What Temperature To Cook Meatloaf? Find Out

Last Updated on June 8, 2022 by

What Temperature To Cook Meatloaf? Meatloaf is a classic family dish that people have been cooking for a long time. Meatloaf is perfect for feeding a crowd. It’s also one of those dishes that gets a bad rap for being unhealthy, but it doesn’t have to be. Meatloaf can be enjoyed in moderation, so long as you use lean beef and skip the fatty condiments. Meatloaf is many people’s favorite, but it can be tricky to make.

The best temperature to cook meatloaf is in an oven set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You also want to make sure that the meatloaf is not too thick, or it will take longer to cook. If you are making your meatloaf, you may want to add vegetables such as carrots and celery. This will give you a healthy alternative to store-bought meatloaf and allow you to control what goes into your dish.

Another option is to bake it in a skillet over medium heat until browned on top and cooked through inside, which takes roughly 10 minutes per side, depending on how thick your loaf is. If you choose this method, make sure that you use a nonstick pan not to burn anything.

The Origin of Meatloaf

Meatloaf is a dish of ground meat, usually beef, but also pork and sometimes veal. It is generally shaped in a loaf and cooked in an oven or stovetop. Meatloaf is often served with ketchup or gravy.

Meatloaf was first made in the United States during the Great Depression. The earliest recipes dated back to the 1800s and were often made with ground meat and bread crumbs. Early recipes called for raw eggs, which caused illness if they weren’t cooked thoroughly enough before eating. Later recipes replaced raw eggs with cooked ones and added vegetables like onions and carrots for flavor.

In the 1940s, meatloaf became popular as it could be prepared quickly using canned ingredients that were readily available during rationing in World War II (1939-1945). A recipe for meatloaf using canned vegetables was included in Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cook Book from 1943.

There are other names for meatloaf, and they are;

  • Meatball: Meatballs can be made from meat; beef, pork, lamb, or chicken and are usually served as an appetizer (though they could also be used in place of meatballs in spaghetti sauce). Meatballs are generally more giant than meatloaf patties (or “burgers”), thicker, and rounder.
  • Casserole: A casserole is a layered dish that combines several different ingredients into one dish, often including potatoes, rice, or pasta. 
  • Meatball loaf: This variation of meatloaf uses more petite balls of ground beef instead of one large loaf. Meatball loaf is often baked in muffin tins, making it easier to serve and eat
  • Meatball pizza loaf: This version combines two popular party foods: pizza and meatballs, into one delicious dish. You can top this loaf with whatever sauce you like and serve it alongside your favorite pizza toppings.

What to Know Before Preparing Meatloaf

Meatloaf is a simple, straightforward dish that can be made with almost any kind of ground meat and various flavors. Meatloaf recipes vary widely and are often based on a family tradition, so there’s no wrong way to make it. However, these basic guidelines will help you make the best meatloaf possible every time.

Use Good Ingredients

The quality of your meat will have an impact on the flavor of your meatloaf, so try to use fresh ground beef from a reputable butcher shop or supermarket. If you’re using ground chicken or turkey, opt for organic varieties.

They tend to have better flavor than their traditional counterparts. If you’re using lean beef or pork, add fatback or bacon so that you don’t end up with dried-out loaves instead of juicy ones.

Don’t Overmix

Try not to mix your ingredients too much. If possible, keep mixing down to just once through the entire process, as this can lead to stricter loaves with less moisture. You may consider using an electric mixer rather than hand-mixing everything together.

Go Easy On The Fat And Calories.

Ground beef is naturally high in fat and calories because it comes from the meat near the bottom of the cow’s body, where there’s more marbling (fatty tissue). The good news is that you can reduce the fat content by draining excess grease before cooking. If you like your meatloaf moist, trim off any visible fat before cooking and drain away some of the liquid after baking or broiling. 

Choose Whole-grain Breadcrumbs

Instead of white breadcrumbs for more fiber, vitamins, and minerals each bite. Whole-grain breadcrumbs are made from whole wheat or whole grain flour rather than refined white flour which strips out most of its nutrients.

Why Eat Meatloaf

Meatloaf is comfort food. It’s warm and filling, and it evokes memories of childhood dinners. But why eat meatloaf?

  • It’s nutritionally dense: Meatloaf is made with ground beef, an excellent source of protein and iron. The egg in this recipe also adds some protein and nutrients.
  • It’s inexpensive: Ground beef is one of the cheapest cuts of meat. The other ingredients are budget-friendly, mainly if you use ground turkey instead of beef or add extra vegetables to bulk up the dish.
  • It’s easy to make: This recipe comes together quickly and easily, so it’s perfect for busy weeknights when you want something comforting but don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen.
  • It freezes well: Leftovers can be stored in the freezer for up to three months, so there’s no need to worry about leftovers going bad before you get around to eating them again.

What Temperature to Cook Meatloaf

Unless you have something peculiar in mind, the best temperature for meatloaf is 350-375 F (176-190 C). I find that 375 F is ideal if I’m cooking it raw, and 350 F is ideal if I’m baking one that’s already been cooked (say, the leftover of a ground turkey or veggie loaf). If you’re cooking it in a loaf pan, you won’t even need a thermometer. Just look for the juices to start bubbling for a rare to medium-rare loaf. And remember to factor in whether it will be served hot or cold.

This temperature will give you an excellent, tender meatloaf that is juicy and delicious. As you can see, there’s no right or wrong way to cook meatloaf. The important thing is that you enjoy it when you eat it.


Q: Why is meatloaf so famous?

A: Meatloaf is one of the most popular comfort foods in America. It’s easy to make, inexpensive, and delicious. It can be made with ground beef or ground turkey and other types of meat, such as pork and veal. Meatloaves are great for dinner parties or potlucks because they feed a crowd without much fuss. And like many other casseroles, they can be assembled ahead of time and baked just before serving.

Q: What’s The Best Way To Cook Meatloaf?

A: Most people cook meatloaf in an oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 Celsius) for about an hour. If you want your meatloaf to be extra moist, cover it with foil while baking (preventing it from drying out). You can also use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your loaf — when it reaches 160 F (71 C), it’s done cooking.

Q: What Goes Well With Meatloaf?

A: Meatloaves go well with mashed potatoes, buttered noodles, or cooked rice — or any starch that you like! You can also serve them with a green vegetable like broccoli or green beans for added color and nutrition.

Q: What’s The Difference Between Ground Beef And Ground Turkey?

A: Ground beef doesn’t have much flavor, so adding spices and other ingredients will taste like your meatloaf. Ground turkey contains more water than meat and can be more expensive than beef because it’s generally leaner — both factors that affect how well it browns in a pan.

Q: Is there any way to make meatloaf healthier?

A: Yes! You can replace part of the ground beef with ground turkey breast or ground chicken breast for less fat content and fewer calories per serving. You can also substitute breadcrumbs for some of the bread cubes if you want extra fiber — but be sure not to overdo it because too much bread will affect the taste of the meatloaf.

Conclusion on What Temperature To Cook Meatloaf?

I hope this information is helpful to you. Cooking meatloaf is a lot like life; you have different techniques for the best result. These suggested temperatures are the perfect starting point for your meatloaf but don’t be afraid to experiment.

Some factors, such as the desired doneness, the size of your braising pan, and your personal preference, may affect your ideal cooking temperatures. But, if you stick to these parameters, you’re sure to produce a tender and delicious meatloaf. So grab your oven mitts; it’s time to get cooking.

When in doubt, the rule of thumb is first to use a meat thermometer to check the temperature and then use your best guess. If you want it done well-done and use ground beef, cook for about an hour, then take its internal temperature. There is also an easy trick to tell if your meatloaf is ready; if the top is browned and crispy, it’s done.