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Does using a stand mixer to mix meatloaf negatively affect the texture?

I always had the impression that most people felt that using a stand mixer and a paddle to mix meatloaf would negatively affect the texture.

Recently, I saw an article in Cook's Illustrated about using a food processor to ensure the panade got thoroughly mixed.

I figured if they could do that then I could use a stand mixer so I did. Unfortunately, I had to leave for work about 15 minutes before the loaf was done (a miscalculation). Anyway, the only thing I got was a meatloaf sandwich the next day so it was too difficult to judge the texture.

Have any of you actually tried it?

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  1. I like the texture that happens when the cook mixes with their actual clean, ungloved hands. I would be interested to know if using a mixer changes that texture, too. Dare you to do it again...

    2 Replies
    1. re: EWSflash

      I have to admit it was nice. No freezing your hands and it got uniformly mixed.

      1. re: EWSflash

        I always mix meatloaf with my bare hands (just mixed some meatballs this way too, actually). Never even thought to throw them in my stand mixer.

      2. I have actually done this, many years ago. It made a solid, meatloaf--too solid. I would not mix a meatloaf in a KA mixer.

        1. my mother always told me to mix meatloaf by hand...not even a hand mixer..

          1. The military (and other folks who make it in large quantities) uses commercial stand mixers to prepare large amounts of meat loaf. What it does for the texture would depend largely on how long and at what speed it was mixed. But because meat loaf doesn't need to be mixed as thoroughly as a dough or batter I wouldn't use my stand mixer for the task. It's faster and less complicated to simply use your hands to get the job done.

            1. My grandmother made the best lightest meatloaf ever.No panade, ice water and grated potato. The recipe, in her handwriting says at the top: Handle this meat mixture as little as you possibly can. Or less.

              8 Replies
              1. re: magiesmom

                I know this is a big request, but would you post that recipe?

                1. re: sunshine842

                  Sure. it is very simple: Written for me when I married in 1974
                  Nanny's Meat Loaf
                  Handle this mixture as little as you possibly can. Or less.

                  11/2 lbs chopped meat, not too lean
                  1 large potato, raw,peeled, grated on small holes of box grater
                  1 large onion, grated on the large side of a box grater
                  1/2 cup ice water
                  salt, pepper, paprika,a little oregano, a little worchestershire if you like it
                  Mix gently with your hands. Let stand in bowl 2 hours in ice box. then preheat oven to 400.
                  Shape into loaf in a very shallow pan
                  Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, pour off fat. Reduce heat to 350.
                  Mix one can tomato paste with one can water, pour over loaf ( she means a small can)
                  Bake 1 hour. let sit 10 minutes before slicing.

                  I sometimes use ground pork for 1/4 of the mix; she would roll over in her grave.
                  I never make any other changes.

                  1. re: magiesmom

                    That looks good...I've never seen a recipe with potato - only ever breadcrumbs or oatmeal.

                    I'll have to try it -- Thanks!

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      I hope you like it. The potato makes it much lighter than breadcrumbs or oatmeal.

                      1. re: magiesmom

                        Thank you so much for sharing your family recipe. I, too, have never heard of grating potato, but I'm going to try this. I'm really curious!

                        1. re: monavano

                          I hope you like it. It really needs the time in the fridge. I think the potato must absorb the water.

                    2. re: magiesmom

                      My grandmother said you HAVE to mix it by hand, because the heat from your hands is what melds it perfectly.