Meatloaf is an incredible dish that can be prepared in many ways. You can add your twist by experimenting with the ingredients or following a classic recipe. Regardless of all that, cooking time and temperatures remain the most crucial factors when it comes to cooking meatloaf. Otherwise, your dinner will become a disaster.
So, how long can you cook meatloaf at 400? If you’re also asking yourself the same question, lucky for you. This article discusses how long you can cook meatloaf at 400 and more. Scroll down for details!
How Long To Cook Meatloaf At 400
How long you can cook meatloaf at 400 depends on various factors, like:
- Type of meat
- Size of the meatloaf
- The desired texture of the meatloaf
Type Of Meat
The type of meat you use has a huge impact on its cooking time. Here’s how various types of meat take to cook at 400:
Beef is the classic key ingredient in most meatloaf recipes. People choose lean ground beef for meatloaf because of its tight structure and taste.
However, lean ground beef has less fat, making the meat dry after cooking. For this reason, people often add milk, sour cream, or eggs to increase the fat and moisture content of the meatloaf.
Thus, meatloaf made with beef takes between 27 and 55 minutes to be done when cooked at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on size. Note that if you drizzle more sauce on top, you’ll need extra 10 minutes to cook the meatloaf.
This is the second most popular meat used in meatloaf besides beef. Many people prefer meatloaf made from ground pork to ground beef.
Cooking pork meatloaf at 400 will take 35 to 40 minutes to be done. Ensure the meatloaf’s internal temperature is 165 degrees and clear water is coming out to be ready to eat.
Turkey meatloaf may seem strange to some people, but it’s among the top foods in the US, especially during Thanksgiving.
Turkey meat is lean and dry. Thus you’ll have to cook it for 45 to 50 minutes at 400 to be ready. Ensure you cover the meatloaf with foil when cooking to keep the moisture inside.
If you want to enhance the flavor of turkey meatloaf, sprinkle ketchup on top twice in 40 minutes. Doing so will require you to cook the meatloaf for an extra 35 minutes until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F.
Chicken meatloaf is less popular. However, it’s a favorite for those on low-fat diets. And like turkey, chicken is leaner and less moist, requiring more cooking time.
Cooking chicken meatloaf at 400 will take you 45 to 50 minutes for it to be ready. Remember to cover the loaf with foil to prevent drying and retain moisture.
Mixed meat in meatloaf is usually a combination of ground beef and pork. But the mixed meatloaf in some grocery stores contains beef, pork, and veal, creating an incredible flavor.
Cooking mixed meatloaf at 400 degrees F takes 35 to 60 minutes. However, if you add the glaze on top, you’ll have to cook it for an extra 20 to 25 minutes.
Size Of The Meatloaf
The size of the meatloaf is also crucial in determining its cooking time. Meatloaf comes in four sizes, mini, small, medium, and large. Here’s how it will take you to cook each at 400 degrees F.
Mini meatloaf is convenient, and many people enjoy eating it for their daily meals. It’s quick to prepare and easy to store in the freezer. Cooking mini meatloaf at 400 will take you about 25 minutes.
If a mini meatloaf is not enough for you and your family, a small meatloaf may do. Cooking a small meatloaf at 400 degrees F will take 35 to 45 minutes.
Medium meatloaf often fits dinner for an average family of about 3-4 people. Cooking this meatloaf size at 400 will take 45 to 55 minutes.
A large meatloaf is ideal for a big party or celebration where many people are attending. Cooking a large meatloaf at 400 degrees F will take between 60 and 80 minutes.
Texture Of Meatloaf
The texture of your meatloaf also determines its cooking time. Crispier meatloaf takes longer to cook than moist ones.
To attain a crispy meatloaf, you’ll need to cook your meatloaf at 400 for at least 60 minutes. The high temperatures can easily dry your meatloaf, especially if it’s small. For this reason, check your meatloaf frequently and brush oil on top to prevent drying.
You can also increase your meatloaf’s crispiness by coating it with a layer of fried dough and then frying it in the skillet.
If you love a moist meatloaf, cook it for 30 to 45 minutes at 400 degrees F. This will give you a moist meatloaf. You can also increase the wet ingredients in the recipe to moisten and soften your meatloaf.
How Can You Know Your Meatloaf Is Done?
Besides knowing the cooking times and temperatures, checking meatloaf doneness is crucial. That’s because various ovens have different convection affecting the temperature and cooking times. Here’s how you can check your meatloaf doneness:
Using a thermometer – is the best way to check for meatloaf doneness. Use meat or instant-read thermometer. Insert the thermometer in the thickest part of your meatloaf while still in the oven. Once the thermometer reads 160, your meatloaf is done and ready to eat.
Fork – insert a fork in the thickest part of your meatloaf. The fork should go easily and come out warm.
Toothpick or cake tester – insert a toothpick/cake tester in your meatloaf’s thickest part. The toothpick/cake tester should come out without crumbs sticking to it.
Physical impact – touch or squeeze your meatloaf gently. If the meatloaf returns to shape after squeezing, it’s done.
How long to cook meatloaf at 400 degrees Fahrenheit depends on various factors. For instance, the type of meat, desired texture, and size of the meatloaf. So, consider these before deciding on your cooking time. Remember not to rely on cooking time alone; instead, check for your meatloaf doneness to ensure it’s ready.