Making Meatloaf for the first time

There are so many mixtures of meat and other ingredients used and ‘overworking’ is not a well defined term, so you can say whatever you want about overworking the meat mixture and what that results in and it will be true for someone.

My meatloaf recipe as best I can put it is this:

2 lbs. ground meat
approx. 2 cups bread in various forms
2 eggs
mix with stuff in the fridge and in the cabinets
smear the top with some kind of sauce
bake 45-60 minutes at 350F depending on the shape and size of the loaf
wait at least 10 minutes for all the delicious and healthy grease to re-absorb into the loaf
consume as much as possible while still hot
consume the rest, if any, on sandwiches another time

Follow the recipe exactly and you will be pleased with the results.

Absolutely right. As Kenji-the-food-god notes, same goes for hamburgers or anything else made with ground meat. Meatballs are typically packed way too tight. My response was pre-coffee (or perhaps just a brain fart). I was probably thinking ahead to my response about binders.

My aunt uses cornflakes as a filler. I do not advise doing what my cousin did. She was out of cornflakes. So she figured Tony the Tiger was an acceptable substitute. It was not.

Um. Ew.

Here is my recipe. I have made it with from one to five pounds of meat. Usually, we get stewing cubes and grind them in a Cuisinart.

For each pound of meat:
one slice of bread (usually old; I freeze ends for the
one egg
one medium onion
one large or two small cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp salt

Chop the onions and garlic (or use a garlic press). Fry the onions for a couple minutes and then lower the light and add the garlic. Meantime, soften the bread in a little water and drain it. Mix it all together and bake it at 400 F for a half hour plus a half hour per pound.

Frying sweetens the onions and garlic and makes a real difference.

Three hours at 400 seems like a lot.

I was going to suggest hiring Jim Steinman, but you beat me by 2 days, and with a better joke.

The binder does what everybody else reports. I can’t eat wheat, so we mash up tortilla chips. They hold the moisture very well. Important that they are very finely crushed.

Dad used Lipton’s recipe, and so do I. Use 2 pounds ground beef and 1 pound ground pork. Make two loaves. Top with tomato sauce when done.

Thanks for backing me up, everyone.

Important question: what is the advantage of mixing in ground pork? I’ve seen recipes that call for this. I used to make a pretty good turkey meat loaf–good enough that my mother, who hated turkey, asked me to make it every time I visited. I’ve never used pork, though. There must be some advantages. Is it juicier? Fattier? More flavorful???

I personally prefer the flavor without pork. Beef of beef+turkey.


A good meatloaf, like a good burger, benefits from a certain amount of fat. Pork definitely helps if using lean ground beef, and many like the taste. I think both beef and mixed are good. Cooks Illustrated once suggested adding veal did not improve perceptions. But the “meatloaf mix” with three meats is not commonly seen in Canada - if it was I would use it more. I am neutral about veal. I think straight medium ground beef is fine, and what I usually use. Sometimes I add other meats, and this is also good.

I mix beef with Italian sausage. I don’t know if I’ve even seen meatloaf mix.

To make the perfect meatloaf, you will need bread crumbs, an egg, and some finely chopped onion. But if you don’t have the onion that’s OK, because two out of three ain’t bad.


Got me!

Hackbraten sounds just right if you know how to roll an R like an Austrian (or a Mexican like in ¡aRRiba!)

ISWYDT :laughing:
ETA: Just ninja’d, but it is worth repeating.

that is basically what I do, except I have never used milk, will do so from now on. And I will squirt ketchup on top at the end as suggested above.

Bacon and cheese meatloaf! Don’t tell me that’s not good eats

Cross-posted from MMP:

I’ve made two meatloaves; one wrapped, bagged, and put into the freezer, and the other one in the loaf pan waiting to be cooked tonight. The supermarket didn’t have any ground pork, so I used ground veal instead. The beef was ‘perfect burger’ meat (chuck, sirloin, and another cut) from the store’s butcher. Here’s how I made it [some amounts approximate]:

2 lbs. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
3 jumbo eggs
¾ cup + ⅓ cup bread crumbs
¾ cup + ⅓ cup water
⅓ cup + ¼ cup catsup
2 packets Lipton Onion Soup Mix

Mix in the stand mixer.
Cover with tomato sauce when about done.

As I said way above, I use barbecue sauce instead of ketchup and I put bacon on top.
We do only a pound of ground beef because there are only two of us. I’ve used ground turkey but it gets dry.

Adding some pork sausage sounds interesting. I’ll try that some day.