Of the many meatloaf recipes, is there only one better? Maybe somewhere. But considering the fact that meatloaf is the kind of dish that many home cooks like to put their own signature touch on, perhaps including a mystical secret ingredient, you’d be hard pressed to find a version that all meatloaf lovers are suitable as number one. Not to mention, there is simply a parcel very good meatloaf recipes in the world. Some are very simple, while others are labors of love that take all day. Some are extremely traditional, while others are a bit more adventurous.
But all of the winning meatloaf recipes have one important thing in common: technique, baby. There are a few simple but essential things that every recipe needs to achieve true meatloaf, in terms of taste and texture. And once you’ve figured out those basics – with the help of some expert advice and a little practice using some great recipes – you’ll be free to riffle your way, knowing that whatever coming out of the oven will taste really good, just fine.
We’ve chatted with a few cooking pros to get answers to some of the most common meatloaf baking questions (along with their favorite tips), and rounded up a diverse handful of delicious meatloaf recipes to help you get started. to start. Consider this Meatloaf 101.
Is ground beef the best meat for meatloaf?
First and foremost: Yes, ground beef is definitely your choice for a traditional meatloaf recipe. (In order to get maximum flavor and richness, steer clear of lean stuff in favor of something with more fat – think 80/20.)
If you’re ready to mix up your meat, however, you have plenty of options, although most cooks still recommend relying in part on classic beef. Marisel Salazar, a professional recipe maker and food writer based in New York City, tells SELF that she likes to combine ground beef with other types of ground meat, like pork, veal or lamb. But if you are keen on using a different type of meat, like turkey, go for it! (One cannot imagine that not good taste.) What if you really want to go all out with the base of your homemade meatloaf, you can always go the DIY route – here’s how to mince the meat yourself.
Supplementing your ground beef with veggies (gasp!) Is another new option, especially if you’re looking to make meatloaf with, well, a little less meat. Matt Bolus, Executive Chef of The kitchen 404 in Nashville, tells SELF it will add chopped and sautéed mushrooms (a top-notch meat alternative) for good vegetarian meat, or dried mushroom powder for an extra umami flavor.
What’s the best filling for meatloaf?
No need to be fancy here: plain old breadcrumbs work extremely well.
“Breadcrumbs are the best filling for meatloaf,” says Salazar. The dry breadcrumbs work with your other liquid binding ingredients (like milk and egg, more on those in a minute) to help hold your bread together and give it a crumbly, tender texture. Plain breadcrumbs (including white and whole wheat) have a good, starchy, neutral taste that won’t overpower what you have with ground beef, says Salazar, especially if you’re going to mix it up when it comes to them. spices and herbs. But you can absolutely go for Italian breadcrumbs if you follow a fairly standard recipe and are looking for an extra herbal punch.
Don’t have breadcrumbs on hand? Make your own by toasting stale bread in the food processor. Or, you can try Crushed Cracker Crumbs, Executive Chef and Chef Meggan Hill Culinary hill Try cooking in Los Angeles, says SELF.
Why do you put milk in a meatloaf?
Milk brings moisture and richness to meatloaf, making it your best friend for combating drought and achieving a tender texture.
To get the most out of the dairy, let the breadcrumbs soak in the milk for a few minutes before add your binder mixture to the meat. “Use the milk to hydrate the breadcrumbs, which will give the meatloaf a juicy texture,” says Bolus. The combo forms a panade – the chef is talking about a mixture of liquid and starch – which is a great technique for keeping ground meat recipes like meatloaf and meatballs tender, Hill says. (In many recipes, you will first need to whisk the eggs into the milk to form the liquid component of your panade.)
By the way, if you’re out of milk or want to experiment with a different kind of liquid, heavy cream and buttermilk both work very well, according to Salazar and Hill, as does beef or beef broth. chicken.
Should I put an egg in my meatloaf?
Yes, eggs are essential for a mouthwatering meatloaf that also retains its shape.
Eggs help make every bite taste great. But more importantly, they act like a glue to help hold the entire bread together. “Egg yolks add moisture and flavor, while the whites add structure and binding to the bread,” says Hill. In other words, if you don’t want your bread to crumble when you slice a slice or grab a bite, don’t skip the eggs.
How to keep meatloaf moist while cooking?
Using moisture-retaining ingredients and baking your meatloaf at the right temperature will keep your meatloaf from drying out.
Again, milk and eggs are essential for a moist meatloaf, especially when you soak the breadcrumbs in a milk and egg panade before combining it with the meat.
Also, resist the urge to turn the oven up too much. The ideal temperature for meatloaf is between 350 and 375 degrees Fahrenheit, say Salazar and Hill. And when it comes to how long meatloaf cooks, a standard two-pound size loaf usually takes about an hour in the oven (although this varies slightly depending on the recipe). “This lower and slower cooking time will ensure maximum humidity while ensuring that the meat is well cooked,” says Salazar. (Well done, for the record, technically means that a meat thermometer inserted into the center of a ground beef, pork, veal or lamb loaf reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the Food and drug administration. For turkey or chicken, you want 165.)
Another tip for maximum humidity: resist the urge to dig into your meatloaf the second you take it out of the oven. Letting it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing will help redistribute the juices from the meat, trapping moisture, says Salazar.
Do you cook the meatloaf covered or not?
All of our cooking pros say discovery is the way to go. Covering the meatloaf while baking prevents that all-important crispy, caramelized top from forming.
When it comes to baking your bread, you might also be wondering when is the best time to add the frosting traditionally used in many meatloaf recipes. Generally speaking, your meatloaf should spend most of its time in the oven (think 40-45 minutes) uncovered. and unglazed, in order to get tons of delicious crusts on top of the bread itself. Then you can add the frosting towards the end of the cooking time, giving that top layer a few minutes for an extra caramelized finish, says Bolus.