This article will tell you exactly how long to bake meatloaf at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. So, you can make the best meatloaf every single time.
In a 350-degree oven, a 1-pound meatloaf takes around 30-45 minutes. But there are some other factors to consider.
I’m a firm believer everyone should know cooking basics. And for many families, meatloaf is a staple. So, it’s important to know how long to bake it for safe consumption.
Here’s how long to bake meatloaf at 350 for a safe-to-eat, juicy, tasty meatloaf. #iwoulddoanythingformeatloaf
How Long to Bake Meatloaf at 350
How long you bake your meatloaf depends on a few things. This includes the amount and type of meat you’re using, your oven, and your altitude.
But on average, it takes about 35-45 minutes per pound of meat.
1 pound of meat: 35-45 minutes.
2 pounds of meat: 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
3 pounds of meat: 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
The featured recipe uses 2 pounds of beef.
Meatloaf is one of the most deliciously comforting meals out there.
It has gotten a bit of bad rap over the years. But I think those people just haven’t had good meatloaf.
How Long to Bake Meatloaf at 350 in an Air Fryer
Did you know you can make meatloaf in the air fryer? You gotta love living in this day and age! The air fryer definitely speeds up the cooking process.
Make sure that your loaf pan fits in your air fryer. Or you’ll have to make a smaller meatloaf.
- A 1-pound meatloaf will be ready in about 25 minutes. You can make small meatloaves if that’s too big for your air fryer.
- A mini meatloaf will only take about 15 minutes.
Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and follow your meatloaf recipe as directed.
How Long to Bake Frozen Meatloaf at 350
Conveniently, you can bake meatloaf from frozen. This makes meatloaf ideal for meal prepping.
- A 1-pound meatloaf will take at least 1 hour to cook. You’ll want to rotate it every 15-20 minutes to ensure even cooking.
It will be ready when it’s warmed through, with an internal temp of 160-165 Fahrenheit.
How to Bake Meatloaf Faster in the Oven
If you’re strapped for time, try the air fryer or pressure cooker. But the oven is still the most ideal way to make meatloaf. Here’s how to speed up that process.
- Make a smaller loaf or multiple small loves. If there’s less to cook in each pan, it’ll go faster overall.
- You could even make mini meatloaves in a cupcake tin!
- Prepare the meatloaf in advance. So, all you have to do is bake it. Meatloaf is a fantastic meal prep dinner idea.
- Use a meatloaf pan. This has a specific design that lets the liquids drain from the meat. Meatloaf often cooks a little faster in one of these.
While these tips won’t drastically change your cook time, they help.
What Temperature Should Meatloaf Be Cooked To?
This depends on the type of meat you’re using in your meatloaf. Reaching the safe-to-eat internal temperature of your meat is vital. You don’t want to get sick.
Below are the USDA recommended temperatures for safely eating ground meats. You can use a meat thermometer to check.
- Ground Beef, Lamb, Venison, Veal, and Pork– 160 degrees Fahrenheit
- Ground Poultry– 165 degrees Fahrenheit
- A Mixture of Ground Meats– For any meat mixture, cook it until the highest safe temperature is reached.
How to Tell If Meatloaf Is Done
The best way to tell if your meatloaf is done is to check its temperature.
Stick a meat thermometer directly into the center of the meatloaf. It’s done once it has reached the safe internal temperature for the meat you used.
If you don’t have a meat thermometer, no worries! You can check a few other ways.
- Finger Test– Gently poke the thickest part of the loaf. It should be firm to the touch and spring back to its place.
- If the texture is soft and your finger leaves a dent- keep cooking.
- Fork Test– Insert a metal fork into the thickest part of the meatloaf. If it slides in with no resistance, you’re ready to eat!
Is It Better To Cook Meatloaf Covered or Uncovered?
This question is definitely up for debate. There are die-hard foil fans out there… and those that can’t be bothered.
For me, I say it depends on your recipe.
The point of covering your meatloaf is to keep its moisture. And in meatloaf, moisture is KING. That’s not debated.
However, some recipes have plenty of built-in moisture… and covering them will make soggy meatloaf. The featured recipe is one such example.
It has plenty of wet ingredients. Covering it will yield a goopy, sloppy meatloaf. And that’s not great.
But if your preferred recipe is a little drier, I say cover your loaf. You’ll have to remove it anyway to add the glaze. Let it cook uncovered once you’ve smothered it on the meatloaf.
How to Keep Meatloaf From Falling Apart
There are two main reasons your meatloaf may fall apart. And knowing these reasons will help you prevent your meatloaf from being sad and broken.
- One is you didn’t have enough binding agents… things like eggs and breadcrumbs. You can adjust per your preferences.
- Start with this good rule of thumb:
- For every 1 1/2 pounds of meat, use 1 cup of binder. Well, dry binder, anyway. And then use 1 or 2 eggs.
- Start with this good rule of thumb:
- The other reason could be that you cooked it for too long. Start checking your meatloaf about 10 minutes earlier than the recipe suggests.
Tips for the Perfect Meatloaf
- Don’t skip the wet ingredients. Moisture is the key to delicious meatloaf.
- Use a mix of meats for extra flavor!
- Add veggies! Not only will veggies add more nutritional content, but they add moisture, too. Personally, I love adding finely chopped mushrooms.
- Add fun things like cheese, bacon, or a binder like panko… or cornflakes! Meatloaf doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, it should NOT be boring.
- Raid your cupboard and see what looks good.
- Spice it up with extra seasonings! I always add garlic powder and salt to a recipe for a flavor boost. Paprika and fresh herbs are great, too!
- You could also add your favorite hot sauce, ranch, or mustard.
- Be careful not to overmix the meat mixture. Only mix until the ingredients have just come together. Otherwise, it’ll be too dense.
- Use a bigger pan so your meatloaf doesn’t touch the sides. This extra room lets the meatloaf cook more evenly. And then the edges can get crispy and delicious.
- Make your meatloaf mixture a day or two early. This allows all the flavors to mingle, and the meatloaf will taste even better! Plus, it saves you some time on the day you cook.
- No loaf pan? No problem. You can use a baking tray, a muffin, or any other baking dish.
Storing, Freezing, and Reheating Meatloaf
Store leftovers in plastic wrap or an airtight container in the fridge. These will last for up to 4 days.
You can cut extra meatloaf into individual portion sizes for easy reheating!
Meatloaf also freezes well. Let the cooked meatloaf come to room temperature. Then, wrap it in freezer paper and plastic wrap.
Finish it with foil and freeze. You can do this for individual servings as well.
You can also freeze the meat mixture before cooking. Prepare your meat mixture and add it to your loaf pan. Wrap it with at least 2 layers of plastic wrap and 1 layer of foil.
Either way, frozen meatloaf will last for up to 3 months.
You can reheat meatloaf in 3 ways. Let cooked meatloaf that was frozen thaw before reheating.
- Microwave– Place a damp paper towel over the meatloaf and heat in 30-second intervals until warm.
- Oven– Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Add your meatloaf to a shallow baking dish. Drizzle beef broth over the meatloaf.
- Bake until warmed through.
- Skillet– Add oil to your skillet and the meatloaf until warm, flipping once. Cover the skillet to keep the moisture locked in.
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