How Long To Cook 1 Lb Meatloaf? (Full Guide)

How Long To Cook 1 Lb Meatloaf

Lindsey, do you know how long should I cook a 1lb meatloaf? This is one of the questions our readers ask a lot. Well, we´ve got you covered.

Meatloaf is a tasty, nutritious dish that is easy to prepare and cook. You need to prepare the mixture first using ground beef and a variety of spices and then pop it into the oven to cook. But how long should you cook 1lb of meatloaf?

1lb of ground beef should be cooked for 30 to 45 minutes at a temperature of 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature for cooking is around 375 degrees.

Read on to find out more about how long you should cook meatloaf and the temperature you should choose.

Happy reading!

How long should you cook 1lb of meatloaf?

So, how long should you cook 1lb of meatloaf? The answer to this depends on the temperature at which you’re cooking the meatloaf. On average, you should cook meatloaf at a temperature of 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

For this temperature range, the meatloaf will take anywhere between 30 and 45 minutes to get cooked completely per pound. 

The important thing over here is that the meatloaf should reach an internal temperature of 160 to 170 degrees to get perfectly cooked.

To keep track of the internal temperature while you’re cooking, insert a digital meat thermometer into the meatloaf.

Another thing to note is that even if you cook meatloaf at the same temperature every time, it will not always take the same time to get done.

Thus, the best way to make sure the meatloaf is perfectly cooked is to use a digital thermometer.

Read also >> How Long To Cook Meatloaf at 425 (Full Guide)

What is the best temperature for cooking 1lb of meatloaf?

The temperature that is best for cooking 1lb of meatloaf is slightly different for everybody depending on the meat and how well it is cooked.

But generally, the best temperature is around 375 degrees on average, with the cooking time ranging from 30 to 45 minutes in a conventional oven.

The cooking time may vary depending on the size and quantity of the meat, but the temperature should usually be between 350 and 400 degrees.

Here, we list the ideal cooking times for different temperatures.

  • On average you need about 40 to 45 minutes to cook 1lb meatloaf at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • On average you need about 35 to 40 minutes to cook 1lb meatloaf at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • On average you need about 30 to 35 minutes to cook 1lb meatloaf at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

What ingredients do you need to cook 1lb of meatloaf?

If you’re unsure about what ingredients you need to cook meatloaf, here is a list of them to help you get started.

  • 1 pound ground beef (that is 90% lean)
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup of dried breadcrumbs
  • ¼ tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 or 2 eggs (beaten)
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons of ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley leaves
  • ¾ tablespoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder

To make the topping, you need the following ingredients:

  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

This ingredient list is taken from the recipe at The Wholesome Dish.

Meatloaf nutrition facts

According to Nutritionix, 1 slice of meatloaf (about 183g) has the following nutritional composition:

  • Total Fat: 18 grams
    • Saturated Fat: 6.4 grams
    • Trans Fat: 0.7grams
    • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 gram
    • Monounsaturated Fat: 8.3 grams
  • Cholesterol: 123 milligrams
  • Sodium: 844 milligrams
  • Potassium: 538 milligrams
  • Total Carbohydrates: 14 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.2 grams
  • Sugars: 6.1 grams
  • Protein: 27 grams
  • Vitamin A: 3.6%
  • Vitamin C: 8.7%
  • Calcium: 4.9%
  • Iron: 19%

Recipe for making meatloaf

Here’s a great recipe for making meatloaf on The Wholesome Dish. We’ve already mentioned the ingredients you’ll need in this recipe before.

  1. First, put all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix them well.
  2. Next, pour this mixture of ingredients into a loaf pan and spread it out evenly. Make sure the mixture lies flat in the pan.
  3. For making the sauce for the meatloaf, add the ketchup, red wine vinegar, and brown sugar into a bowl and whisk the mixture well.
  4. Pour the sauce over the meat mixture in the loaf pan and spread it out evenly.
  5. Put the meatloaf in the oven to bake, after preheating it to 375 degrees.
  6. Let the meatloaf bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Use a digital meat thermometer to keep track of the internal temperature of the meatloaf. When the meatloaf reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees, it is ready to be taken out.

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How to know when meatloaf is cooked?

If you don’t have much experience with making meatloaf or if you’re doing it for the first time, you might be wondering how to know if it is cooked or not.

The best way to check if the meatloaf is done is to use a digital meat probe thermometer.

Such thermometers that are designed for the oven usually feature a probe (inside the oven) connected to a digital display (outside the oven) by a long cable. This allows you to accurately keep track of the internal temperature of the meatloaf even when it is inside the oven.

Later, we’ll list down some of the best meat probe thermometers you can buy.

Another method of checking if the meatloaf is done entails taking it out and squeezing it to check if it oozes clear liquid. If it does, it is perfectly done.

You can also slice the meatloaf and see if the meat is cooked nicely.

Best digital probe thermometers you can buy for cooking meatloaf

Digital probe thermometers for meat are excellent tools to help you cook meatloaf correctly for the required duration.

They make it easy for you to keep track of the internal temperature of the meatloaf and let you know when it’s ready to be taken out. Here, we mention some of the best probe thermometers you can buy for baking meatloaf in the oven.

Please note that all prices mentioned are the ones at the time of writing and may change.

  1. Saferell Meat Thermometer for Cooking
  2. ChefAlarm® Cooking Alarm Thermometer and Timer
  3. Lavatools Javelin PRO Meat Thermometer
  4. ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Meat Thermometer
  5. DOT® Simple Alarm Thermometer
Our Pick
Food Thermometer for Grill and Cooking

How to serve meatloaf, which sides to include

The proper way to serve meatloaf is to prepare and serve some side dishes with it.

Serving meatloaf is very easy since it requires minimal preparation and effort and goes well with a wide variety of side dishes.

Here’s a list of some side dishes that go perfectly well with meatloaf.

  • Mashed potatoes (of course!)
  • Macaroni with cheese
  • Peas, sliced onions, and mushrooms
  • Asparagus, broccoli, leeks, and mashed cauliflower
  • Cheesy garlic bread
  • Many types of vegetable salads
  • Sliced carrots
  • Pasta salad

How to prepare meatloaf quickly

One pound of meatloaf takes between 30 and 45 minutes to cook in a conventional oven at 350 to 400 degrees on average.

And the preparation part before cooking also takes time. But is there some way you can prepare and cook meatloaf quickly? Here are a few tips to help you prepare meatloaf faster.

  • Prepare the meatloaf a day earlier. If you prepare your meatloaf (mix the meat with spices and sauce and pour it into a loaf pan) a day before and freeze it until the next day, it will take you less time to prepare it.
  • Cook the meatloaf in a broiler. Using a broiler will cook your meatloaf faster than an oven as it will cook at a higher temperature. But you should be careful and avoid overcooking the meatloaf.
  • Bake smaller loaves. Dividing the meatloaf into smaller pans will cook it faster than using one large loaf pan.   

Why does the cooking time vary for meatloaf?

The cooking time for meatloaf can vary for a number of reasons.

Firstly, gas and electric ovens heat differently and the time for cooking 1 pound of meatloaf won’t be the same for them.

Moreover, different meats have different densities and the way they’re ground can yield different results, affecting the cooking time.

Another reason for varying cooking times can be the different vegetables used in the meatloaf. Vegetables that are dense such as onions and carrots, can change the consistency of the meatloaf, making it thicker.

This in turn will increase the time it takes for the meatloaf to be cooked. To reduce the cooking time, it is recommended that you soften dense vegetables by caramelizing them.

This not only cuts down the cooking time but also makes the perfect meatloaf.

Should you remove grease from the meatloaf?

A common question people have when making meatloaf is: should the grease be removed from the meatloaf? Removing the grease from the meatloaf can be a good idea and usually results in the meatloaf having a crispy top.

So, yes, removing the grease from the meatloaf before you it is cooked can result in a crispier surface.

But when and how should you remove the grease? Ideally, the grease should be removed from the loaf pan 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time.

A useful tip over here is to prepare the meatloaf before cooking it. This yields the best results and makes it easy for you to cut slices after it is cooked.

Best tips for preparing and cooking meatloaf

While preparing and cooking meatloaf isn’t difficult, there are a few things you should be careful about if you want to get the perfect meatloaf out of the oven.

Here are some tips and best practices for preparing and cooking meatloaf.

  • Use meat that is lean and has a high fat percentage. This will result in grainier, crispier, and drier meatloaf.
  • Use sauteed vegetables to add more flavor and moisture.
  • Pour the meat mixture into a pan that will give it some space to expand and caramelize especially on the sides. For best results, use a sheet pan instead of a loaf pan.
  • Consider making small loaves instead of a single, large one. Smaller loaves cook better and are easy to store.
  • After taking the meatloaf out of the oven, let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting it into slices.

Can you freeze and store meatloaf?

Yes, absolutely! Meatloaf is very easy to store for later. Storing smaller loaves is easier since they take up less space and are easy to reheat once you want to take them out.

After you take the meatloaf out from the freezer or refrigerator, you usually have to defrost them for a while before cooking them.

Should you reheat meatloaf after taking it out from storage? The answer is yes! A good way to reheat leftover meatloaf is to preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, sprinkle some beef broth on the slices, and cover them with aluminum foil.

You should then leave the meatloaf in the oven for about 20 minutes.

How to store meatloaf for later

There are two ways to store leftover meatloaf for later: storing it in the freezer and storing it in the refrigerator. We’ll go over both methods in detail to give you a good idea of how to go about storing meatloaf.

Storing in the freezer

To store meatloaf in a freezer, pack the slices into airtight containers or freezing bags.

The meatloaf needs to be packed correctly and securely and can stay safe in your freezer for some time.

Remember to defrost and reheat the meatloaf after taking it out.

Storing in the refrigerator

If you’re storing meatloaf in your refrigerator, you need to pack it securely in airtight containers. Wrapping it up in aluminum foil will also work.

If refrigerated properly, cooked meatloaf can be safely stored in your fridge for up to 4 days.

How Long To Cook 1 Lb Meatloaf FAQs

Do I need to cook onions before putting them in the meatloaf?

Cooking the onions before putting them in the meatloaf is up to you. If you want your meatloaf to have a good texture and more flavor, adding sauteed onions will definitely help.

Should I add milk to the meatloaf mixture?

Yes, adding milk to the mixture is recommended.

This is because milk moistens the breadcrumbs and prevents the meatloaf from becoming too dry.

Can I cook meatloaf in an air fryer? How long would it take?

Yes, you can cook meatloaf in an air fryer instead of an oven. 1 pound of meatloaf will take about 25 minutes to cook in an air fryer.

The air fryer should be preheated to 350 degrees. Before serving and slicing the meatloaf, make sure you let it cool for about 10 minutes.

Why is my meatloaf crumbly?

If your meatloaf is crumbly, there can be many reasons behind it. Common reasons include the ingredients not binding properly, not adding milk, or cooking the meatloaf longer than needed.

Should I cover the meatloaf when it is baking?

This is up to you. You can cover the meatloaf if you want, but it shouldn’t remain covered during the entire cooking period.

If you want to cover it, use aluminum foil, but take it off during the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Final thoughts

Preparing and cooking 1lb of meatloaf isn’t difficult, but there are some things you need to be careful about when doing it.

Meatloaf should be prepared using ground beef, vegetables, and a variety of spices. It needs to be cooked at a temperature of 375 degrees Fahrenheit ideally, for 35 to 40 minutes.

When it’s done, it needs to cool down before serving.

This guide contains all the details and information you might need to prepare, cook, and store meatloaf. We hope you find it useful!



Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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