Sorry if this question is already answered somewhere deep in these boards, but I have spent the last hour searching the "meatloaf" boards and now found an answer so....
Anyone have any experience freezing uncooked meatloaf? Does it even work? I want to make small batches and tiny loaves (serving 2 or so) that would be quick to cook on a weeknight. I realize it might need the day to defrost/thaw in the refrigerator, but the idea is that I could come home, turn on the oven and throw it in for 30 or 40 minutes, or whatever it takes.
Also - I like the idea of making free-form loaves and then cooking them on a rack, which is what I usually do, but what about putting them in small aluminum bread loaf pans? What I've done in the past then is to poke 4 holes in each corner of the bottom of the pan and set a drip tray on the oven rack underneath. It drains the fat while cooking and makes for easy clean up.
Thanks in advance for your advice!
If you want to cook it in under an hour, I would pre-cook it and then freeze, to heat up later. It would be so much easier than freezing raw.
I used to make my meatloaf in bread pans, but now I'm really into making it freeform. Don't know if I'll ever go back.
I have a recipe for a huge Saturday-afternoon hamburger project where you end up with a couple of meat loaves, a batch of meatballs, and some loose cooked hamburger that you can throw into spaghetti sauce or make tacos with. It all goes in the freezer. I think the meat loaves are wrapped tightly in aluminum foil, then packed in freezer bags. Then when you're ready to use them, you thaw them out and you can throw them straight into the oven wrapped in the foil, or slice and heat in gravy for hot meat loaf sandwiches (my favorite).
I'd think you should leave off any sauce if you're going to freeze them; you can add sauces later when you reheat them.
When I make meatloaf I always freeze half of the mixture since I'm only cooking for two. I shape it into a freeform loaf, wrap it in Glad Press n' Seal, and then put it inside a Ziploc freezer bag. I move it from freezer to fridge the morning before I leave for work.. and even though it's a "no-no", sometimes I'll let it defrost on my counter if I take it out after work. I add the glaze and cover it with bacon after it is defrosted and then put it in the oven. I pre-shape meatballs and freeze them this way as well and it's always turned out great. If you are worried about it keeping it's shape when first in the freezer, put it on a quarter cookie sheet/jelly roll pan for the first hour to let it firm up.