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Mar 11, 2011 03:02 PM

Making meatloaf ahead of time?

I plan to make the bacon-wrapped bison and blue cheese meatloaf featured on the cover of the Feb/March issue of Fine Cooking. As my BF and I are going to do yard work first, I was wondering if I could make the meatloaf, fashion it into the requisite loaf shape, and then keep it in the fridge until it was time to cook it. I'd take it out and let it come to room temperature before cooking it, but would it be okay to prep the loaf beforehand? Thanks!

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    1. Seems workable: the only point I could wonder about, from a food safety standpoint, is whether your recipe involves mixing cooked ingredients, like caramelized onions, into the loaf.

      Even then, probably not a problem if your bison is chilled. But it might be prudent to cool down cooked elements a bit before you assemble the loaf.

      1. Gotta love Chowhound! In a matter of minutes, two answers. Thanks!

        2 Replies
        1. re: nofunlatte

          No real need (nor any benefit) to bring it to room temperature before cooking. Just put it in the oven when you start your preheat.

          1. re: todao

            I agree with todao. It's not only unnecessary to bring it to room temp, it's probably safer not to. It would sit out a long time if you wanted the interior to warm up. Take the internal temp when the loaf looks done on the outside. If it's too low, tent the loaf with foil, lower the temp to 300, and keep going until the interior is almost to temp. It will continue getting hotter as it rests.

        2. You can and I have made meatloaf ahead of time, refrigerated and it was fine. How did that bison/bleu cheese loaf turn out? I have now made the cheddar stout one twice, it is so good!

          1 Reply
          1. re: sunflwrsdh

            The meat loaf was excellent and the recipe is a keeper! Might add just a touch more blue cheese next time (1/3 cup instead of 1/4 cup). I will have to try the cheddar-stout one sometime!

          2. When my husband refused to eat turkey meatloaf, I used to make one each of turkey and one of ground beef. Since 2+ pounds of meatloaf was way more than we could eat, I would prepare (not bake) and freeze a half of each. Then I would have dinner in my freezer ready to go.