Alton Brown’s Meatloaf (GF Version)

My husband, David, loves meatloaf. This is not my usual meatloaf, but he requested it after stumbling upon it one day. It is delicious! Alton Brown has done it again, as if there was any doubt.  This meatloaf is full of flavor, unlike the meatloaf I grew up eating (sorry Mom). I never would have complained about Alton Brown’s meatloaf as a child. This particular meatloaf is good enough to beckon the “Wedding Crashers” quote, “Ma, the meatloaf!” because it is just that tasty!


This meatloaf is full of surprises, like carrots and bell pepper, which look like little bits of confetti. This, of course, appealed to our daughter. And since she didn’t realize she was eating her vegetables, this Mama loved it too!

I altered his recipe ever so slightly to make it gluten-free for my husband, and non-spicy for our daughter. I used Ian’s Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs and I omitted the cayenne pepper and hot sauce.

This recipe calls for the use of a food processor. I promise you, it’s worth the extra clean up!

Alton Brown's Meatloaf

Here’s the recipe:

Alton Brown’s Meatloaf (My GF Version)

  • 6 ounces homemade croutons or store-bought garlic croutons (I used Ian’s Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs)
  • 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
Heat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine the croutons/GF Breadcrumbs, black pepper, cayenne, chili powder and thyme in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is like sand. Transfer to a large bowl.

Combine the onion, carrot, garlic and red bell pepper in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped, but not pureed. Add to gluten-free breadcrumb mixture.

Load the sirloin into the food processor and pulse 10 times. Dump the sirloin into the mixing bowl and repeat with the chuck.

Add the salt, then the egg to the mixing bowl, and using your clean hands, combine thoroughly.

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.

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.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the ketchup, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and honey in a small bowl.

After 10 minutes*, brush the glaze onto the meatloaf and continue to cook for 25 minutes, or until the loaf reaches 155 degrees F.

Cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.**

Notes from Alton Brown’s blog:
  1. * 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.
  2. **Don’t worry, carryover heat will continue to push the temperature higher. I’ve never had one come out under-cooked yet. Recipe Credit


Happy cooking,


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