of bread, yum. I did my first one with venison mince, hmmmmm.

        June 6, 2014 at 6:34 pm

  16. Some of us really like meatloaf. Some of us really LOVE meatloaf. That there sandwich makes me say uh Yessum!!!

    June 6, 2014 at 1:41 pm

  17. Woderful….I love meatloaf, and this looks a truly epic meatloaf sandwich.

    June 9, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    • Hey, thanks kindly, Marcus. I’m sure you would do wonders if you tried it yourself, over there at country wood smoke.


      June 9, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      • Thanks, I did a venison one a while ago, like these slabs of meatloaf stuffed in the bread, nice job POTP.

        June 9, 2014 at 4:27 pm

  18. That’s one hell of a good lookin’ sammich. Nicely done, Sir.

    June 10, 2014 at 6:48 am

    • Thank ya! I love meat loaf. Nay, I love meat!

      June 10, 2014 at 10:04 am

      • Huge fan of roaste danimal flesh. Huge fan.

        June 11, 2014 at 8:47 am

  19. As always such style and finesse! I would love to have a barbeque with you guys if ever my son gets to Minnesota next year as planned, and if I do get the money scraped together to go visit him… such a long way across the world though! Thanks for an awesome blog! We need summer stories of hope to get us through this Southern winter…b

    June 12, 2014 at 10:23 am

    • That would be fun. Yes South Africa and Minnesota are not exactly neighboring lands. Quite the journey indeed.

      Take care good Sir.

      June 12, 2014 at 1:06 pm

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