How Long to Cook Meatloaf at 350: A Step-by-Step Guide
Meatloaf is a classic comfort food that is loved by many. Its juicy and flavorful taste, combined with the ease of preparation, makes it a go-to dish for family dinners and gatherings. However, one common question that arises when cooking meatloaf is how long it should be cooked at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to cook meatloaf at 350 degrees, ensuring a delicious and perfectly cooked dish every time.
Gather Your Ingredients
Before diving into the cooking process, it's important to gather all the necessary ingredients. Here's what you'll need:
- 2 pounds of ground beef
- 1 cup of breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 1/4 cup of ketchup
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped onions
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
Preparing the Meatloaf Mixture
Now that you have all the ingredients ready, it's time to prepare the meatloaf mixture. Follow these steps:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, milk, ketchup, onions, garlic, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, dried oregano, dried basil, salt, and black pepper.
- Using your hands, gently mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Be careful not to overmix, as this can result in a dense and tough meatloaf.
- Shape the mixture into a loaf shape and place it in a greased loaf pan.
Cooking the Meatloaf
Now that your meatloaf mixture is ready, it's time to cook it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Follow these steps:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the loaf pan with the meatloaf mixture in the preheated oven.
- Cook the meatloaf for approximately 1 hour or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Insert a meat thermometer into the center of the meatloaf to check the temperature.
- Once the meatloaf is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Q: Can I use a different type of ground meat?
A: Absolutely! While this recipe calls for ground beef, you can experiment with different types of ground meat, such as turkey or pork, to suit your taste preferences.
Q: Can I add vegetables to my meatloaf?
A: Yes, you can add vegetables like finely chopped bell peppers or carrots to your meatloaf mixture for added flavor and texture.
Q: Can I freeze the leftover meatloaf?
A: Yes, you can freeze the leftover meatloaf. Simply wrap it tightly in aluminum foil or place it in an airtight container before freezing. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Meatloaf cooked at 350 degrees Fahrenheit is a delicious and satisfying dish that can be enjoyed by the whole family. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your meatloaf is cooked to perfection, with a juicy and flavorful interior. Experiment with different ingredients and make this timeless classic your own. So, next time you're wondering how long to cook meatloaf at 350, refer back to this guide for a foolproof cooking experience.