The Makeup of Meatloaf

April  2, 2016

Meatloaf is one of those dishes that we can count among the canon of dinner classics. Many remember this meal as a family anchor—a dinnertime standard that your mom, dad, grandma, or other loved ones cooked up time and time again (and with no shortage of compliments).

Photo by James Ransom

Despite the fact that so many rally around this memory-heavy meal, it's also a dish that never fails to divide us. Over on the Hotline, community member jimcrowl was wondering about the "right" mix of meats for the perfect meatloaf, and that got us thinking: Is there an ingredient you cannot do without or something that you would never allow? Do you cook up a recipe from days past, or are you more inclined to develop a meatloaf redux? Or do you buck conventions altogether and take a (not)recipe route?

Meatloaf burger, wrapped in bacon with an egg on top #dinner #bacon

Continue the conversation over on the Hotline post or let us know in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Bevi
  • Shelley Matheis
    Shelley Matheis
  • Smaug
  • pjcamp
Sarah E Daniels

Written by: Sarah E Daniels

It's mostly a matter of yeast.


Bevi April 3, 2016
I love Ina Garten's individual meat loaves - so easy to freeze and they are tender and juicy. Ina uses a ketchup glaze, but also adds Worcestershire and chicken stock to the mixture. A great item to have in the freezer when I intend to make a full blown dinner from scratch, but life gets in the way.
Shelley M. April 2, 2016
A childhood of meatloafs (meatloaves?) that were half made up of Hamburger Helper, rather soured me on the dish. My father used to love meatloaf sandwiches, and Id think "But half of its bread already!" ;-)
Smaug April 2, 2016
Meatloaf is an ideal dish for improvisations, particularly if you have a meat grinder. I generally start out with a mix of beef and pork, and almost always some onion (to push the meat through the grinder, if nothing else) but from there, there are no rules. Parenthetically, has anyone ever done any actual experimentation on whether eggs actually help hold a meatloaf together? I always use them, but I really have my doubts.
pjcamp April 2, 2016
One pound ground beef, one pound ground pork, one pound ground baby bellas with all the water sweated out. The glaze is more critical, I use ketchup, worcestershire, hot sauce, onion and Guinness, reduced to thick.