The history of meatloaf can be traced back to the 5th century, Rome. One of its earliest recipes is found in the famous Roman cook book, Apicius. Today, there are recipes that are relished by people.
A meatloaf usually contains one or more types of meat, vegetables, and spices that are grounded and baked. It gets its shape, like a bread loaf, as a result of the baking tray. The cooking time tends to differ by a few minutes or a few degrees, depending upon the ingredients and procedure of a particular recipe.
While calculating or estimating the cooking time of a particular meatloaf, there are many aspects that are to be taken into consideration. The first factor that is to be considered is the meat and it's nature. Finely grounded beef, for example, requires less time and temperature. However, when the beef is used in combination with other types of meats, such as lamb or pork, the time span definitely increases. More complex the ingredients, the longer it takes to cook a meatloaf.
Simple meatloaf recipes require about 1 hour 20 minutes, to properly bake on the outer side, as well as inside. The prescribed temperature for meatloaf to get baked is 320ºF. The meatloaf is done, only when it gets crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. In reality, there is no definite time that you can count off on a timer.
Another method that can be followed to cook it is titled as the preheat and reheat technique. In this technique, the meatloaf is initially baked at about 285ºF for sometime. Before serving the cuts of the meatloaf, it is again baked at 285ºF at the sustained temperature for about 20 minutes. This type of cooking method is effective, when more than one type of meat is used. The second heating ensures that the interiors of the meatloaf have not remained raw.
Meatloaf Recipes and Cooking Time
As there are a number of variants and recipes, calculating meatloaf cooking time and temperature can be very tricky. The following table is a short description of recipes and the time and temperature of different recipes.
|Meatloaf Recipe||Major Ingredients||Temperature
(in Degree Fahrenheit)
|Smoked Meatloaf Recipe||beef, eggs, canola oil, fennel seeds, vegetables||350||1 hour in oven|
|Healthy Meatloaf Recipe||beef, cheese, eggs, vegetables, spices||375||40 minutes in oven|
|Low Carb Meat Loaf Recipe||beef, pork, vegetables||350||about 1 hour|
|Southern Meatloaf Recipe||beef, pork, eggs, bread crumbs||350||40 minutes|
|Italian Meatloaf Recipe||beacon, cheese, eggs||375||about 1 hour|
|Barbecue Meatloaf Recipe||eggs, beef, pork, turkey, milk||350||1 hour 15 minutes|
|Vegetarian Meatloaf Recipe||vegetarian burger crumbles, vegetables, eggs||325||45 minutes|
|Turkey Meatloaf Recipe||turkey, eggs, milk, vegetables||350||30 to 45 minutes|
It is always advisable to check, if the internal temperature of the meat loaf is above 160ºF. This temperature ensures that all the possible germs in the meat are eliminated, and the meat is properly cooked. It is also better to trust your judgment, instead of the timer. Take out the meatloaf after its outer surface starts turning golden-brown. Before taking it out of the oven, you may also poke it with a knife or spoon, and check if the meat has been done properly or not. As many chefs say, the time to cook meatloaf is not to be timed with a clock. It is to be felt with smell, touch, and sight.