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Meatloaf - Do You Bake it in a Loaf Pan or on a Baking Sheet?

Pros and cons of each method?

And if you bake it in a loaf pan, do you use glass or metal?

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  1. If I use a loaf pan, I use a metal one that allows it to drain. But because my husband loves the outside slices, I more often bake a large round meatloaf in a glass dish so he can get outside slices from four "sides."

    1. Freeform on a rack above a baking sheet for a few reasons:

      1. Much of the fat drains away.
      2. I like to glaze my meatloaf on all sides (excluding bottom, of course).
      3. My favourite parts of the loaf are the ends because I can have both the crispier exterior as well as the moist interior.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chefathome

        That's how I make it.

        This thread has prompted husband to request meatloaf... I guess it's on the menu this week!

      2. I free form my meatloaf and bake on my broiler pan so the fat can drip away (which is important because I top my meatloaf with bacon). I like that it browns on the sides, too.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Terrie H.

          I also use the broiler pan for my meatloaf. I spray it with non-stick to make it easier to clean, and line the inside with aluminum foil to make that clean up easier too. Bacon and BBQ sauce toppings make for a juicy meatloaf!

          1. re: Heidi cooks and bakes

            I do a mustard, vinegar and brown sugar glaze on my bacon topping. It does make a tasty meatloaf, if not a low-fat version.

        2. At work I use a stainless steel sheet pan most of the time, a full hotel pan when there are no sheet pans available. At home I also use wire rack over a 1/2 sheet pan because of the crispy ends.

          1. I use an oval enameled steel low-sided roasting pan, and form the meatloaf into a smaller oval so I can use my baster around the sides to draw out the fat released as it bakes.
            This gives that nice amount of crust that a loaf pan can't.