If you’re new to the kitchen, meatloaf can seem like a complicated thing. You might not know what ingredients go into it or how long to cook it for. The good news is that it’s actually very easy to make—and there are even some shortcuts you can take if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands! Here’s everything you need to know about making meatloaf and cooking it perfectly every time.
How Long to Bake Meatloaf
You can bake a meatloaf in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the type of meatloaf you are making. For example, if you are using ground beef or pork and adding lots of vegetables, it will take longer than if you were using just ground beef and breadcrumbs as your binder. The best way to tell if your meatloaf is done is by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the center of your loaf; when it reaches 160 degrees F., remove from the oven immediately (before letting cool) so that any residual heat cooks through any undercooked spots on top or sides.
When baking meatloafs at home, some people prefer not to use ketchup because they want their dish to be healthier–but this doesn’t mean they have to give up flavor! You can add other flavorful ingredients like Worcestershire sauce or mustard instead; these both contain vinegar which helps tenderize tough cuts like chuck roast while also providing tangy notes that complement savory dishes like this one perfectly!
Tips for Making Perfect Meatloaf
- Use a meatloaf pan or loaf pan. A regular baking dish will work, but a special-purpose pan will help you shape the loaf and make it easier to serve later on.
- Mix ground beef, pork and veal together with salt and pepper (and garlic powder if you like) in a large bowl until well blended. Add breadcrumbs until mixture holds together when squeezed in your hand–you don’t want it too dry or too wet, so start small with the breadcrumbs and add more if necessary!
- Stir an egg into this mixture until everything is evenly coated before spreading out onto your prepared baking sheet/pan/whatever else you’re using for this dish! Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes; then let cool slightly before slicing into thick slices with a serrated knife.*
How to Tell When Meatloaf is Done
You can tell when meatloaf is done by using a meat thermometer.
- Insert the probe into the center of the loaf and wait for it to read 165 degrees F (74 C).
- Remove from oven and insert a toothpick into the center of a slice; if it comes out clean, you’re good!
Cooking Times for Other Meat Loaves
As with all recipes, cooking times will vary based on the size and shape of your meatloaf. The goal is to cook it thoroughly without becoming dry or tough.
- For a rectangular loaf, bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 C).
- For an oval-shaped loaf, bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees F (175 C).
Your meatloaf should be cooked thoroughly without becoming dry or tough.
- Your meatloaf should be cooked thoroughly without becoming dry or tough.
- Meatloaf is done when the internal temperature reaches 165°F, but cooking times will vary depending on the size of your meatloaf and oven temperature.
We hope this article has given you some insight into how long it takes to cook meatloaf. It can be a daunting task, but with practice and patience, anyone can make a delicious meatloaf.