At What Temperature Should You Bake Meatloaf?

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Are you craving a delicious meatloaf for dinner, but you're not sure what temperature to bake it at? Well, you've come to the right place. We've done the research to provide you with everything you need to know about making the perfect meatloaf right here in one place.

Some recipes may call for higher temperatures, or they may ask you to change the temperature while it cooks. But traditionally, you should bake meatloaf at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Now you know the appropriate temperature to cook your meatloaf. But there's more to the process than just the temperature. You may also be wondering what type of pan is best for baking meatloaf? Or whether it should be covered while baking? To learn all about cooking meatloaf, please keep reading.

Homemade ground beef meatloaf with ketchup and bell peppers. Meat loaf on white plate with digital food thermometer, At What Temperature Should You Bake Meatloaf?

Baking Meatloaf

Most meatloaf recipes, like this one, call for a temperature of 350 degrees, but some recipes may request a higher temperature or a temperature change while cooking. Always follow the recommendations for the recipe you're using. Make sure to preheat the oven properly before inserting your meatloaf.

Homemade Ground Beef Meatloaf

Can I Cook Meatloaf in a Glass Pan?

Yes, you can cook meatloaf in a glass pan.  Glass takes longer to heat than metal, so using a glass pan may result in slightly longer cooking times. If you decide to use a glass pan, allow your meatloaf about 5 minutes longer to cook than the recipe would generally call for.

Superior Glass Loaf Pan

These glass loaf pans are perfect for meatloaf, and they have handy lids for storage.

Click here to see these on Amazon.

Can I Cook Meatloaf in a Sheet Pan?

Yes, meatloaf can be cooked on a sheet pan. Depending on the pan, you may need to take extra steps to prevent grease from dripping onto the bottom of the oven. If your sheet pan has a lip around the edge, you shouldn't have any problems with grease dripping.

Pans with a lip allow you to spread your meat mixture evenly across the pan, or you can form it into a loaf shape in the center of the pan. If you have a sheet pan without a lip, you may need to form a loaf-sized boat to set the loaf inside forming a makeshift lip.

Can I Cook Meatloaf in a Cast Iron Skillet?

Yes, you can bake meatloaf in a cast-iron skillet. This makes for a charming presentation that will be sure to impress your dinner guests. Baking your meatloaf in a cast iron skillet is another method that may take a few extra minutes due to how thick these pans are.

How Else To Cook Meatloaf?

There are a ton of different ways to cook meatloaf. You can create mini-loaves with special pans or mold your meatloaf into a custom shape. Don't be afraid to try new things and experiment with fun ideas that your family will love. Any oven-safe dish can be used to cook meatloaf, so you are free to try new presentations and styles to create a cute meal.

Wilton Mini Loaf Pan

This mini meatloaf pan will have everyone's adoration and makes a perfect solution for kids:

 Click here to see this on Amazon.

What Happens if You Put Too Many Eggs in Meatloaf?

Using too many eggs in meatloaf may result in a runny meat mixture that doesn't hold together well. It won't keep its shape, and it may crumble when you cut into it after cooking. The right amount of eggs will keep your meat mixture firm, allowing you to mold and shape it.

Can You Make Meatloaf Without Eggs?

Yes, there are a variety of meatloaf recipes you can find that don't have any eggs, which is great for people with egg allergies. There are also many egg substitute recommendations for meatloaf, like olive oil and mayonnaise. The eggs in the meatloaf act as a binding agent that will hold the meat mixture together and keep it firm and whole.

What Happens If You Put Too Many Breadcrumbs in Meatloaf?

A meatloaf with too many breadcrumbs may seem a little too firm or even crumbly. The raw meat mixture will be difficult to work with and mold into shape. When you cut into the loaf, it will feel a little tough, and when you're eating the loaf, it may seem dense and a little chewy. The taste of breadcrumbs may also be stronger than usual.

Should Meatloaf be Covered With Foil While Baking?

Oven Baked Meatloaf with vegetables.

Most meatloaf recipes do not require covered baking, but some recipes will differ. When using very lean ground meat tenting the meatloaf in aluminum foil will prevent it from drying out too much in the oven. All meatloaf will need to be uncovered for a portion of the bake time if you want a crispy, browned edge. Follow your recipe's instructions for the best results, adjusting accordingly for different meat qualities.

Why Does My Meatloaf Take so Long to Cook?

It would be best if you cook meatloaf until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. The size of the meatloaf will dictate how long you need to bake it. For standard size meatloaves made with one pound of beef, between 45 and 60 minutes is fairly common.

If you are baking it long enough, but the finished product is still rather mushy, try letting it cool longer or adding more breadcrumbs.

How Can I Tell if My Meatloaf is Done?

To determine if your meatloaf is done, check the thickest part of the loaf with a meat thermometer. Once the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, you can remove it from the oven. Alternatively, if you don't have a meat thermometer, you can check by looking at the juices. Check for any red or pink liquids running from the meatloaf when you press on it gently with a spatula. If the juices are clear, the meatloaf is done.

ThermoPro Digital Meat Thermometer

This meat thermometer is a handy tool that will help you keep track of food temperatures in the kitchen, making meals safer.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

Should Meatloaf Rest Before Cutting?

Yes, you should allow your meatloaf to rest at room temperature for at least 10 to 15 minutes before you cut into it. Cutting into your meatloaf while it is still too hot will cause the meatloaf to crumble when you cut it instead of holding its classic slice shape. It will also release the flavorful juices from the meatloaf without giving them time to settle, creating a loss of flavor.

Do You Need to Bake Meatloaf?

Close-up shot of a plate served with meatloaf

No, you don't have to bake meatloaf. There are a couple of different meatloaf cooking methods you can try. There are recipes for slow-cooker meatloaf and even barbecued meatloaf. If you want to try a new cooking method, you can find tons of different recipes for various appliances. Slow cooker meatloaf will be especially tender and juicy, and barbecued meatloaf will have loads of extra flavor.

How to Reheat Meatloaf?

You can reheat your meatloaf in the microwave or the oven. For the microwave, place your slice of meatloaf on a microwave-safe plate and allow it to run for two or three minutes.  In the oven, start by preheating it to 250 degrees, then put the meatloaf in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Reheating your leftovers in the oven will result in a fresher tasting end result than using the microwave.

No More Loafing Around

Now that you know everything you need to about how to cook a great meatloaf, you're ready to get started in the kitchen. With your newfound knowledge, your next meatloaf is sure to blow away your family. Don't forget to use care when working with high temperatures and handling hot food. Have fun cooking, and enjoy your meal!

For more detailed information on how long it takes to cook a meatloaf, read our article "How Long Does It Take To Cook Meatloaf?"

If you need help planning the presentation of your meal and removing it from the pan, read our article "How To Remove Meatloaf From A Loaf Pan"

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