Meatloaf oven temperatures are a crucial component in ensuring that your meatloaf is perfectly cooked all the way through! You'll want the ideal temperature to cook the meat without drying it out or burning the outside. Here's the best temperature for flavorful and delicious meatloaf every single time!
Best Temperature For Cooking Meatloaf
Meatloaf is a classic comfort food that belongs on every family's dinner table. It's filling and delicious, and there are so many different variations and recipes out there!
While it is incredibly easy to assemble, it's important to know that you are baking it at the proper temperature (and that it has the ideal internal temperature when done). It's time to skip the guesswork because I've already got the perfect oven temperature all figured out for you.
What Temperature To Cook Meatloaf
You should always refer to the recipe you are following for specific oven temperatures and cook times. However, meatloaf is usually cooked in the oven at 350°F (175°C), regardless of what type of ground meat is being used (see the best types of meat for meatloaf here).
This is the perfect temperature for fully cooking the meatloaf without letting it dry out in the oven. If your temperature is too high, you risk the exterior becoming dry and burning while the center is still undercooked.
How Long To Cook Meatloaf
When cooked at 350°F (175°C), meatloaf will generally take about 1 full hour to cook. Of course, this is if you have one large standard-sized loaf (or freeform loaf).
This time is just a generalization based on a standard 2-pound meatloaf. However, if you are using less meat, making smaller portions, or changing the ingredients, it could alter the cooking time.
If you are preparing miniature meatloaves or patties, they will cook much more quickly. Check your recipe for recommended cooking times.
How To Tell When Meatloaf Is Done
Recipes will pretty much always include a cooking time, but there are still some ways to know when your meatloaf is done cooking so you don't risk overbaking it.
Of course, when done, your meatloaf will be firm and brown in color. However, the best way to ensure that your meatloaf is done cooking is to check the internal temperature.
Meatloaf Internal Temperature
If you don't have a meat thermometer on hand, I highly recommend you purchase one as they are a very handy investment. Plus, they are very budget-friendly!
Since your recipe should give you an estimated bake time, go ahead and check the internal temperature about 10 minutes before it should be done cooking so that you don't accidentally overcook it.
To do so, insert the instant-read thermometer probe into the very center of the meatloaf. If your meatloaf includes ground turkey or chicken, you'll be looking for an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C). For any other meat combination, remove the meatloaf from the oven at 155°F (68°C).
After removing it from the oven, make sure you cover your meatloaf with foil and let it rest for about 10 minutes. During this time, the internal temperature will rise an additional 5°F, which will bring the final temperature to the recommended 160°F (71°C) (or 165°F (74°C) for chicken or turkey).
This temperature rise is called "carryover cooking" and will have your meatloaf at the perfect temperature and ready to enjoy! So don't skip the resting stage!
Take a look at my post on meatloaf internal temperatures to learn more.
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Now that you understand meatloaf oven temperatures, you are ready to get started! Leave a comment down below and let me know your favorite type of meatloaf!
😋 Best Meatloaf Recipes
- Sweet and Sour Meatloaf - This tender meatloaf is topped off with a tangy homemade sweet and sour sauce.
- BBQ Meatloaf - Grab your favorite bottle of BBQ sauce for this mouthwatering variation.
- Meatloaf with Oatmeal - Meatloaf with oatmeal is a classic recipe that has been enjoyed for decades.
- Taco Meatloaf - Add some taco seasoning, cheese, and taco sauce for a zesty twist.
- Lipton Onion Soup Meatloaf - A super quick, effortless, and flavorful way to have your meatloaf prepared in no time.
- Smoked Meatloaf - Skip the oven and pop your meatloaf into your smoker for a bold and rich flavor.
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Meatloaf Oven Temperatures: Turkey Meatloaf (+More Tasty Recipes)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and lightly grease a 9x13 pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the ground turkey, breadcrumbs, diced onion, eggs, meatloaf seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and milk.3 lbs ground turkey, 3 cups breadcrumbs, ½ cup yellow onion, 3 large eggs, 1½ tablespoon meatloaf seasoning, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, ½ cup milk
- Thoroughly combine the ingredients, being careful not to over-mix the meatloaf.
- Place the mixture into your prepared pan and pat it down so that it is in an even layer, going all the way to the edges of the pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 40 minutes.
- Remove the meatloaf from the oven and coat it with ketchup. Place the meatloaf back into the oven and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C).⅓ cup ketchup
- Once done, remove the cooked meatloaf from the oven and drain off any excess grease before allowing the meat to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- The amount of breadcrumbs is a starting point for the bread cubes, add more to soak up a little more moisture in the meatloaf mixture as needed. Your mix should be moist but not wet.
- Using a meat thermometer is the best and most accurate way of knowing when your meatloaf is done. If you want to learn more, take a look at meatloaf internal temperatures.
- I love using my simple homemade meatloaf seasoning, but you can use your own preferred blend.
- You can prepare the meatloaf mixture and store it covered in the refrigerator for one day before baking!
- Overmixing your meat will cause the meatloaf to be tougher. For more tips and tricks, check out my ultimate guide to cooking meatloaf as well as how to make meatloaf!
- To store: Keep leftover meatloaf in a storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To freeze unbaked meatloaf: You can prepare your meatloaf mixture and wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. Keep frozen for up to 3 months and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator before baking as directed.
- To freeze leftovers: Slice your meatloaf into servings and place them into a freezer-safe container. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
- To reheat: You can reheat single slices on a damp paper towel line plate in the microwave. For larger portions or reheating the whole meatloaf, you can place the meatloaf into a baking dish with a splash of water and cover it with foil. Bake in the oven at 250°F (120°C) until heated through.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!