Often asked: how to cook a perfect meatloaf?

Do you cook meatloaf covered or uncovered?

Cover a single large meatloaf with a piece of aluminum foil during cooking to keep it moist, but uncover it for the last 15 minutes of baking. “Meatloaf is highly suited to being either frozen raw for cooking later or cooked and frozen to reheat.” Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

How do I cook meatloaf without drying it out?

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to a temperature of 250°F.
  2. Transfer the meatloaf into an oven-safe baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle over with a tablespoon of water, or for better flavor, beef broth, and cover with some aluminum foil.
  4. Heat for between 25 to 30 minutes until the meatloaf is thoroughly warmed through.

How do you keep meatloaf moist?

Stale bread is an essential ingredient in meatloaf, as it works to bind the meat together. But blending in dry bread will take away some of the moisture from the meat. Follow this tip: For a more moist meatloaf, soak the bread in milk until it becomes thick and mushy before blending the mixture together.

How long should a 2lb meatloaf cook at 350?

How long to cook meatloaf at 350°F? At 350°F a 1 lb meatloaf will take about 35 to 45 minutes for the meatloaf temperature to reach 160°F. A 2 lb meatloaf will take about 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes for the meatloaf temperature to reach 160°F.

Why is my meatloaf mushy?

The main cause is nearly always the wrong ratio of meat to other ingredients. The ratio of meat in a meatloaf is critical to the final texture. The main cause of a mushy meatloaf is too much bread and milk for the amount of meat. To fix the issue, try reducing the amount of bread and milk by half.

Why is my meatloaf greasy?

Meatloaf is notorious for being greasy when cooked in a loaf pan, it basically just sits in its own fat and cooks! … The bread will absorb most of the fat from the meat as it cooks. Discard the bread before serving. You can also try using a disposable foil bread pan with holes punched in the bottom.

What temp should I cook meatloaf?

The oven temperature is typically set at 350 degrees F for making meatloaf. That’s the temperature you want to be sure to use so the meatloaf cooks and doesn’t dry out. Too high, and the outer crust will burn before the interior is cooked all the way, too low and you don’t get that delicious crust.

How can you tell if meatloaf is done?

The most reliable way to get this done is to have an instant-read thermometer on hand. You can simply poke the thermometer into the meatloaf to test its internal temperature. If the meatloaf has reached 160 degrees Fahrenheit, then you’ll know that it’s done.

Why is my meatloaf falling apart?

Why Does Some Meatloaf Fall Apart? … The most common reason as to why your meatloaf may fall apart is that it doesn’t have enough binding agents, like eggs and breadcrumbs. These ingredients are key because they’re what makes the meat mixture stick together and stay together while it cooks.

Should I drain the grease from my meatloaf?

If you bake your meatloaf in a loaf pan, which ensures a moist loaf, consider draining the fat 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time to develop a crisp top. … If you cut into a loaf-pan-baked meatloaf while it is still hot, it will fall apart.

Why do you add milk to meatloaf?

The reason milk is added in meatloaf is that it soaks the bread crumbs which add needed moisture to the meatloaf. If you personally do not want to use milk you can try using low sodium beef stock, chicken stock, water, or a non-dairy milk substitute.

Do you have to cook onions before putting in meatloaf?

I later learned how I could avoid this problem and make a fully smooth meatloaf by pre-cooking any vegetables, especially the onion, before adding them to the ground meat. This way the meatloaf gets the flavor without the rawness — a method from the smart people at Cook’s Illustrated.

How many eggs do you put in a 3 pound meatloaf?

It’s hard to say exactly how many eggs are in a 3-pound meatloaf, but most recipes call for between 2 and 4. That makes the egg-to-ground beef ratio 1:1½ which is perfect if you’re trying to have an even slice of cheesecake with your slabs!

Can meatloaf be cooked at 400 degrees?

Mix beef mixture with hands just until combined. Shape beef mixture into a 9 x 4–inch loaf on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes.

Can I cook meatloaf in a glass pan?

Press mixture in ungreased 8-inch round (1 1/2-quart) glass baking dish. Bake at 350°F. for 65 to 75 minutes or until thoroughly cooked in center and meat thermometer registers 160°F. Let meatloaf stand 5 minutes.

Is it OK for meatloaf to be a little pink?

A ground beef patty or meatloaf cooked to the required temperature of 160 F (71 C) is safe. Yet under certain conditions it may still be pink in color. … Its ultimate color may be affected by the type of beef, its pH and the part of the carcass it comes from.

What happens if you put too much bread crumbs in meatloaf?

A-Meatloaves most often crumble when they contain too many bread crumbs or too few eggs or when they have not cooled partially in the fat-filled loaf pan in which they were baked. …

What is the best binder for meatloaf?

Bread is the most popular meatloaf binder

Bread is one of the best and most popular binders for meatloaf. Probably because we always have lots of stale bread around. Bread works just as well whether it’s fresh, stale or dry. Any break you use should be cut or torn into very small pieces or run through a food processor.

Is it better to cook meatloaf in a loaf pan?

Give the meatloaf space in the pan.

Here’s the thing: baking meatloaf in a loaf pan will result in a meat brick. When choosing a baking pan, avoid a small loaf pan or baking dish. … Instead, use a sheet pan or a large baking dish and leave some breathing room so the edges will caramelize nicely.

How long should meatloaf rest?

You can make meatloaf either in a loaf pan or free-form. Free-form meatloaves have a crust all around, loaf-pan meatloaves have a more “steamed” texture. It’s strictly a matter of preference. Let your meatloaf rest for about 10 minutes after it comes out of the oven, it will hold together better when slicing.

Does covering with foil cook faster?

Does food cook faster if it is wrapped in foil? – Quora. No, the foil actually slows the cooking process, by reflecting rather than absorbing infrared light. The usual purpose for cooking food in foil, such as baked potatoes, is to limit the escape of moisture and to slow the cooling of the food after it is cooked.

How long do you cook a 1 lb meatloaf at 400?

A 1 pound meatloaf cooked at 400 degrees fahrenheit should be done in about 40-minutes but we want to make certain of this by checking the internal temperature with a probe thermometer to ensure that it has reached 160 oF for beef and pork and 165 oF for chicken and turkey meatloaf.

What temperature should you bake?

The oven temperature is usually set constant at 150–300°C (300–570°F), and baking usually takes 5–25 minutes.

How long does it take to cook meatloaf at 325?

Therefore, in a convection oven, you can cook your meatloaf at 325°F and the cooking times will change as follows: Muffin tin meatloaves take from 17 to 30 minutes. Begin checking at 17 minutes. Mini meatloaves (8 to 9 ounces) take from 22 to 34 minutes.

How can you tell if meatloaf is done without a thermometer?

If you don’t have a thermometer, just use a skewer and check the colour of the juices than run out. Stick a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh. If the juices run clear, it’s done. If the juices are a little pink, cook it a little longer and try again.

Can you eat undercooked meatloaf?

Overcooked meat loaf can result in dry texture, leaving you constantly reaching for water. And undercooked meat loaf is downright unsafe.

Why is my ground beef still pink?

Ground beef can be pink inside after it is safely cooked. The pink color can be due to a reaction between the oven heat and myoglobin, which causes a red or pink color. It can also occur when vegetables containing nitrites are cooked along with the meat.

What does egg do in a meatloaf?

Eggs are an ingredient in nearly every meatloaf, and they have two distinct roles. Egg yolks, which are mostly water but contain a good amount of protein and fat, add flavor, richness, and moisture. They also help bind the meat together and get the loaf to set in a stable form without the need to overwork the meat.

What is American meatloaf made of?

It is usually made with ground beef, although ground lamb, pork, veal, venison, poultry, and seafood are also used, sometimes in combination. Vegetarian adaptations of meatloaf may use imitation meat or pulses. The cooked meatloaf can be sliced like a loaf of bread to make individual portions.

What can I use in meatloaf instead of bread?

Crackers. Crushed-up crackers make an excellent bread crumb substitute in baked dishes like meatballs or meatloaf. The crackers work just as well as the bread crumbs to hold the meat mixture together, and using varieties like salty saltines or buttery Ritz is a great way to add an extra burst of flavor to your dish.

What can I put on top of meatloaf instead of ketchup?

Best ketchup substitute

  1. ¼ cup tomato paste.
  2. 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar.
  3. ½ tablespoon honey.
  4. ½ teaspoon kosher salt.
  5. ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika (or sweet paprika)
  6. ¼ teaspoon garlic powder.

What is the ratio of breadcrumbs to meat in meatloaf?

A percentage of 15 to 25 percent breadcrumbs in relation to the meat is common in most of today’s recipes. Especially if you are using leaner meat, you may want to soak your breadcrumbs in a little milk or stock before adding them to the meatloaf.

What happens if you dont add milk to meatloaf?

Milk adds richness and moisture, while the bread helps keep the meatloaf texture softer. So, omitting milk would omit some creaminess and moisture. Those can be easily subbed out by many other ingredients like chicken stock, cream, butter, etc.

Do you have to put an egg in meatloaf?

Sure, you can make meatloaf without eggs – but how? Well, you need an egg substitute that will act as the binding agent in your meatloaf recipe. You see, eggs act as a binder when used in meatloaf – that’s its main purpose, actually.

How do you drain grease from meatloaf?

Simply press the meatloaf into the “poked” pan and place the pan on an ovenproof wire rack that’s nestled in a baking sheet. As the meatloaf bakes, the grease drains out of the holes and prevents the loaf from getting mushy.

How long does it take to cook a 3 pound meatloaf at 375 degrees?

Try to stick to basic guidelines, such as cooking a 3-pound meatloaf at 375°F for 1 hour and 45 minutes at 375 degrees, but a 2 pound takes only one hour. If you overcook it, it will become tough and crumbly.

How long do you cook a 3 lb meatloaf at 350?

A 2 lb meatloaf (recipe below) will cook at 350°F for about 55-65 minutes or at 375°F for 45-55 minutes.

How Long To Cook Meatloaf

  1. Bake a 1lb meatloaf for about 45 minutes total.
  2. Bake a 2lb meatloaf for about 55 minutes total.
  3. Bake a 3 lb meatloaf for about 1 hour 20 minutes.

How long does it take to cook a 4 lb meatloaf at 350 degrees?

If your oven is set to 350 F then a 4-pound meatloaf will take you 2 hours and 40 minutes. Meanwhile cooking you must check your meatloaf temperature while it is still in the oven, and that’s can be done by inserting the thermometer into the center of the loaf.

How long does it take to cook a 4 lb meatloaf at 400 degrees?

BEST MEATLOAF EVER

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease shallow baking pan. … Spread meat with 1/2 cup ketchup. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes.

What is a meatloaf pan?

Meatloaf pans are special baking pans sold for baking meatloaf in. Most have an insert with slats or holes in it that sets in the bottom of the pan. The insert raises the meatloaf above the bottom of the pan, allowing a space for the fat to drain off into below.

Should meatloaf be covered with foil while baking?

Cover a single large meatloaf with a piece of aluminum foil during cooking to keep it moist, but uncover it for the last 15 minutes of baking. “Meatloaf is highly suited to being either frozen raw for cooking later or cooked and frozen to reheat.”

Is glass or metal better for baking?

Because glass is an insulator, rather than a conductor, it’s slow to heat but, once hot, retains that heat for longer. … Because metal heats up faster than glass, it contributes to a better rise and crisper, browner edges.

Can you use a glass pan instead of a metal pan?

Basically, glass transfers more heat than metal, and thus you need to lower your oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit when baking in a glass baking dish. Note that glass pans also take longer to cool down once out of the oven, so be very careful not to overbake items.