Tips for making meatloaf
Tips for Making a Classic Homestyle Meatloaf
Choose the Right Meat Mix
Meatloaf often gets a bad rap for being dry and chewy, but it certainly doesn’t have to be that way! The texture and flavor of a meatloaf are very important factors in making a good meatloaf. One of the biggest determining factors for both of these traits stems from the blend of meat that is used to cook the meatloaf.
• Using ground beef adds great flavor to a meatloaf, but can lose some moisture and has less than ideal texture when used alone.
• Using ground pork gives higher fat content, which helps add texture and velvety softness to a meatloaf. Consideration for adding flavoring and a way to retain moisture should be used for pork.
• Using ground veal will lead to a very soft meatloaf, but one that is bland. Extra care should be used to add flavor if using veal.
• Ground chicken and turkey are lean meats that tend to dry out sooner. If you are using these, consider adding sauce to add some extra moisture to your mixture. Extra moisture in the form of a sauce should be considered if using a mixture using these ingredients.
A classic combination of ground beef and pork pair well together and tend to be quite flavorful. However, use caution and take measures to add moisture, as this combination can tend to dry out.
Don’t Salt Ground Meat until Right Before Cooking:
Ground meat that has had a chance for salt to be worked into it will cause an unpleasant texture to occur that is just wrong for a good meatloaf. Salting is still important for flavoring and texturing, so the key is to salt right before mixing and to not over-mix or else you risk compacting the meat. Only mix until the meatloaf mixture is just incorporated.
Ingredients that Add Moisture and/or Tenderness to Meatloaf:
Eggs• Add needed moisture and structure to meatloaf. Can be incorporated directly into the ground meat mixture.
Bread Crumbs• If moistened with a liquid like stock, buttermilk, or milk can help retain moisture and tenderness.
Milk or Cottage Cheese• Adds moisture, tenderness, and flavor to meatloaf.
Gelatin:• Gelatin: Helps meatloaf retain moisture.
Substituting Baking Powder for a Recipe that Calls for Baking Soda:
Finely Chop or Food Process your Vegetables and then Lightly Sauté Before Adding:
If using vegetables such as onions, carrots, or celery, make sure to finely dice the vegetables. If they are too big, they will tend to add a rough texture to the soft meatloaf. To help combat this, avoid using raw vegetables and sauté in butter or stock to help soften the vegetables. This process will also serve to help add moisture to the meatloaf.
Choose the Right Loaf panUSA Loaf Pans were specially constructed to allow for even cooking, browning, and to give meatloaf the perfect shape for serving. Better yet, the nonstick nature allows for easy release and clean-up.
Let it Rest