Meatloaf is a staple of American cuisine. It actually has its origins in Germany, and yet its combination of easy to store and prepare ingredients has kept is a mainstay of dinners in the United States since the 50s.
But while you may have a recipe in your family that instructs you on how to make the perfect meatloaf, you might not have inherited a methodology of reheating it. This is because the ability to safely store, and then reheat things is a far more modern innovation than basically any single food item.
You can reheat meatloaf in the oven, but you can only do it in the oven. Microwaves, crock pots, and air fryers will not work here. Meatloaf, however, has a layer of bread that makes it unlikely that any of those methods will reliably cook it all the way through.
Make sure it was stored properly. Meatloaf should be frozen while wrapped in plastic and kept in a container. This container should preferably be airtight, but it does not have to be.
Nine times out of ten, a meat will be able to be reheated in a microwave, crock pot, or air fryer. It might not be able to cook there, but it can at least be brought back to life after being in the freezer. However, that’s not the case with meatloaf as mentioned before.
How To Reheat Meatloaf
Only once you are sure your meatloaf is safe in the freezer can you consider reheating it just as safely. The thing about freezing meat is that it slows down the process of bacterial growth. It does not stop it. Reheating frozen meat usually kills whatever bacteria were living in it. But if there’re too many bacteria, this is impossible.
Anyways, while step zero of reheating meatloaf is freezing it safely, step one is thawing the meatloaf out. This should be done a day before cooking, so it will require some planning to know you are reheating your meatloaf. Just be sure to thaw it in the fridge, not on the countertop, as room temperature will make bacteria grow faster.
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and put the meatloaf in once it is preheated. Whatever you reheat the meatloaf in, whether it is a pan, a dish, or whatever, make sure it is wrapped (or at least covered) in some foil. This will help the meatloaf cook all the way through, which is important.
Reheating meatloaf takes at least 25 minutes but be prepared to wait longer than that. You are trying to get its internal temperature up to at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit before you cook it. This is the recommended internal temperature for meat as directed by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Once it is cooked all the way through, take it out and enjoy!
Meatloaf is a delicious food that is oftentimes able to serve as its own meal. The mix of textures and temperatures makes it a pleasure to eat, and the abundance of protein and energy means it can leave you feeling great afterwards. Just stay safe while you cook it, freeze it, and reheat it, and you are good to go.