You mention that you don't enjoy metafiction on the level you write at, but that you love it when "used by great writers".
I think the first thing to consider is what you think makes these "great writers" so great. What is it about the way they do metafiction that makes it work so well, where other writers' attempts fall flat for you? This is a very personal thing, I suppose, and requires introspection on your part, but to help you along, here's what I think:
I think all great works of metafiction have three key features in common:
1 - They have some kind of more straighforward (i.e. non-meta) idea at their core which comes - or else is so expertly crafted that it appears to come - from a place of sincere passion and interest on the part of the author.
2 - This idea, or the author's particular angle on it, is best expressed in a self-referential way, wherein the structure of the story takes on aspects of the theme and embodies them. I like to think of this like a hall of mirrors, wherein the narrative self-reference allows the reader to become completely immersed in the ideas (for example, the narrator's obsession in Pale Fire, the themes of painful self awareness and media addiction in Infinite Jest).
3 - Some kind of emotional or thematic progression throughout (as, I think, should be expected of any fiction, and no amount of formal experimentation, stylistic flair or technical brillance can replace it).
Now, of course you don't have to write metafiction of this or any other sort, but I feel like identifying the things that really appeal to you about certain kinds of writing can help you to understand why you're struggling.
I suspect you haven't quite worked out what it is you want your writing to be (or to be about), and you're using the techniques of metafiction as a way to get around that fact. Solve that problem, and the appropriate form will stem naturally from it.