Meatloaf is an American staple but many people are not sure exactly how long they should cook meatloaf. There are a few things that you have to consider when you are cooking your meatloaf to determine what the right amount of time to cook it is.
What did you put in your meatloaf? How much meat is in your meatloaf? To be on the safe side you should use a meat thermometer. Different recipes call for different amounts of cooking times.
If you use a meat thermometer you will always be sure that your meatloaf is cooked to perfection. A meat thermometer is the most reliable way to measure doneness.
In most all cases your oven should be set to 350 degrees. You can preheat your oven while you are mixing up your meatloaf. Once the oven has reached the desired temperature you can put the meatloaf in the oven.
Oven temperatures can vary by several degrees, each oven can be off by a few degrees. Cooking your meatloaf based on your oven temperature may be disappointing. In some cases even if you follow each step of the directions to the letter you wind up with meatloaf that is still a little too pink in the middle.
Most recipes call for an hour or one and half hours for the cooking time but if you have a reliable meat thermometer you will be able to more effectively gauge the cooking time.
Using the Meat Thermometer
You want to insert the meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meatloaf, typically near the center of the loaf. Your meatloaf is done when the thermometer reaches 155 degrees. 155 degrees is the ideal temperature for meatloaf.
Once the meatloaf has cooked it will need to rest for about 10 minutes before you cut into it. Allowing your meatloaf to rest will redistribute the juices through-out the meatloaf.
Meatloaf is a great traditional meal that is very versatile. You should not be afraid to try out new meatloaf recipes just because you are unsure of cooking times. Use a meat thermometer and remember 155 is the ideal temperature and you will be able to try different recipes with confidence. A simple tool can make all the difference when it comes to ensuring complete doneness and an easy way to get a great meal each and every time.