Reheat meatloaf to keep it tender, moist, and delicious. Whether you have a stovetop or oven, discover the best way to warm your leftovers quickly and safely.
Meatloaf is the epitome of a timeless crowd-pleaser. Whether you prefer classic American-style or meatloaf without breadcrumbs, everyone has their own take on the dish. It’s perfect for large groups or batch cooking, giving you an ample supply of quick and easy meals you can rely on for weeknight dinners.
Best of all, with the right approach, reheating it can still produce the same flavors and mouthfeel as when cooked fresh.
Whether you have an air fryer, cast iron skillet, or just a simple microwave, this is how to reheat meatloaf without letting it dry out.
The best way to reheat meatloaf is in an electric or gas oven. Use a baking tray lined with aluminum foil and cooking spray, as well as heat-resistant tongs and oven mitts. Use a good food thermometer to accurately read when the meat is ready.
The great thing about this method is that it reheats evenly. When done right, it keeps the meat juicy and succulent enough that your guests won’t even be able to tell you’ve warmed it. To use the oven:
- Preheat it to 250˚F.
- Put the meatloaf in a baking tray.
- Put a tablespoon of water or broth on the baking tray to ensure that the meatloaf stays tender and doesn’t dry out.
- The next step is to cover the baking tray with aluminum foil. This will keep the heat concentrated and the juices in. Heat the loaf for about 30minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165˚F.
One of the most obvious downsides of this method is that it tends to dry food out. As such, you will need to be careful when using the oven. You could even burn the food if you are not careful. Also, it takes longer than other methods.
The microwave is a standard method to use because it is usually readily available and also because it is fast. This method has the downside of sucking out all the moisture if you’re not careful as well. It may leave you with dry meatloaf.
You will need to have the microwave itself, a microwave-safe dish as well as paper towels. You will also need a microwave cover or lid. You will also need a pair of tongs to flip the meatloaf with. An internal thermometer is an added advantage. To heat the meatloaf:
- Place it in a microwave-safe dish.
- Reheat it for about 1 minute.
- Flip the meatloaf.
- At this point, it may be too hot, so be careful when you handle it. Heat it for a further 1 minute. If it’s not hot enough, heat it again.
An internal thermometer can be an added advantage at this point, as it will help you know when the meat has reached the correct internal temperature. It will also help you know if the meat is safe. If not, you have to rely on checking on it physically and reheat it if necessary.
The air fryer is a common choice for anyone looking for healthier frying or preparing meals. To heat meatloaf in an air fryer, make sure that the meatloaf is cut up into slices. This is so that each part of the meatloaf is adequately heated. Air fryers are more effective when a single layer of food is placed to have adequate air circulation.
Start by spraying the air fryer with a cooking spray of your choice. Place the slices of meatloaf in the air fryer, a layer at a time. It should take about 10 minutes to heat it thoroughly. Try not to turn the slices in a bid to heat them on all sides. One of the downsides of this method is that you are forced to cut it up into pieces whether you want to or not. You also need to make sure the heat is not too high or burn the meatloaf.
A steamer basket is quite similar in concept to the way an air fryer works. The most significant advantage is that it allows you to maintain moisture and tenderness in the meatloaf when you heat it. Drying out can be a problem if you don’t do it right. Fortunately, this isn’t something you have to worry about with a steamer basket.
You will need a pot and a steaming basket that you can easily lift out of the pot for this method. Pour a tablespoon into a pot on the stovetop to produce steam. When the water begins to produce steam, you can then place the meat in the steamer basket and put the basket in the pot.
It’s essential to make sure that the meatloaf is sliced to sit in the basket nicely and get adequately heated. A meat thermometer will help you know when the meatloaf is ready to eat. It needs to reach at least 165˚F.
You can also use a skillet or frying pan to heat the meatloaf. The best way to do so is to cut the meatloaf into individual slices. This way, you get every part of the meatloaf adequately steamed. This is particularly great if you had already cut up the meatloaf, which is often the case with leftover meatloaf.
A non-stick pan is a good idea to make sure that the meatloaf doesn’t stick. For this method, you will need oil and a skillet. You will be heating up on a stovetop. Start by placing a small amount of oil in the skillet on medium-low heat. You will also need a spatula, or tongs, to turn or flip the slices as they reheat and a meat thermometer to check the internal meat temperature.
Then place the individual slices in the pan. Cover the pan with a lid, as this will help the meat to reheat evenly. It will also avoid splatter. The reheating process should take about 4 minutes. Halfway through, flip the slices. You can add some drops of beef broth in the pan if it seems to be a bit dry. This also helps retain the moisture in the meatloaf. Once the meat has reached the right internal temperature, you can remove it from the heat and serve.