Are you wondering how long to bake meatloaf? It would help if you considered several factors, including the temperature, the resting time, and whether or not to cover it.
In addition to these variables, you should consider freezing meatloaf after baking. This way, you can enjoy it at a later date. If you want to make it ahead of time, you can even freeze it before baking.
Resting time for meatloaf
It’s common for meatloaf to turn into mush, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Instead, meatloaf needs a good resting time to allow the meat to settle and its juices to be more evenly distributed throughout. Besides keeping the meatloaf moist, resting time will also prevent the meatloaf from falling apart when sliced.
Traditionally, meatloaf is made from beef, veal, or pork. Bread is used as the binding agent, often soaked in milk. Other ingredients can be added for flavorings, such as onions, celery, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. These aromatic ingredients add an authentic home-cooked taste to your meatloaf. You can also use seasoning blends to add a little extra flavor.
A one-pound meatloaf should take approximately one hour and 15 minutes to bake at 300 degrees. When serving, allow the loaf to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. The resting time will ensure meatloaf that won’t fall apart.
Making a large loaf can adjust the baking time to two hours at 300 degrees. However, if you’re cooking a smaller meatloaf, the resting time will be reduced to half an hour.
While cooking meatloaf, please leave it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving it. This resting time allows the meat to redistribute its juices and stabilize the temperature.
While resting, the meat’s temperature will rise around 10 degrees. So, if the meat was cooked at 160 degrees Fahrenheit, it will likely rise to about 170 degrees, or 77 degC after resting.
A meatloaf is easily overcooked, if left too long in the oven, parts of it can burn. This is not sanitary, so make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before you try to poke the meatloaf. If it is still firm after resting, it needs more cooking time meatloaf. For more information, visit Cook’s Illustrated. So, what is the resting time for meatloaf?
Meatloaf recipes vary widely in ingredients, cooking method, and oven temperature. Twenty-three authors bake their meatloaf at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and five authors cook theirs at 400 degrees.
This is a general rule for meatloaf baking, as it’s a deep dish that takes a long time to cook. However, if you’re cooking meatloaf for the first time, you might want to increase the resting time to ensure a moist loaf.
The resting time for meatloaf should be around 10 minutes, if possible. It’s not a good idea to cut the meatloaf immediately, as it may fall apart, so the resting time helps the meat meld with its juices. Plus, if you prepare a large meatloaf, you’ll want to leave it in the oven until it has rested for at least 10 minutes.
What Temperature to Bake Meatloaf
The correct baking temperature for meatloaf is 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The bake time for meatloaf will vary depending on the size of the loaf, but as a general rule, allow 35 to 45 minutes per pound of meat.
It should take twenty to thirty minutes to cook for more miniature-sized meatloaves, such as those used for muffin tins. For meatloaves weighing two pounds, the bake time meatloaf will range from 55 minutes to an hour and ten minutes.
When cooking meatloaf, it is essential to note that milk limits the cooking temperature. Lower than 212 degrees Fahrenheit, the meat will become tough.
This is because the meat and vegetables in meatloaf contain a lot of water. I made three batches of meatloaf using milk, which was equally challenging. This means that milk isn’t necessary to tenderize meatloaf.
Before cooking your meatloaf, season the meat thoroughly. If you want a flavorful crust, you can add some onions and celery to it. Also, don’t forget to season the meatloaf well with garlic and Worcestershire sauce.
These aromatics will give it a flavor that will make it taste home-cooked. If you don’t like onion or celery, you can use ground pepper and salt to add flavor to your loaf.
Check the internal temperature of your meatloaf before you slice it. Check the temperature by using a fork to test it. It should be warm to the touch but not dry. If it isn’t, return it to the oven to finish cooking.
If it’s still too soft, you can use a meat thermometer. There is no need to overmix this meatloaf, as it will be challenging if you don’t measure the internal temperature.
You can also bake a meatloaf on a sheet pan. Choose a baking sheet that has a lip around the edge. This will prevent grease from dripping off the pan during the cooking process.
This technique will give you a crisp crust on the top. It’s important to note that different meat types and temperatures have different baking temperatures. So, experiment and find out what suits your needs and your family best!
If you want to prepare your meatloaf ahead of time, you can freeze it in individual slices. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to three months. Then, take out a loaf when ready to serve them.
It’ll keep well in the freezer, and reheating it for serving is easy and delicious! If you have leftovers, you can thaw them in the microwave or reheat them in the oven before baking.
The perfect meatloaf is moist, not soggy or greasy. It should hold together in slices without crumbling. It should be slightly crusted on the outside and hold together when cut.
The perfect meatloaf should be flavorful and moist with a subtle hint of vegetables. This meatloaf will fit together in slices and reheat well for sandwiches. If you want your meatloaf to be ready quickly, you can heat it in the microwave.
Don’t miss this articles: What Temperature Should Chicken Be Cooked At?
Do You Cover Meatloaf When Baking
Bake meatloaf covered or uncovered? There are a few advantages to both methods. It is first, covering the meatloaf while baking allows the interior to cook more slowly, preventing the exterior from drying out.
When deciding between these two options, use parchment paper or foil instead of wax paper. If you choose to use wax paper, it may stick to the meatloaf and pull off the pan. Using a metal pan will help prevent this problem.
One of the best ways to judge when the meatloaf is done is to use an instant-read meat thermometer. When the meatloaf reaches 160F, it is ready to serve.
Covering it with foil will make the interior moist and create a golden crust. However, covering it may result in the loaf being undercooked or overcooked. As long as you check the temperature regularly, you should be good.
Another benefit to covering the meatloaf when baking is that it keeps the meat moist, so it’s less likely to dry out. While uncovered meatloaf may be cooked more quickly, it may take longer to finish cooking. To avoid this problem, you should follow the instructions of the recipe. You’ll want the meatloaf to be moist and tender on the outside.
Another advantage to covering the meatloaf when baking is that the bread acts as a binding agent for the meat. If the bread is dry, it will dry out the meatloaf, so make sure to soak it in milk before using it. While it’s best to cover the meatloaf for baking, exposing it for the final 15 minutes is also essential.
If you’re worried about overcooking your meatloaf, you can always cover it with aluminum foil. The cover will keep the meatloaf moist and prevent the juices from dripping. It will also help the meatloaf to cook more evenly.
Moreover, aluminum foil allows for better air circulation and contains a crispy exterior. Aside from keeping the meatloaf moist, it will also protect your oven from grease splatters.
When baking meatloaf, make sure to mix it well. Avoid overmixing the mixture. Overmixing the meat will cause it to be dense and springy. Instead, pre-mix the binding ingredients and flavorings together.
Light mixing will make the meatloaf moist without compromising its flavor or texture. While combining the meat with breadcrumbs, make sure you use light hand-mixing. You can also soak the breadcrumbs in milk or stock to add more moisture.
While cooking meatloaf, keep it covered during the last fifteen minutes. This will help it retain its moisture and make it easier to slice.
When cooked properly, the meatloaf should reach a safe internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re worried about undercooking your meatloaf, you can use an instant-read thermometer to check it.
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