If you’re wondering how long to cook meatloaf at 400 degrees, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about cooking the perfect meatloaf, ensuring it’s juicy, flavorful, and cooked to perfection.
The Perfect Cooking Time for Meatloaf
Cooking meatloaf at 400 degrees Fahrenheit should take approximately 40 minutes. However, it’s crucial to remember that this is just a guideline. At the 40-minute mark, you should examine your meatloaf to determine if it’s fully cooked.
Cooking Time for 1 Pound of Meatloaf
For a 1-pound meatloaf cooked at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, it should take around 40 minutes to reach a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t rely solely on the timer; instead, use a probe thermometer to ensure accurate results.
The Best Temperature and Time for Meatloaf
To achieve the juiciest and most tender meatloaf, it’s recommended to cook a 1-pound meatloaf at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 40 minutes. This temperature ensures that your beef, pork, chicken, or turkey meatloaf reaches the ideal internal temperature.
Cooking Time Per Pound
When it comes to cooking larger meatloaves, such as a 2-pound loaf, it’s best to bake it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. On average, you should allow 35 to 45 minutes per pound. However, it’s essential to use a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches the recommended internal temperature.
Air Fryer Cooking Time at 400 Degrees
If you prefer using an air fryer, shaping your meatloaf into a loaf and placing it on parchment paper or a small pan, you can air fry it at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 14-16 minutes. Make sure the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit for safe consumption.
The Ideal Temperature for Meatloaf
When baking meatloaf, the optimal temperature to use is 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature helps prevent excessive dryness and ensures that the center is fully cooked while maintaining a beautiful crust formation.
Yes, you can prepare your meatloaf ahead of time, making it a convenient make-ahead dinner option. Simply assemble and wrap the meatloaf in foil or plastic wrap, then refrigerate overnight. When you’re ready to cook it, bake it at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Delicious Meatloaf Recipe
Here’s a simple and delicious meatloaf recipe you can try:
Baked Meatloaf Ingredients
- 3 slices of white sandwich bread
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1/2 medium onion, grated
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. In a food processor, pulse the bread until fine crumbs form.
- Transfer the crumbs to a small mixing dish and whisk in the milk. Set aside for approximately 10 minutes, stirring periodically.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork, grated onion, minced garlic, egg, 1/4 cup ketchup, salt, and pepper. Gradually mix in the bread-milk mixture with a fork, being careful not to overmix.
- Form the meat mixture into a loaf approximately 9 inches long and 4 to 5 inches broad on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, brushing twice with the remaining 1/4 cup ketchup during baking, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Allow the meatloaf to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
What to Serve with Meatloaf
Meatloaf pairs well with a variety of delicious side dishes. Here are some options to consider:
- Mashed Potatoes
- Roasted Red Potatoes
- Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- Red Potato Salad
- Creamed Peas with Mushrooms and Onions
- Mashed Cauliflower and Leeks
- Macaroni Salad
- Honey Glazed Baby Carrots
- Crock Pot Mac and Cheese
- Slow Cooker Carnival Squash
- Lemon Garlic Broccoli
- Pasta Salad with Broccoli
- Toasted Garlic Bread
Storing and Freezing Meatloaf
To store cooked meatloaf, place it in shallow airtight containers or wrap it securely in heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Properly refrigerated, cooked meatloaf can last in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
Yes, you can freeze cooked meatloaf to extend its shelf life. Wrap it tightly in airtight containers, heavy-duty freezer bags, or aluminum foil. Cooked meatloaf with sauce freezes well, but be cautious as thawed cooked meatloaf without sauce may become mushy.
How can you tell if meatloaf is done without a thermometer? Insert a fork into the thickest part of the meatloaf, working your way towards the center. If the fork glides easily, it’s a good sign that it’s almost done. Also, ensure that the fork remains warm after removing it to determine if the meatloaf is fully cooked.
Why does my meatloaf fall apart? Insufficient binding agents can cause your meatloaf to fall apart. Adding ingredients like eggs and bread crumbs helps to bind the meat. Overcooking can also lead to a crumbly texture.
Should I drain the fat from meatloaf? If you bake your meatloaf in a loaf pan, consider draining the fat 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time to create a crisp top. However, cutting into the meatloaf while it’s hot may cause it to fall apart.
Can I cook frozen meatloaf? Yes, you can cook frozen meatloaf. It requires approximately 1.5-2 times the cooking time of a thawed meatloaf. Bake it at 350°F for at least 90 minutes, but use a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remember, cooking times and temperatures may vary, so always use a meat thermometer to ensure your meatloaf is cooked to perfection.
For more mouthwatering recipes and cooking tips, visit Ekilove.
Nutrition Facts Source: Source