Meatloaf is a classic comfort food that is often made in large batches and eaten throughout the week. However, reheating meatloaf properly is key to maintaining its texture and flavor. Here are several methods for reheating meatloaf using common appliances.
Reheating Meatloaf in the Oven
The oven provides an easy, hands-off way to evenly reheat meatloaf without drying it out.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Slice the chilled meatloaf into slices or slabs about 1 inch thick. This allows for faster, more even reheating.
- Place meatloaf slices on a baking sheet lined with foil or a baking dish.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes if slices are 1 inch thick. Bake a little longer, 15-20 minutes, for thicker slabs.
- Check for even heating and continue baking if needed until hot throughout.
- Use an instant read thermometer to check that meatloaf has reached 165°F internally before removing from oven.
Reheating Meatloaf in the Microwave
The microwave provides a quick method for reheating a single portion of meatloaf.
- Cut a slice of chilled meatloaf about 1 inch thick.
- Place on a microwave-safe plate and cover loosely with paper towel to prevent splattering.
- Microwave on High for 45 seconds to 1 minute for a single slice.
- Allow to rest 1 minute then check internal temperature with instant read thermometer, reheating for 15 seconds more if needed.
- Take care not to overcook the meatloaf, microwaving just until heated through to 165°F.
Reheating Meatloaf in the Air Fryer
Air fryers use rapid hot air to produce crispy edges when reheating.
- Preheat air fryer to 350°F.
- Cut chilled meatloaf into 1-inch thick slices.
- Place slices in air fryer basket in single layer, without overcrowding.
- Cook 5-7 minutes until hot throughout and slightly crispy on edges.
- Flip slices halfway through for even browning.
- Check internal temperature to confirm meatloaf has reached 165°F before removing from air fryer.
Reheating Meatloaf on the Stovetop
The stovetop allows you to reheat slices of meatloaf in a skillet for a quick weeknight dinner.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil or butter.
- Add 1-inch thick slices of chilled meatloaf in a single layer.
- Cook 2-3 minutes per side until hot throughout.
- Optionally, add sauce or gravy and let meatloaf slices simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes, flipping occasionally, until fully heated through.
- Check internal temperature, cooking until meatloaf reaches 165°F before removing from heat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I reheat leftover meatloaf without drying it out?
A: The key is to reheat meatloaf gently using a low-to-moderate temperature. Reheat in the oven at 325°F covered in sauce or gravy to keep it moist. Or slice the meatloaf and reheat slices quickly in the skillet with a little butter or oil.
Q: Can I reheat meatloaf in the microwave?
A: Yes, the microwave provides a fast way to reheat a single portion. Cut meatloaf into 1-inch slices. Microwave for 45-60 seconds on High per slice. Check internal temperature and cook 15 seconds more if needed. Take care not to overcook.
Q: How long does it take to reheat meatloaf?
A: Reheating time depends on thickness and appliance. In the oven, allow 10-15 minutes for 1-inch slices at 350°F. A single slice will take 45-60 seconds in the microwave. In the air fryer, cook 1-inch slices for 5-7 minutes at 350°F.
Q: Is reheated meatloaf safe to eat?
A: Yes, as long as the meatloaf is reheated to an internal temperature of 165°F it is safe to eat. Use a food thermometer to verify.
Q: Can I reheat meatloaf directly from the refrigerator?
A: It’s best to avoid reheating meatloaf directly from the refrigerator. Allow it to sit out for 10-15 minutes first to take the chill off. This helps the meatloaf heat more gently and evenly. Reheating cold meatloaf suddenly can lead to uneven cooking.
Q: What temperature should reheated meatloaf reach?
A: For food safety, reheated meatloaf should reach an internal temperature of 165°F as measured with a food thermometer. This kills any harmful bacteria that may be present.
Q: How can I keep the bottom of meatloaf from getting soggy when reheating?
A: Place meatloaf on a wire rack set on a baking sheet before reheating in the oven. This allows air flow and prevents the bottom from getting soggy. Another option is to reheat meatloaf slices quickly in a hot skillet to crisp the bottom.
Q: My microwave-reheated meatloaf is tough and rubbery. What went wrong?
A: Overcooking is likely the cause. Microwave meatloaf slices for the minimum amount of time to retain moisture and avoid toughening the protein. Heat meatloaf only until it reaches 165°F internally, and allow it to rest before serving.
Tips for Reheating Meatloaf
- Slice chilled meatloaf before reheating for faster, more even heating.
- Flip or stir meatloaf during reheating to prevent hot or cold spots.
- Add sauce or gravy when reheating to add moisture and flavor.
- Reheat meatloaf on lower power or temperature and check often to prevent drying out.
- Allow a rest time after reheating so the temperature can evenly distribute.
- Brush meatloaf slices with oil or melted butter before reheating for added moisture and browning.
- Add fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary when reheating meatloaf for extra flavor.
- Reheat leftover meatloaf gravy or sauce separately to avoid diluting it. Then pour over meatloaf just before serving.
- Turn meatloaf slices during reheating for even cooking. Use tongs to prevent piercing the meat which can dry it out.
- Meatloaf reheats best when sliced 1-inch thick. Thinner slices dry out faster.
Recipe for Oven-Reheated Meatloaf
- 1 leftover meatloaf, cut into 1-inch slices
- 1 cup beef gravy or sauce
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Place meatloaf slices in a baking dish and cover with gravy or sauce.
- Cover dish with foil. Bake for 10-15 minutes until heated through.
- Remove foil and bake 5 more minutes to reduce any excess liquid.
- Check internal temperature and bake longer if needed to reach 165°F.
- Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy your moist oven-reheated meatloaf!
Skillet Reheated Meatloaf
- 2 slices leftover meatloaf, cut 1-inch thick
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
- 2 slices melting cheese like provolone (optional)
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add meatloaf slices and cook 2-3 minutes per side until browned.
- Brush cooked sides with barbecue sauce. Top each slice with cheese if desired.
- Cover skillet and cook 1-2 minutes more until cheese is melted and meatloaf is heated through.
Crispy Air Fryer Meatloaf
- 1 leftover meatloaf, sliced into 4 equal pieces
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Mix panko, Parmesan, and Italian seasoning in a shallow dish.
- Brush meatloaf pieces all over with olive oil, then coat with panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere.
- Arrange breaded meatloaf pieces in air fryer basket.
- Cook at 400°F for 6-8 minutes until crispy and heated through (165°F).
- 4 slices leftover meatloaf
- 4 ciabatta or Kaiser rolls, split
- 4 slices provolone cheese
- 6 basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Place sliced meatloaf on preheated grill or grill pan and cook 2-3 minutes per side until heated through and grill marks appear.
- Place a slice of meatloaf, provolone, and basil on each bun bottom.
- Drizzle with balsamic glaze and close sandwiches.
- Wrap sandwiches in foil and place on baking sheet. Bake 5 minutes to melt cheese. Enjoy!
Here are some recommended ovens, microwaves, air fryers and stovetops for reheating meatloaf:
- GE JT5000SFSS: Features true convection cooking and a large 5 cubic feet capacity.
- LG LDE4415ST: Has EasyClean® interior coating and a fast preheat setting.
- Whirlpool WOS51EC0HS: AccuBake temperature management system helps prevent hot and cold spots.
- Frigidaire FGET2765PF: Offers a self-cleaning cycle and temperature probe cooking.
- Bosch 800 Series HGI8056UC: Precise cooking modes include convection bake and broil.
- Panasonic NN-SN936B: Inverter technology delivers consistent heating at lower power levels.
- Toshiba EM131A5C-BS: Large 1.2 cubic feet capacity with smart sensor cooking.
- Breville Quick Touch BMO734XL: Preset options for reheating pizza, rolls, and plates of food.
- GE JES1656SRSS: Has a humidity sensor to adjust power levels and prevent drying out food.
- Sharp R-1874T 850W: Features a +30 sec button for quick reheating in 30 second increments.
- Instant Vortex Plus 7-in-1: Rotisserie function provides even heating and crispy edges.
- Ninja AF101: 4-quart nonstick pot with crisper plate allows flipping food easily.
- Philips XXL Digital: Extra large 3 pound capacity with smart preset programs.
- Dash Tasti Crisp: Auto-shutoff function for safety. Budget friendly option.
- Cosori Dual Blaze: Features dual basket design to cook two foods at once.
- GE 30″ Gas Cooktop – This 5 burner gas stovetop has a powerful 18,000 BTU center oval burner that provides quick, even heating. The grates are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
- Bosch 800 Series Electric Cooktop – With four induction elements, this cooktop heats up rapidly and the surface stays cool to the touch. The timer function helps prevent overcooking.
- LG LCE3010SB Electric Cooktop – Featuring LG’s proprietary SmartSelect red LED controls, this smoothtop electric cooktop makes it easy to manage heat settings.
- KitchenAid 30″ Gas Cooktop – The cast iron grates on this gas cooktop minimize hot spots for consistent reheating. It has a powerful 18,000 BTU burner.
- Frigidaire Gallery Series Electric Cooktop – The Ready-Select controls on this affordable electric cooktop let you easily adjust to the right temperature when reheating meatloaf slices.
The key to reheating meatloaf is using a low-to-moderate temperature and reheating thoroughly until the center reaches safe eating temperature. Follow these guidelines for your chosen appliance to enjoy delicious leftover meatloaf.