When you’re looking for the perfect comfort food, nothing beats a traditional meatloaf. There are numerous variants to sample, including smoked, baked, and roasted, as well as those prepared from various meats such as beef, pork, chicken, and even lamb. Regardless of the type you choose to explore, you’ll always get pleasing results if you cook meatloaf properly.
The ideal temperature can be a dilemma with meatloaf recipes, so this article will teach you how to get the best results when cooking meatloaf at 400 degrees. Also, take note of the right timing and helpful tips for delicious end products.
Meatloaf Nutrition Facts
Tips for Cooking Meatloaf at 400 Degrees
The following tips have been compiled to answer all your typical questions regarding meatloaf recipes, and to help get the best results when cooking at 400 degrees:
Tips for a moist meatloaf – The finest meatloaf recipes are typically made with lean ground beef varieties, an abundance of binding elements (seasoned breadcrumbs and eggs), as well as a delicious BBQ sauce; these ingredients are important to keep the meatloaf as moist as possible.
If your meatloaf falls apart – This will typically happen in the event that you don’t use enough binding ingredients or don’t press the loaf tightly enough, therefore watch out for this when making your meatloaf recipe.
Why cooking times vary – Cooking times will vary for meatloaf recipes due to a variety of reasons:
- The convection waves produced by gas and electric ovens are distinct in shape.
- The density of all meats varies, and the texture of the meat grinder employed can generate varying outcomes. Allowing the meat to reach room temperature for 30 minutes will help equal the cooking time.
- Dense veggies are sometimes added in meatloaf recipes, and they typically modify the meatloaf’s overall consistency. The finest meatloaf is essentially made by caramelizing or just softening veggies like carrots and onions before combining them with the ground meat, according to most cooks.
Ideal timing at 400 degrees – When a 1 pound meatloaf is cooked at a temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit, ideally it should be done in approximately 40 minutes, but you’ll need to make sure by using a probe thermometer to check its internal temperature, which should be 160 degrees Fahrenheit for beef and pork-based meatloaves, and 165 degrees Fahrenheit for chicken and turkey-based meatloaves. The juiciest and most delicate meatloaf conceivable is what you get when you attain those interior temperatures.
Testing your meatloaf for doneness – A meat probe thermometer is a definite must-have for tons of recipes, meatloaf inclusive. It’s very easy to use this kitchen device; simply insert its probe into your meatloaf and check its interior temperature. This means you’ll get an exact temperature reading throughout the cooking procedure, no guesswork at all, and you also don’t have to open the door of your oven or smoker in a bid to check the meatloaf’s temperature (this will only release heat and cause the oven or smoker to lose some degrees).
There are other ways to check for doneness; you could look out for clear liquids flowing from the meatloaf or gently squeeze the meatloaf to see if it returns to its former structure. You could also slice the meatloaf to check if it’s cooked evenly.
The probe readings are still preferred to other methods because they eliminate the element of guesswork. Also note that once the meatloaf reaches the ideal internal temperature, it begins to lose moisture, and may then turn dry and tough. As such, precision is crucial.
Best internal temperature for cooking meatloaf – Truthfully, meatloaf can be cooked at several different temperatures and you’ll still get desirable results. However, whether you choose to cook your meatloaf at 325 degrees Fahrenheit, 350 degrees Fahrenheit, 375 degrees Fahrenheit, 400 degrees Fahrenheit, or even 500 degrees Fahrenheit, the end goal for your recipe is for the meatloaf to attain an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit at least for beef and pork meatloaf and 165 degrees Fahrenheit for chicken and turkey meatloaf.
Gluten-free varieties – To make a gluten-free meatloaf recipe, simply replace the breadcrumbs with crushed Rice Chex or Corn Chex.
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Cooking Time for Meatloaf at 400 Degrees
Follow the timing guidelines in the table below when cooking meatloaf at 400 degrees:
|Cooking procedure||Cooking time|
|Cooking meatloaf in an oven at 400 degrees||45 to 55 minutes|
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- Set your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and leave it to preheat. Aluminum foil or parchment paper should be used to line a baking sheet in the meantime. In a food processor, pulse the bread until fine crumbs are formed from them. Transfer the breadcrumbs into a small mixing dish and add the milk. Allow for a 10-minute rest period, stirring the mixture occasionally.
- In another large mixing bowl, combine the beef, onion, pork, egg, garlic, ¼ cup of ketchup, 1¼ teaspoons of pepper, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Pour the bread-milk combination into the mixture and stir it gradually using a fork (make sure not to overmix).
- Form the meat mixture into a loaf approximately 9 inches in length and 4 to 5 inches in width; do this on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake the meatloaf for 45 to 55 minutes, brushing twice with the remaining ¼ cup of ketchup during the baking process. Leave the meatloaf in the oven until it registers 160 degrees when checked with an instant-read thermometer.
- Take the meatloaf out of the oven afterward, and allow it to stand for a 10-minute resting period before slicing and serving.
This meatloaf recipe is easy to follow, and you’ll find that it offers really satisfying results. The entire cooking duration lasts for 1 hour and 30 minutes, with a bake time of 55 minutes. For more recipe ideas for cooking meatloaf at 400 degrees, we recommend that you watch this video recipe.