How Long to Cook a Meatloaf at 400 Degrees – Perfect Recipe!

Do you want to know how to cook a meatloaf at 400 degrees? Wanting to cook meatloaf at a high temperature indicates you are in a hurry and want faster but ideal results. But how on earth can you enjoy a perfect, mouth-watering meatloaf on your dining table when you are not sure how to cook a meatloaf in less time because you’re in haste?

Don’t worry; achieving a perfect tasty meatloaf in less time doesn’t involve complexity. It’s easy to make meatloaf tender and flavorful in less time.

All you need to do is follow the recipe we’ll share here, along with the temperature and required time. We’ll explain the best meatloaf recipe besides valuable tips for your tastebuds’ pleasure! Let’s get into the main meat!

Classic 2 lb Meatloaf at 400 Degrees – Step by Step Recipe

Here we go right into the recipe for making the perfect classic 2-pound meatloaf at 400 degrees!

Ingredients

2 cups of panko bread crumbs (or simple white bread if you don’t have panko)
2 cups whole milk
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped, minced, or grated on a box grater.
2 lbs ground beef, or any meat of your choice, (85%-95% lean, preferably chuck or brisket)
2 large eggs
3 large garlic cloves (minced beforehand).
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp salt (or according to your taste)
2 tsp of Italian seasoning (optional)
2 tsp of ground black pepper
1 tsp of mustard powder
1 tsp paprika

Ingredients for glaze sauce

⅓ cup ketchup
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp of onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
¼ tsp mustard powder

Instructions

Prepare the glaze sauce

  • Mix the ketchup and brown sugar until you get a smooth texture.
  • Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and mix them.

Mix in the meatloaf ingredients

  • First, you must preheat your oven to exactly 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This step is essential because it helps the meatloaf cook evenly.
  • In a large-sized bowl, add lean beef mince, onion, and garlic, and mix them.
  • Add breadcrumbs to the mixture and mix.
  • In a separate bowl, add eggs and milk and mix them well.
  • Put the mixture of eggs and milk into the beef mince and mix using your hands. Remember, you don’t need to mix these ingredients using a food processor as heavy mixing can ruin the ultimate texture and result in pretty hard meatloaf.
  • At the end add ketchup, salt, black pepper, paprika, and Italian seasoning. Again, mix everything evenly using your hands!

Shape the meatloaf

  • Get a loaf pan or any rectangular storage box, and line it with parchment paper. Oil the parchment paper and transfer the mixture of meatloaf into it.
  • Press it so that the mixture gets the shape of a loaf.
  • Transfer the loaf to the sheet tray upside down to get the raw meatloaf ready to go into the oven.

Bake the meatloaf at 400 degrees F

  • Carefully place the loaf tray into the preheated oven at 400 degrees and close it. Let it bake for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, take the loaf out of the oven and brush it with the glaze sauce evenly on the top and all the sides.
  • Put the loaf again for baking and after about 30-35 minutes, start checking the loaf’s temperature using an instant-read thermometer for baking or a meat probe thermometer that comes with a receiver. Both will be wonderful.
  • Bake the meatloaf until your thermometer shows the internal temperature at 160-165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Notes

The main thing about meatloaf is not the time; it’s the temperature. Your meatloaf can take between 45-50 minutes, depending on its overall volume or thickness. The thinner the meatloaf is, the sooner it’ll reach the safe temperature of 160-165 degrees. An optimum temperature of 160-165 degrees is recommended for pork or beef. Yet, for chicken or turkey, it’ll be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. So, in ideal conditions, the time for your 2 lb meatloaf in the oven should be 45-50 minutes. In fact, after this time, start periodically checking the internal temperature of your meatloaf.

What Makes a Great Meatloaf Baked at 400 Degrees?

Before getting into the mine recipe for cooking a meatloaf at 400 degrees, we’ve explained a few standards to help you assess your success. Why? 

It’ll prevent you from making some small mistakes that have serious effects on your recipe. So, an excellent meatloaf is:

  • Not overly seasoned — keep it simple and enjoy it the most!
  • Not falling apart when you cut it.
  • Grease free: not runny — choosing 85-95% lean meat is advisable.
  • Not too hard — excessive use of binders like oats or bread crumbs can be the reason. Similarly, over-pressing the material into the loaf pan can cause the meatloaf to be tightly packed and get excessively hard.

Some Tips for Baking the Best 2 lb Meatloaf at 400 Degrees

Cooking your meatloaf isn’t smooth sailing. Few mistakes can dishearten you. Below, we’ve shared a few valuable tips. Note them and enjoy pro-level cooking.

Mix, but don’t over-mix!

If you mix the meatloaf mixture too much, the meatloaf will become super dense. You can avoid this by using a fork for mixing instead of your hands. You might squeeze the mixture and break the meat fibers with your hands.

The meat probe is a must-have. 

A meat probe is a must for many recipes, just like for meatloaf. You can quickly check the internal temperature of your meatloaf by just inserting the probe into it after 40 minutes. If it needs to be higher in temperature, just bake it for a little longer.

FAQs 

How do I get my meatloaf to be moist?

The ingredients are the most crucial factor when you want a moist meatloaf. The best meatloaves are made with lean ground beef and many binding elements, such as breadcrumbs and eggs. You can even use BBQ sauce.

My meatloaf falls apart; what can I do?

This often happens when you don’t use enough binding ingredients such as eggs and breadcrumbs. It can also occur when you don’t press the meatloaf tightly enough.

Why do cooking times vary?

Cooking times depend on a variety of factors, such as,

  • If a gas oven or an electric oven is being used.
  • The density of your meatloaf depends on the type of meat used and the texture of your mixture.
  • If you use dense vegetables in the mixture, it will affect the overall consistency of the mix.

For best results, when making meatloaf, caramelizing or softening vegetables such as carrots and onions works wonders.

How long does it take to cook a 2lb meatloaf at 400?

For a 2lb meatloaf, we should bake it in the oven at 400 for 45-50 minutes. After that, the internal temperature should be checked if it has reached the desired level.

How long does it take to cook a meatloaf at 300?

To cook a 1lb meatloaf at 300, you’ll need to put it in the oven for about 2 hours. 300 degrees works for small 1lb meatloaves, but higher temperatures are better for bigger meatloaves.

How long does it take to cook a meatloaf at 350?

Although different sizes require different times in a conventional oven, a good rule is to bake them for about 35-45 minutes. After that, you can check the internal temperature and go according to that. In short, 1lb of meatloaf will take 35-45 minutes, while a 2lb one will take 55-60 minutes.

How long does it take to cook a 1lb meatloaf at 425?

This temperature is for when you have a bigger meatloaf and are low on time. For a 1lb meatloaf, start checking the internal temperature after the 30-minute mark. It might burn on the outside at this temperature, though, so be careful!

Is meatloaf healthy?

Traditional restaurant meatloaves are super tasty but packed with calories, sodium, sugar, and saturated fat. It’s pretty nutritionally flat. In addition, it contains gluten too. You can swap some of the ingredients, such as breadcrumbs, for a healthier option.

What is the best instant-read thermometer for baking?

Alpha Grillers Instant Read Thermometer is best for checking your loaf’s temperature. It’s one of the most accurate meat thermometers you can buy. It makes cooking meat, poultry, and fish easy.

Yet, if you’re a busy person and can’t stand by the oven’s side to observe temperature, you can use a smart probe thermometer like Meater Plus. It’s also highly accurate, cheap, and waterproof, which is great. So, it is a handy guide to meat temperatures that are printed right on the thermometer. 

This is great for all meats, whether they are whole or chopped up. Aside from that, the backlight is bright, which makes it easy to read the digital display.

Can I add veggies to my meatloaf?

Yes, you can add a few tablespoons of your favorite veggies, like bell peppers, carrots, or potatoes. Add these veggies directly or after sauteing them in a few drops of olive oil. 

You should avoid using vegetables with higher moisture levels, for they can affect your meatloaf’s binding and make it fall apart. 

ENJOY YOUR BEST MEATLOAF CARNIVORES!

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