Love meatloaf? But hate having its leftovers the next day because they always tend to be dry?
In this article, I will list down the exact steps you should be following to get a perfectly moist and tender meatloaf that holds its shape and doesn’t fall apart.
By the end, your meatloaf will be reheated perfect enough to make your grandma proud and have everyone second-guessing that it can’t be yesterday’s leftovers.
Don’t let loads of information available on Google fool you and possibly trick you into ruining your appliances (I found a tip that suggested covering a meatloaf with foil in the microwave. Not so sure about getting a perfectly reheated meatloaf, but I’m confident that you’ll see plenty of fireworks if you try that method out)
My family loves having meatloaf for dinner, and with good reason; it’s a hearty and comforting meal. Ever since I perfected the art of reheating meatloaf properly I make sure to make extra so we can enjoy it the next day as well. Don’t worry, I will be sharing all my secrets and top tips here so you can do the same with your family as well. Let’s get cooking…..
How to reheat meatloaf in the microwave?
If I had to summarize how to reheat meatloaf, it would be this:
Place evenly sliced pieces of meatloaf on a microwave-safe plate and cover with a damp paper towel
(As with all food items that need to be microwaved and remain juicy and moist post microwaving, keeping them covered either with a damp paper towel or another plate is key. Trap those juices and steam in)
Heat the meatloaf in 30-second intervals or until you feel it’s piping hot and steaming.
Allow the sliced meatloaf to rest so that all the juices can redistribute, and you are left with a juicy cut of meatloaf.
Reheating meatloaf in the microwave:
- Slice your meatloaf into even slices, so that they all get heated evenly.
- (If sliced unevenly, thicker slices will take a longer time to heat internally than thinner slices may result in inconsistent heating, and the thinner slices could dry out before the thicker ones are done)
- Avoid placing the entire meatloaf unsliced in the microwave. This will leave you with a dry outer layer and under heated inner layer.
- Wrap the slices in a damp paper towel.
- Heat the meatloaf for 1-minute on the lower heat setting. Don’t be tempted to increase the heating temperature because this may dry out your meatloaf. Slow and steady does the job.
- At the end of the heating time, preferably using a meat thermometer, check the internal temperature of the meatloaf slice. It should read around 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If you find that the meatloaf still hasn’t been heated thoroughly then microwave it further in 30-second intervals until steaming hot.
- Allow the meatloaf to rest for a minute so that the juices can redistribute, and you can enjoy a juicy slice of meatloaf.
Top tip: Allow the meatloaf to come to room temperature before reheating. This will help you to avoid over-cooking the outside layers while the interior comes up to temperature.
How long should you reheat meatloaf in the microwave?
You should reheat your meatloaf for 1- minute per slice when using a microwave.
How to reheat meatloaf in the microwave without drying it out?
Two words, eleven letters. Add Moisture.
Every time someone even hints at me that they don’t like reheating their food in the microwave because they don’t like the dry cardboard textured food that results from it, I find myself doing a mental scream in horror, shaking my head, and telling them, “How could you not?” Obviously, they are doing it wrong.
A microwave can be a great convenience tool only if you know how to use it correctly.
Trapping those natural juices and steam in while microwaving is the secret to keeping food tender and moist.
Before microwaving, you must cover your meatloaf either with a damp paper towel or even slather on some gravy or stock. That’s it, a no-frill, no-fuss solution for preventing your meatloaf from getting dry.
Is it better to reheat meatloaf in the oven or microwave?
This is debatable, considering who you ask. Some people (like me) are die-hard aficionados of microwave reheating (hello convenience), while others still prefer to use their ovens.
I tried out both ways to settle this debate and compared the outcome. Surprisingly both methods produced some pretty consistent results.
If you have more than one meatloaf to reheat, then definitely go for the oven because you can easily fit multiple slices, or even if you don’t prefer to slice before reheating, this method will work well.
Just need to heat a couple of slices of meatloaf? Then the microwave would be convenient for you.
In the end, it’s all about what suits your needs. The results are the same for both ways.
How many times can you reheat meatloaf?
Once prepared and stored promptly in the fridge, any food item can be reheated only just a handful of times. The more you keep on reheating it again and again you are essentially providing a breeding ground for bacteria to flourish and thrive.
Also, the quality, freshness, and taste of meat will decrease each time you reheat it.
So keeping that in mind, if you have a large batch of meatloaf leftover, slice it up before you freeze it or store it in the refrigerator, so you can only take out what you need and reheat just that portion instead of the whole loaf.
Then just reheat the cold or frozen meatloaves until their internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
How to enjoy leftover meatloaf?
Now that you’ve learned how to properly reheat meatloaf, it’s time to get creative. Who says you have to eat it the next day as a meatloaf too?
Here are some fabulously delicious ideas to use up your meatloaf leftovers.
- Meatloaf Tacos: Simply chop up the reheated meatloaf into bite-sized chunks and fill a taco shell with your favorite Mexican fillings like sour cream, cheese, and guacamole and you’ve got a finger-licking meal ready.
- Meatloaf Shepherd’s Pie: Got a huge crowd to feed but short on time or energy? This dish is a great lifesaver. Just layer some boiled and mashed potatoes over the meatloaf slices, add some frozen veggies, top with cheese if you wish, and season to taste. Now all you need is to pop it in the oven to bake while you mingle and relax with your family or guests, and dinner will cook itself.
- Meatloaf Spaghetti: This is the easiest and most child-friendly option to make. Just chop up the leftover meatloaf into bite-sized chunks. Open a bottle of readymade pasta/tomato/marinara sauce and heat the meatloaf and the sauce together. Serve over boiled spaghetti.
- Meatloaf sandwich: A perfect solution for those late-night cravings. Cut and reheat a meatloaf slice in the microwave. Put it in between two slices of bread with your favorite sauces, top with onion rings and some cucumbers, and presto, a great-tasting snack is ready.
Enjoying your meatloaf leftovers shouldn’t be a nail-biting experience with you wondering every time if it is going to stay moist or if it’s going to dry out this time. Just remember to add moisture before microwaving, and I can guarantee everyone will be enjoying yesterday’s meatloaf like the day it was made.
How can I reheat leftover meatloaf slices?
To reheat your meatloaf slices, you can use a frying pan on medium heat or an air fryer. If using a frying pan, add beef broth to prevent the meat from drying out and cook until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. In an air fryer, place the slices in a steamer basket and cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes.
Can I freeze cooked meatloaf?
Yes, you can freeze cooked meatloaf. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing it in an airtight container or freezer bag. To reheat frozen meatloaf, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and then either use an air fryer or toaster oven to reheat.
What is the best way to freeze raw meatloaf?
The best way to freeze raw meatloaf is by shaping it into a loaf and wrapping it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing it in an airtight container or freezer bag. When ready to cook, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking as usual.
Can I make a sauce for my reheated meatloaf?
Yes, you can make a sauce for your reheated meatloaf by combining beef broth with any additional seasonings of your choice such as garlic powder or Worcestershire sauce. Heat this mixture over medium heat until heated through and pour over your reheated slices of leftover meatloaf.
What are some other ways to reheat my leftover frozen meatloaf besides using an air fryer?
Besides using an air fryer, you can also use a toaster oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15-20 minutes depending on how thick your slice is. Another option is to steam them by placing them in a steamer basket over boiling water until they reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit internally.
How can I reheat my leftover meatloaf to keep it moist?
To reheat your leftover meatloaf and keep it moist, preheat your oven to 325°F. Place the uncooked meatloaf in a skillet or an oven-safe baking dish with aluminum foil covering the top. Add a tablespoon of bacon grease on top of the whole loaf before reheating for about 20-30 minutes until the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F.
What should I do if my meatloaf turns out dry?
If your meatloaf turns out dry, try adding some moisture by mixing ground meat with breadcrumbs, eggs, milk, and other seasonings. You can also add some ketchup or tomato sauce on top before baking in an oven safe baking dish covered with aluminum foil.
Can I freeze my uncooked or cooked meatloaf?
Yes! You can freeze both raw and cooked meatloaves in a freezer bag for up to three months. Make sure you label them properly with dates so that you know when they were made.
What is the best way to reheat frozen cooked meatloaf?
The best way to reheat frozen cooked meatloaf is by thawing it overnight in the refrigerator first. Then preheat your oven to 350°F and place the defrosted loaf into an oven safe baking dish covered with aluminum foil for about 30-40 minutes until its internal temperature reaches at least 165°F.
How do I prevent soggy bottom when making a moist meatloaf?
To prevent soggy bottom when making a moist meatloaf, use leaner ground meats like turkey or chicken instead of beef which has more fat content. Also make sure not to overmix ingredients as this will cause excess moisture buildup leading to sogginess during cooking time. Finally check that your oven is preheated correctly before placing any food inside including your prepared mixture placed inside an appropriate sized baking dish covered tightly with aluminum foil while cooking at recommended temperatures according to your recipe instructions.