What process and ingredients go into the finest of meatloaf recipes? What exactly can I do differently to ensure that my meatloaf turns out just great? If these are questions that you’ve ever pondered on in the kitchen, then you’ve come to the right place.
The best meatloaf is typically the one that is flavor-packed, juicy, and delicious on the inside. If this is your goal with meatloaf recipes, simply follow the tips and guidelines outlined for you in this article. Before you know it, you’ll become a pro at whipping up amazing meatloaf.
Meatloaf Nutrition Facts
Tips for Cooking Meatloaf
In most meatloaf recipes, the following tips will not only get you through the cooking process, but they will also ensure that you get really tasty results:
The ingredients you need – Quality ingredients, a well-balanced spice-to-meat ratio, and correct cooking time are the keys to good meatloaf. Using moist ingredients is the key to making moist meatloaf.
While the breadcrumbs are needed to hold the mixture together, eggs, milk, and ketchup contribute to taste and moisture. It’s important to use high-fat meat to avoid a dry, gritty meatloaf. Adding eggs, ketchup, and milk will also help it keep its delicate and moist texture on the interior.
You can use a baking sheet – When making meatloaf, most people use a loaf pan, but a baking sheet will suffice if you don’t have one. Line it with foil and shape it into a loaf before baking to make cleanup easier.
Keep your meatloaf from falling apart – When there isn’t enough to keep the meatloaf together, it breaks apart. It’s held together by eggs and breadcrumbs, and the recipe in this article provides you the appropriate quantities. Cooking time for meatloaf is also vital because it will fall apart if overcooked.
The perfect temperature – The internal temperature of the meatloaf should reach around 160° F if you have a meat thermometer. If you have one, instant-read thermometers are a fantastic alternative.
Freezing meatloaf – You can create a larger quantity of meatloaf than you need and keep the rest frozen until ready to use. Simply form it into a loaf and wrap it tightly. You’ll need to let it defrost in the fridge for 24 hours before cooking it.
Cooked meatloaf can also be frozen. After it has cooled, slice it up and wrap it in freezer paper before putting it in a freezer bag. This is particularly great for those late-night emergencies when you discover you forgot to defrost something. In no time, you’ll have a nutritious and delicious supper!
Reheating cold meatloaf – Your meatloaf can be reheated in the microwave, but it will taste stale and be dried out. You may also cook it in a skillet, but the oven is the best option. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and place the meatloaf in a loaf pan or baking dish with just a splash of beef stock, water, or gravy. 1 tablespoonful should suffice. When it’s thoroughly heated through, cover it with foil and heat it again for 20 to 25 minutes.
Serving suggestions – Naturally, traditional meatloaf cannot (and should not) be served by itself. To complete the meal, some sides are required. Without mashed potatoes, no Southern meatloaf recipe is complete. Sautéed garlic broccoli, creamed spinach, or even slow-cooked roasted garlic potatoes are all great side dishes that go well with meatloaf.
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Cooking Time for Meatloaf
Cooking times for meatloaf recipes typically differ based on the size of the loaf. 350°F is the typical cooking temperature for meatloaf, and 35 to 45 minutes per pound of meatloaf at 350°F is a good rule to follow. Using a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of your meatloaf is the easiest method to avoid overcooking or undercooking. The interior temperature of a meatloaf should be 160°F.
Generally, the guidelines in the table below should help you get the right results when cooking meatloaf:
|Cooking temperature||Meatloaf size||Cooking time (time taken to reach 160°F)|
|350°F||1 pound meatloaf||35 to 45 minutes|
|2-pound meatloaf||1 hour and 20 minutes|
|3-pound meatloaf||1 ½ to 2 hours|
|375°F||1 pound meatloaf||25 to 30 minutes|
|2-pound meatloaf||40 to 50 minutes|
|3-pound meatloaf||1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes|
- 2 lbs of ground beef (90% lean)
- 1 large white onion (diced)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons of garlic cloves (minced)
- 4 tablespoons of ketchup
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tablespoons of fresh parsley (finely chopped)
- ¾ cup of panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup of milk
- 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper
For the Meatloaf Sauce:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Set aside a loaf pan sprayed with nonstick spray.
- Ground beef, onion, eggs, garlic, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, breadcrumbs, milk, Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper should all be combined in a large mixing basin. Mix until everything is well blended.
- Place the meatloaf mixture in the loaf pan that has been prepared. Preheat the oven to 375°F and bake for 40 minutes.
- Begin to make the meatloaf sauce. Combine ketchup, white vinegar, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper in a small mixing bowl. Whisk until all of the ingredients are thoroughly blended. When the meatloaf has 15 minutes remaining to bake, brush it with the meatloaf glaze.
- Allow 5 minutes for the meatloaf to rest. Enjoy with fresh parsley on top.
This recipe for meatloaf delivers great-tasting results, coming out juicy and entirely flavor-packed. The entire cooking duration for this recipe is 1 hour 10 minutes, including a prep time of 20 minutes and a cook time of 55 minutes. If you need more meatloaf recipe ideas, then you should check out this video recipe.