Pioneer Drumsticks (Meatloaf on a Stick)

READY IN: 20mins
YIELD: 4 1/4-lb


  • The Meat
  • 1
    medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1
    egg, lightly beaten
  • 1
    cup saltine, crushed (very fine)
  • basil, oregano, thyme (to taste)
  • garlic (crushed, minced, to taste)
  • The Deal
  • 4
    hot dogs or 4 brat buns
  • mustard (optional)
  • ketchup (optional)
  • barbecue sauce (optional)
  • pickles (optional) or relish (optional)


  • Mix "the meat" ingredients in a large bowl (or mixer); do NOT overmix.
  • Pack meat mixture into a zipper bag and freeze OR chill the day before leaving on a camping trip. If frozen, plan to use it the second day out--giving it time to thaw while you're out-n-about doing other things! (Critter-proof thawing location, please.).
  • One hour before serving, have children locate & legally obtain green sticks as large in diameter as their (or your) little finger.
  • Just before serving time: have children WASH THEIR HANDS---this is crucial!
  • At serving time: each child grabs out one handful of meat and presses it around the stick. You must NOT wiggle the stick or the meat will drop off.
  • Carefully wedge the stick over the fire (not the flames!) to roast in the heat -- OR if you have a grill -- lay the sticks on a foil covered grill.
  • Figure about 5-10 minutes for roasting time, turning several times to get all sides nice-n-brown.
  • To eat: hold an opened bun in your left hand, the stick with meat in your right. Lay the meat in the bun, close your left hand/bun, and pull the stick out of the meat. Decorate with pickle eyes and mustard nose and ketchup smile. And now eat. :-).
  • OPTIONAL: Use your own favorite meatloaf recipe (that's what I do); change the seasonings to suit your tastes. Give it a taco spin with some cumin and chili powder. Add some ketchup (not too much to be watery, then the meat won't stick to stick!) or mustard. If the meat is "thin" -- try adding more crackers, to sop up the liquid.
  • MOST OF ALL: have fun telling pioneer stories. Look at the stars, name the constellations. Listen to the birds.