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Stand Mixer Meatloaf: Effortless Mixing for the Perfect Loaf

Stand mixer meatloaf topped with ketchup, slices, and being served on a white serving platter.
Transform your dinner table with this easy and delicious meatloaf recipe, a true testament to homestyle comfort food at its best.

Meatloaf is a classic comfort food that is loved for its hearty flavor and simplicity. Traditionally, this dish requires a good amount of manual mixing to ensure all ingredients are thoroughly combined. However, the use of a stand mixer can transform the meatloaf-making process into an efficient and less laborious task. Employing a stand mixer helps cooks of all skill levels to uniformly blend the ingredients, resulting in a consistent texture throughout the meatloaf.

Using a stand mixer for making meatloaf not only speeds up the process but also yields a mixture that's well-integrated, preventing the overworking of the meat that can lead to toughness. The gentle yet effective mixing action ensures the ground beef maintains its optimal texture. Moreover, a stand mixer can seamlessly incorporate binders and seasonings, such as breadcrumbs, eggs, and spices, providing an even distribution of flavors. This method can be especially beneficial for larger quantities, where uniformity in mixing is paramount for the best results.

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What Makes the Perfect Mixer Meatloaf

Creating the perfect mixer meatloaf involves a blend of traditional ingredients and the efficient use of a stand mixer to achieve a meat mixture with a fine texture.

Essential Ingredients

For any meatloaf recipe, the foundation comprises quality ground beef with a preferable fat content, typically an 80/20 ratio (80 percent meat to 20 percent fat). This ensures a moist result without being greasy. To enhance the flavors and provide structural integrity, a combination of finely chopped red onion, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and onion powder is recommended. Binding agents like eggs and oatmeal or breadcrumbs are crucial for forming a cohesive loaf. To balance the taste, typical seasonings include salt and ground pepper, along with ketchup or a similar glaze to coat the meatloaf.

Role of the Stand Mixer in Meatloaf Preparation





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Using a stand mixer can significantly streamline the meatloaf preparation process. It uniformly mixes the meatloaf ingredients, ensuring that seasonings and binding agents like eggs and breadcrumbs are thoroughly incorporated without overworking the meat by hand, which can result in a tough texture. The paddle attachment is ideal for mixing meatloaf, as it blends ingredients evenly. It's important to mix dry ingredients first and then to slowly incorporate wet ingredients on a low speed to maintain the right texture.

Ingredients

Overhead view of ground beef in mixing bowl of a stand mixer with oatmeal being added
  • ground beef, turkey, or pork
  • chopped onion or onion powder
  • oatmeal or bread crumbs
  • milk
  • eggs
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • salt
  • pepper
  • ketchup

See recipe card for quantities.

Instructions

For a uniform mixture that retains moisture and flavor, one should not rush the mixing process. The stand mixer should be operated at a low speed until the mixture just comes together. This strategy prevents the protein myosin from making the mixture too sticky and heavy, resulting in a light and tender final product.

Ingredients to make stand mixer meatloaf in a mixing bowl

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Add all ingredients to stand mixer bowl.

Overhead view of meatloaf ingredients in a mixing bowl with a paddle mixer attachment.

Mix on low speed for 45 seconds.

Meatloaf ingredients fully mixed using a stand mixer.

Turn off mixer and divide in half.

Hand shaped meatloaf - 2 loaves.

Hand shape into loaves or use a loaf pan. Each loaf should be approximately 12 inches x 5 inches. Place on parchment paper on a sheet pan. Brush the top and sides of each loaf with about ¼ cup of ketchup.

stand mixer meatloaf topped with barbecue sauce sliced and on a cutting board

Bake until the internal temperature, checked with a meat thermometer, registers 160 degrees F, approximately 45 minutes.

Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Preparation Techniques for Meatloaf

Stand mixer meatloaf topped with ketchup, slices, and being served on a white serving platter.

When preparing meatloaf, the cook's approach to shaping and mixing the meatloaf mixture plays a crucial role in the texture and moisture of the final dish. They may choose traditional loaf pans for a more classic shape or opt for a baking sheet for a crisper exterior. Proper mixing and handling of ground meat are essential for a cohesive and tender meatloaf.

Using a Loaf Pan vs. Baking Sheet

Loaf Pan:

  • Shape: A loaf pan gives meatloaf its traditional shape, ensuring an even cook and a moist interior.
  • Heat circulation: The pan's walls help to trap heat, which can prevent the crust from becoming too hard.

Baking Sheet:

  • Crispier Exterior: Spreading the meat mixture into a freeform loaf on a baking sheet allows for more exposed surface area, which can result in a crisper exterior.
  • Cooking Time: It may cook quicker due to more direct heat exposure.

Mixing and Handling the Meat Mixture

Mixing Technique:

  • Combining the ingredients uniformly is important for flavor and texture. Using a stand mixer on a low speed with a paddle attachment can help achieve a well-mixed, tender meatloaf without overworking the meat.

Handling:

  • Overmixing the meat can result in a dense, tough loaf. Instead, they should handle the raw meat gently to keep the meatloaf moist and tender.
  • Chilling the meatloaf mixture before shaping helps to keep the fats from melting too soon, which is crucial for a moist meatloaf.

By meticulously choosing the right baking vessel and attentively mixing the meatloaf ingredients, cooks can ensure their meatloaf is flavorful, moist, and holds its shape after cooking.

Cooking Meatloaf to Perfection

To cook meatloaf to perfection, one should monitor internal temperatures closely and apply techniques to ensure the meatloaf remains moist and flavorful throughout the cooking process.

Internal Cooking Temperatures

Meatloaf should be cooked until it reaches a safe internal temperature to ensure it is fully cooked and safe to eat. The USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 160°F for ground meats. Utilize a meat thermometer to accurately gauge this. Insert the thermometer into the center of the loaf, avoiding the bottom of the pan. The temperature guide for meatloaf is as follows:

DonenessInternal Temperature
Safe to eat160°F

Maintaining Moisture and Flavor

The key to a moist and flavorful meatloaf lies in the preparation and cooking technique. First, one should use cold ingredients to aid in maintaining the fat structure within the meatloaf, which contributes to moisture. Second, incorporating ingredients like eggs, breadcrumbs, or milk helps to retain moisture within the meat. Adding seasonings and aromatics such as onions, garlic, and herbs also infuses the meatloaf with rich flavors.

During cooking, one can cover the meatloaf with foil to lock in moisture and prevent the top from drying out too quickly. They may also choose to add a glaze or sauce on top during the last part of cooking to introduce additional moisture and flavor.

By adhering to the correct internal temperatures and employing moisture-retaining techniques, the meatloaf will emerge from the oven juicy and delicious, ready to be served as a satisfying main dish.

Serving and Pairing Meatloaf

When it comes to enjoying meatloaf, the main dish shines when accompanied by the right sides. These additions should enhance the flavors and textures of the meatloaf, creating a harmonious and satisfying meal.

Side Dishes That Complement Meatloaf

  • Mashed Potatoes: A classic partner for meatloaf, creamy mashed potatoes provide a smooth texture contrast and can be seasoned with butter, milk, and a hint of pepper to elevate their taste.
  • Steamed Vegetables: Colorful and nutritious, steamed vegetables like carrots, broccoli, or green beans offer a lighter, healthful balance to the richness of the meatloaf.
  • Macaroni and Cheese: For a more indulgent side, a creamy macaroni and cheese complements the meatloaf with its hearty texture and rich, cheesy flavor.
  • Roasted Potatoes: With a crispy exterior and tender inside, they provide a satisfying bite that pairs well with the softness of the meatloaf.
  • Salad: A fresh green salad, dressed lightly with vinaigrette, adds a crisp and refreshing element to the plate.

By selecting side dishes that contrast with the comforting textures and rich flavors of meatloaf, one creates a meal that satisfies the palate on multiple levels.

Storing and Reheating Meatloaf

Proper storage and reheating are crucial for maintaining the meatloaf's moisture and flavor. Below are detailed best practices for storing meatloaf for later consumption and methods for reheating meatloaf without drying it out.

Best Practices for Storage

For short-term storage (1-2 days), tightly wrap the meatloaf in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place it in an airtight container. This helps to retain moisture and prevent dryness. For longer storage, freezing is recommended. Wrap the meatloaf in plastic wrap or a freezer bag, squeezing out as much air as possible to avoid freezer burn.

  • Refrigerator: 1-2 days, tightly wrapped to preserve moisture.
  • Freezer:
    • Wrap tightly in plastic wrap;
    • Place in a freezer bag and remove air.

Reheating Without Drying Out

To reheat meatloaf without drying it out, bring it to a temperature that warms it thoroughly while preserving its moist texture. One can use either the oven or a microwave for this purpose.

Oven Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C).
  2. Place the meatloaf in a shallow baking dish.
  3. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water or beef broth to keep the meatloaf moist.
  4. Cover with aluminum foil to lock in moisture.
  5. Reheat until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

Microwave Method (for quicker reheating):

  • Place the meatloaf on a microwave-safe dish.
  • Add a few tablespoons of water or beef broth.
  • Cover with a microwave-safe lid or wrap, ensuring it's not airtight.
  • Reheat on medium power in short intervals, checking periodically to avoid overcooking.

Top tips

  • In place of ketchup brush the loaves with jelly, barbecue sauce, or teriyaki.
  • To bake in loaf pans increase time to 55 minutes.
  • If you don't need two loaves, eat one and freeze one for a future quick and easy dinner.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, readers will find valuable insights on how to enhance their meatloaf preparation using a stand mixer. Detailed below are the commonly asked questions related to meatloaf preparation in a stand mixer, providing concise and informative answers that aim to improve the cooking process.

How do you use a stand mixer to prepare meatloaf?

To use a stand mixer for meatloaf, one typically combines the meat with other ingredients in the mixer bowl. Using the paddle attachment, the mixture is then blended on a low to medium setting until it is evenly mixed.

What is the best attachment for mixing meat in a stand mixer like KitchenAid?

The best attachment for mixing meat in a KitchenAid stand mixer is the flat beater or paddle attachment. It efficiently mixes the ingredients without overworking the meat, which can lead to a tough texture.

What are the benefits of using a stand mixer to make meatloaf?

Using a stand mixer for meatloaf preparation leads to more uniform mixing of ingredients which may enhance the flavor distribution and can result in a more tender meatloaf. It also saves time and can prevent the ingredients from becoming overworked.

What are some tips for ensuring a moist meatloaf when using a stand mixer?

To ensure a moist meatloaf, avoid overmixing as this can toughen the meat. Adding ingredients with moisture, like ketchup, eggs, or milk, and using higher-fat meat can also help retain moisture during cooking.

Can a flat edge beater be effectively used for making meatloaf in a stand mixer?

Yes, a flat edge beater can be effectively used for making meatloaf in a stand mixer. It is designed to scrape the sides of the bowl, ensuring ingredients are uniformly mixed without manual intervention.

What are the key steps to follow when using a KitchenAid stand mixer for meatloaf recipes?

The key steps are starting with a paddle attachment, adding the ingredients into the mixer bowl, and then blending them on a low to moderate speed setting until just combined. Next, form the blend into a loaf shape, and bake as the recipe directs.

📖 Recipe

Stand Mixer Meatloaf

Transform your dinner table with this easy and delicious meatloaf recipe, a true testament to homestyle comfort food at its best.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe Save Recipe
Stand mixer meatloaf topped with ketchup, slices, and being served on a white serving platter.
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef can substitute turkey or pork
  • 1 onion medium
  • 1 cup instant oatmeal or plain bread crumbs
  • cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup ketchup

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400℉.
  • Add all the ingredients to the stand mixer bowl and mix for 45 seconds.
    2 pounds ground beef, 1 onion, 1 cup instant oatmeal, ⅔ cup milk, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, ¼ cup ketchup
  • Divide the meat mixture in half and form each half into loaves and place on a small sheet pan.
  • If desired, brush the top and sides of each loaf with about ¼ cup of ketchup.
  • Bake approximately 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 160℉ using a meat thermometer.
  • Let meat loaves rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

As with any of my recipes, calorie counts and nutritional information varies greatly depending on which products you choose to use when cooking this dish.

Nutrition

Calories: 246kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 537mg | Potassium: 310mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 91IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 2mg
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 246kcal
Author: Mary Beth
Cost: $12.00

Pairing

These are some of my favorite dishes to serve with this recipe - you can also check out all of my other delicious and easy side dishes here:

Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:

Signature Block - with photo of Mary Beth, your homemaking coach, and a pink stand mixer

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