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Meatloaf might be the simple, beloved centerpiece of the family meal on some nights. Sometimes it’s a dry and crumbly supper disaster that no one wants seconds of.

Even for food as simple and straightforward as meatloaf, there are numerous ways to go wrong. This simple guide will show you how to make a deliciously moist meatloaf regardless of the circumstances. Discover the perfect internal temperature for meatloaf, then learn how to keep it from drying out in the oven.

If you follow this tried-and-true tip, you’ll always end up with a delicious meatloaf. Let’s see what temp is meatloaf done!

So, What Is Meatloaf?

 What Is Meatloaf? - Best Meatloaf Temp to Have Nice Dish
What Is Meatloaf? – Best Meatloaf Temp to Have Nice Dish

Meatloaf is a dish made of ground meat mixed with other ingredients and formed into a loaf for baking or smoking. Traditional meatloaf is cooked with ground beef, but it can also be made with pork, turkey, lamb, shellfish, or venison. For serving, meatloaf is often divided into individual servings. The key, though, is determining when the meatloaf is done.

The Basic Meatloaf Recipe

The Basic Meatloaf Recipe - Just 3-ingredient meatloaf
The Basic Meatloaf Recipe – Just 3-ingredient meatloaf

When preparing meatloaf, you’ll want to make sure the meat-to-oatmeal-to-milk ratio is just correct. If the ratio is off, you can end up with too watery or too dry meatloaf.  

The Meat

Meatloaf is generally made using ground beef. A decent 80/20 beef, such as Ground Chuck, is an ideal ingredient.

The Glaze

Some individuals like to top their meatloaf with a glaze. The glaze might be ketchup, barbecue sauce, or a handmade mixture of the two. Alternatively, you may decide to create your meatloaf without a glaze, as we do. In any case, if you use a glaze for your meatloaf, we recommend applying it during the last 15 minutes of cooking time so it does not burn before the meatloaf is done.

The Veggies

If you wish to include veggies like onions, carrots, and celery in your meatloaf, thinly slice them first and sauté them before mixing them into the loaf mixture. This ensures that they are done and do not add any extra crunch to your dish.

Nota bene: Making meatloaf can become a beautiful custom to share with people who gather around your table. Meatloaf brings back memories for our family, and it will continue to do so because of the people we’ve shared it with over the years. We hope it will be the same for you.

What Temp is Meatloaf Done?

What Temp is Meatloaf Done? Here is best Temp Cooked Meatloaf
What Temp is Meatloaf Done? Here is best Temp Cooked Meatloaf

The following are some suggestions for determining when meatloaf is done. As with anything, you may discover that some approaches work better than others for you. others, and that you have more tools for some methods than others. That’s perfectly fine. Choose the strategy that has proven to be the most effective for you and stick with it.

Use An Instant-Read Thermometer

We believe that using an instant-read meat thermometer is the most straightforward way to determine when meatloaf is done. When the meatloaf internal temp achieves 155F degrees in the thickest area, it is ready to be pulled from the oven.

Without An Instant-Read Thermometer

If you don’t have an instant-read food thermometer, here are some alternatives for determining whether your meatloaf is done. Again, these are options, but we believe that using an instant-read thermometer in conjunction with adhering to your recipe’s cook time and meatloaf temp requirements is the greatest combo for success.

Use A Fork

In the thickest portion of the meatloaf, insert the fork until it touches the center. If the fork readily slides into the meatloaf, it means it’s ready. Touch the fork to see whether it’s warm once you pull it out. If the fork is cold, the meatloaf is not done. Revert back the loaf to the oven to finish cooking.

Use Your Finger

What temp is meatload done: Use Your Finger
What temp is meatload done: Use Your Finger

You should start by thoroughly washing your hands. No, we don’t recommend sticking your finger within the meatloaf with your naked hand. That would be risky, and it would detract from the dish’s aesthetic. Instead, you should slightly touch the surface of the meatloaf. If the meat is firm, it is almost certainly done. But if it’s still spongy, it’s almost certainly not done. Return the bread to the oven to complete cooking.

Use A Metal Cake Tester

A metal cake tester is roughly equivalent to an instant-read thermometer. It is a similar gadget, but it is designed exclusively for sweets and sweet foods.

Follow Your Recipe And Instinct

Our best advice for determining when meatloaf is done is to completely follow the recipe directions. This way, you will have to test the internal temperature of your meatloaf. Recipes are a nice solid guide for getting things done.

What is the internal temperature of turkey meatloaf?

What is the internal temperature of turkey meatloaf? - Meatloaf Internal Temp
What is the internal temperature of turkey meatloaf? – Meatloaf Internal Temp

If you use ground poultry instead of ground beef, increase the temperature by five degrees. Ground chicken and ground turkey must be cooked to 165°F (74°C).

As a result, if you use ground turkey or ground chicken in your homemade meatloaf recipes, aim for an internal meatloaf temperature of 165°F (74°C) instead of 160°F (71°C).

Why is it necessary to check the internal temperature?

Why is it necessary to check the internal temperature? Why is it necessary to check the internal temperature? Need internal temp of meatloaf is so essential to make nice dish
Why is it necessary to check the internal temperature? Why is it necessary to check the internal temperature? Need internal temp of meatloaf is so essential to make nice dish

The interior temperature, as previously stated, is utilized to prevent the spread of food-borne infections. Most formulas take this into account and design cooking times and temperatures to reach these minimum temperatures.

However, a number of factors can have an impact on a recipe. Everything from your oven to where you live can influence how your meatloaf cooks.

Furthermore, when it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F (or 165 °F). As a result, keep these variables in mind and utilize a meat thermometer to test for doneness.

What temp to Cook Meatloaf at?

What temp to Cook Meatloaf at? - temp to cook meatloaf
What temp to Cook Meatloaf at? – temp to cook meatloaf

Most meatloaf recipes recommend cooking it at 350°F (175°C). This is the ideal temp to cook meatloaf for a moist and evenly cooked one.

While most recipes ask for the exact average cooking temperature, the time it takes to cook the meatloaf varies. It can even vary from what the recipe asks for.

What factors influence the cooking time of meatloaf?

What factors influence the cooking time of meatloaf? - All think you need to make best meatloaf
What factors influence the cooking time of meatloaf? – All think you need to make best meatloaf

While it may appear that 350°F (175°C) is a universal oven temperature, this is not necessarily the case. If you’re following a recipe from 20 years ago, the oven was used to figure out how long to cook the meatloaf at 350°F (175°C) might have been less powerful than the one you have.

Furthermore, it may have been hotter. As a result, the cooking time for the meatloaf in your oven might vary to obtain the correct doneness.

Aside from the oven, where you reside can influence cooking time. Higher-elevation kitchens may require longer cooking periods. As a result, if the recipe you’re using was designed with a cooking time depending on sea-level elevation and you reside in the Rocky Mountains, you might have to cook for longer to attain the correct internal temperature.

The ingredients you use might also affect how long the meatloaf requires to cook. If you follow an easy recipe that only calls for ground beef but choose to spice it up with a pork and ground beef blend, the cooking time may vary.

Furthermore, if you want to go low-fat and replace the ground beef in your favorite meatloaf ingredients with ground turkey, the time duration might change.

Tips for making a tender and moist meatloaf

Tips for making a tender and moist meatloaf - Oven temp for Meatloaf you need
Tips for making a tender and moist meatloaf – Oven temp for Meatloaf you need
  • The meat-to-fat ratio is important: During cooking, the fat liquefies, resulting in a tender, moist, and flavorful meatloaf. If the ground meat becomes less fatty, you’ll need to compensate by adding more liquids to keep the meatloaf moist.
  • Flavor twist: Rather than just using water, try adding maple syrup, soy sauce, or steak sauce. This will intensify the flavors according to your preferences.
  • Saute the vegetables: When the chopped vegetables are sautéed before being mixed, they release moisture and improve the deep flavors when baked inside the meatloaf.
  • Don’t over-mix: While shaping, lightly press the ingredients with your hands to help them keep their shape and avoid becoming too dense. A loaf that has been too compressed will be tough.
  • Soak the breadcrumbs in broth to keep them from absorbing all of the moisture from the vegetables and meat.
  • Covering the meatloaf: To keep the meatloaf moist, bake it wrapped in foil. For a beautiful crust, uncover the meatloaf during the final 20 minutes of cooking.

How Long Should I Leave Meatloaf to Rest After Baking?

How Long Should I Leave Meatloaf to Rest After Baking? This is the ideal temp to cook meatloaf
How Long Should I Leave Meatloaf to Rest After Baking? This is the ideal temp to cook meatloaf

Pull the meatloaf from the oven after it has achieved these internal temperatures. Turn off the oven and wrap the meatloaf in aluminum foil. Instead of using a tight covering, make a tent with the foil over the meatloaf. This keeps the heat in and prevents it from drying out.

Allow the meatloaf to rest for 10 minutes. It will continue to heat up internally while resting.

This is because of ‘carryover cooking’. The meat will continue to cook for around 5 degrees after being removed from the heat.

As a result, when you come to eat your meatloaf, it will be at the desired 160 °F (or 165 °F). If you’re unsure how long you should leave your meatloaf to rest, merely insert the thermometer again to see when it hits the final internal temp of the meatloaf.

What is the finest side dish to accompany meatloaf?

What is the finest side dish to accompany meatloaf? - Eat with light sides
What is the finest side dish to accompany meatloaf? – Eat with light sides

Because this classic meatloaf is a substantial dish, it requires light sides like:

  • Salads toss: Favorite salads include carrot salads, potato salads, and cucumber salads.
  • Bread, freshly baked: The most typical meatloaf sides include biscuits, sourdough bread, corn muffins, and bread rolls with sauce.
  • Vegetables roasted: Roasted asparagus and butternut squash, carrots, or roasted mushrooms are all good options.

What Temp is Meatloaf Done – FAQs

Here are some often-asked questions about determining when meatloaf is done. We hope you find these useful.

How long to cook meatloaf at 350?

At 350°F, a 1-pound meatloaf will need between 35 and 45 minutes to attain a temperature of 160°F. A 2-pound meatloaf will take approximately 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes to achieve 160°F. A 3-pound meatloaf will take approximately 1 hour and a half to 2 hours to achieve 160°F.

How long to cook meatloaf at 375?

 

At 375°F, a 1-pound meatloaf will take roughly 25 to 30 minutes before it reaches 160°F. It will need about forty to fifty minutes for a 2-pound meatloaf to reach 160°F. A 3-pound meatloaf will take roughly 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes to achieve 160°F.

How long to cook a 2lb meatloaf?

Bake a 1-pound meatloaf for 45 minutes in total.

Bake a 2-pound meatloaf for 55 minutes in total.

Bake a 3-pound meatloaf for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Is it better to bake meatloaf covered or uncovered?

Wrapping the meatloaf in aluminum foil will keep it moist. Let the meatloaf cook uncovered for about fifteen minutes to produce a crispy top.

What temperature to cook meatloaf optimally?

What temperature to cook meatloaf optimally?
What temperature to cook meatloaf optimally?

Your meatloaf is done when the internal temperature reaches 160°F. It may be taken out of the oven once it hits 155°F because it will continue to cook for a few minutes. You don’t want to let it get above an internal temperature of 160F degrees since it will be overcooked.

Why is my meatloaf so moist?

If your meatloaf comes out excessively watery, it’s probably because you used too much milk, oats, or breadcrumbs in comparison to the amount of beef. This can be remedied by altering the meatloaf ratio and using fewer breadcrumbs, oats, and milk, or by adding more beef.

Is undercooked meatloaf going to make you sick?

Meat that is undercooked can cause foodborne disease. To verify that the meatloaf is fully cooked, use an instant-read thermometer.

Is it okay if the meatloaf is somewhat pink?

If the meatloaf has achieved a temperature of 160°F, it is safe to eat. Even when cooked thoroughly, some meat will have a reddish color.

What should the internal temp of meatloaf be?

The recipe for meatloaf will specify how long to bake it. However, it does not indicate what the internal temperature of the meatloaf should really be when it is fully cooked and safe to eat. It’s 160 degrees Fahrenheit

Final Words about What Temp is Meatloaf Done

Yes, cook times are usually typically included in recipes, but there are other ways to detect whether meatloaf is done. To begin, seek visual signals. When the meatloaf is done, the top will be toasted and the loaf will pull away from the pan’s edges.

As previously said, the most dependable technique to determine when meatloaf is done is to place an instant-read thermometer into the middle of the meatloaf and measure the internal temperature. Meatloaf is done when the interior temperature gets 165°F. The meatloaf is now ready to be removed from the oven. Allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing it up and digging in.

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