Meatloaf is a great meal you can prepare for your family for dinner or for special occasions like your kid’s birthday parties. Meatloaf is a great dish because it’s made out of hearty meat that most people can’t deny. It’s also fairly easy and simple to make.
However, meatloaf can take a really long time to cook under standard baking temperatures like 350 degrees Fahrenheit, making it not ideal for hasty situations.
But if you know how long to cook meatloaf at 375 degrees, you may just have a chance at preparing this meal under a limited amount of time.
Oven Temperature Basics
You may notice that most baking recipes recommend cooking at 350 degrees. You may wonder what’s so special about 350 degrees is, and why it is often used for cooking with an oven.
Well, the truth is, 350-degrees is more of a settlement that ended up being the standard temperature for all sorts of meals.
350 degrees is considered as the moderate heating temperature when it comes to baking. It’s the most versatile temperature setting in most cooking conditions which is why it is often used in baking recipes.
However, just because your oven’s dial says that the temperature is set to 350 degrees, this doesn’t mean that the temperature inside your oven is actually at 350 degrees.
When you set your oven to 350 degrees, the temperature inside your oven would likely fall between 350 and 370 degree temperatures.
Ovens aren’t really that accurate when it comes to maintaining temperatures, which is why you should no longer worry about getting the specific temperature setting right when cooking with an oven.
Instead, you should consider your oven’s temperature settings to fall under four ranges including low, moderate, high, and maximum.
Temperatures under 275 degrees are considered low, temperatures between 270 and 350 degrees is moderate, and temperatures over 350 degrees but are under 425 degrees are high. Any temperature higher than 425 degrees should be considered maximum.
Factors That Affect Baking Time And Temperature
Baking with an oven can be quite complex since a lot of factors can affect your oven settings when cooking. It’s all about finding the right balance between heat and time.
Some food require a lot of time to thoroughly cook, and if set with a temperature that’s high enough, you might end up burning the outer layers of your dish.
To avoid having food that’s burnt on the outside or food that looks great but is raw on the inside, you should be mindful of these following factors when using your oven.
The ingredients you use will heavily affect your oven’s temperature settings as well as the overall cooking time of the meal. If you are cooking meat, you should take note that meat can become hard when overcooked.
Overcooking vegetables on the other hand make them really soft. And cooking recipes with high amounts of sugar or starch tend to get easily burnt at high temperatures.
Size And Shape
Your food’s shape and size is a major factor when it comes to setting your oven’s timing and temperature. If you are cooking a thick piece of meat, you will surely have to set your oven at moderate heat for a long period of time.
But if you are cooking thin slices of vegetables, you may do fine with high heat under a short amount of time.
Of course your meal’s outcome will depend on your personal preference. If you prefer soft juicy medium rare steaks, then you should set your oven at a moderate temperature and cook your meat under a short amount of time.
If you like having caramelized or crunchy crusts, then you should set your oven’s temperature a little higher.
Baking Meatloaf At 375 Degrees
& Basic Meatloaf Recipe
The method itself is not very hard and simple to follow. But to refined it into step-by-step is not easy. In fact, it costs me a lot of time to figure out the best basic meatloaf recipe.
Baking Meatloaf At 375 Degrees
When it comes to classic meatloaf that’s made out of ground beef, ground pork, spices, vegetables, and breadcrumbs, it usually takes a little over an hour per pound when baked at 350 degrees.
If you’re in a hurry, and need to make some meatloaf a little quicker, you may set the temperature of your oven a little higher at 375 degrees. Doing so will allow you to have a well cooked meatloaf in just 40 to 50 minutes, significantly cutting 15 to 20 minutes from your overall cooking time.
However, since you are cooking with a higher temperature setting, you should keep on monitoring your food as it cooks to avoid getting its outsides burnt.
Basic Meatloaf Recipe
Now that you know more about oven temperature and time settings, you may now put your newly acquired knowledge to the test. Here’s a simple meatloaf recipe you can try baking in your oven at 375 degrees.
To start making your meatloaf, you will need:
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1 onion
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup dried bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
- 1/3 cup ketchup
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Step 2: Chop your onion into small bits.
Step 3: Mix the beef, eggs, onions, milk, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
Step 4: Mix the brown sugar, ketchup, and mustard in a separate bowl.
Step 5: Spread a small amount of butter or cooking oil in your loaf pan or baking dish, and pack your meatloaf mixture in the pan or dish.
Step 6: Pour the sugar, ketchup, and mustard mixture on top of your meat loaf.
Step 7: Bake the meatloaf at 375 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes. Once the meatloaf is done baking, set it aside and let it rest for a couple of minutes before serving it.
A Quick Recap
Knowing the factors that can affect your oven’s heat at time settings when baking food can help you go a long way. It is by knowing these things that you can tweak your oven settings to fit your preferences and other cooking needs.
However, since there’s really no specific set of settings for baking with an oven, you should never forget to use your visual sense to determine the doneness of your food.
If you liked this article, and would like to read more about cooking, please leave us your feedback in the comment box below. Until next time, enjoy!