Finding a meatloaf recipe perfect for 2-4 servings is not easy. In many cases, most of the recipes have a serving size of 6-8 people and require 2 pounds of ground meat. Yes, such recipes are excellent for large families or when you have a guest. But what happens when you want to make meatloaf for a small family or a couple?
Regarding cooking small meatloaf, this article discusses how to cook a 1-pound meatloaf, how long it will take, what you can serve with the meatloaf, recipe tips, and more. Stay tuned!
How Long To Cook A 1-Pound Meatloaf
How long it takes to cook a 1-pound meatloaf depends on various factors. But temperature is the most crucial. Everyone has their preferred temperature when cooking meatloaf, which leads to different cooking times.
Generally, the best temperature to cook meatloaf is between 350 and 400, with 375 as the most preferred by many professional chefs. Cooking a 1-pound meatloaf at 375 degrees Fahrenheit will take 30 to 45 minutes.
Here’s to more on how long it takes to cook a 1-pound meatloaf at various temperatures:
- You’ll need about 40 to 45 minutes to cook 1 pound of meatloaf at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cooking a 1-pound meatloaf at 375 degrees Fahrenheit will take about 35 to 40 minutes.
- You’ll need about 30 to 35 minutes to cook a 1-pound meatloaf at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Regarding cooking meatloaf, don’t rely on the cooking times alone. The best way to know your meatloaf is done is to insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of your meatloaf. Once the thermometer reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit, your meatloaf is nice and ready. Cooking it past this temperature may lead to dry meat.
Factors Affecting Meatloaf Cooking Time
Various factors lead to the wide range of possible meatloaf cooking times. Some of them include the following:
- Convection waves – different cookers produce various convection waves, affecting meatloaf cooking time. The convection waves created by an electric and a gas oven are different and behave differently.
- Meat coarseness – ground meat is minced differently, leading to several meat grind types and flesh density which impact cooking times. To help achieve consistent cooking time, let the meat rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
- Ingredients used – some meatloaf recipes use dense veggies, which can change the texture and flavor of the meatloaf. Thus, it’s crucial to caramelize or soften veggies like onions or carrots before combining them with ground meat to get the best results.
How To Cook A 1-Pound Meatloaf
- One pound ground beef – use 90% lean beef for best results.
- Bread crumbs – bind your meat mixture together and enhance the flavor.
- Herbs and seasonings – the spice and seasonings give your meatloaf the most incredible flavor. This recipe will use onions, garlic, ketchup, parsley, smoked paprika, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt.
- Meatloaf glaze – includes a sweet and tangy meatloaf sauce that combines all the flavors, providing the final touch. Here, you’ll need ketchup, white vinegar, brown sugar, onion and garlic powder, black pepper, and salt.
- One egg
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Mix ground beef, eggs, onion, ketchup, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, bread crumbs, milk, Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper in a large mixing bowl until everything is well combined.
- Fill the sprayed loaf pan halfway with the meatloaf mixture and bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Start making the sauce. In a small mixing bowl, combine white vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Whisk until all ingredients are properly blended.
- When the meatloaf is 5 minutes from being done, brush it with the glaze.
- Let the meatloaf rest for 5 minutes. Then garnish with fresh parsley and serve.
- Taste – if you’re unsure how the meatloaf flavor will be, fry a small amount and taste it to see if it has all the characteristics you want. Adjust accordingly if anything is lacking.
- Don’t skip wet ingredients – wet ingredients like ketchup, milk, eggs, and sauce add moisture to your meatloaf, giving it a pleasant taste and a rich texture. If you’d like to amp up the flavor, add a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce.
- Prepare early – preparing the meatloaf early gives it enough room to rest, leading to consistent results. You can choose to prepare the meatloaf mix ahead of time and refrigerate it by covering the loaf pan with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Once you’re ready to cook, let it come to room temperature and then bake it.
- Give it room – use a bigger meatloaf pan to give it space and a breathing area for the caramelized edges.
- Temperature perfection – use a meat thermometer; if you don’t have one, an instant-read thermometer is a great alternative. Ensure the internal temperature in the thickest reaches 160 degrees before removing it from the oven.
- Let it rest – after cooking, let the meatloaf rest in the oven for 10 minutes before slicing it. This ensures the moisture is reabsorbed back and the meatloaf retains its form.
What To Serve With Meatloaf
Here are great accompaniments for meatloaf:
- Baked mac and cheese.
- Popeyes mashed potatoes.
- Creamed peas with mushrooms and onions.
- Smashed red potatoes.
- Mashed cauliflower and leeks.
- Cheesy cheddar broccoli casserole.
- Honey-glazed baby carrots.
- Pasta salad with broccoli.
- Slow cooker carnival squash.
- Broccoli salad.
- Lemon garlic bread.
- Roasted asparagus.
- Toasted garlic bread.
How long you can cook a 1-pound meatloaf depends on your cooking temperature—the best temperature to use when cooking meatloaf is between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit. But sticking to 375 degrees usually yields the best results.
Cooking a 1-pound meatloaf at 350 degrees Fahrenheit will take about 40 to 45 minutes, while using 375 degrees Fahrenheit will take 35 to 40 minutes. On the other hand, cooking 1 pound of meatloaf at 400 degrees Fahrenheit will take 30 to 35 minutes.
Don’t rely on the timing alone to determine your meatloaf doneness. Once your meatloaf reaches 160 degrees in its thickest part, it’s done and ready.