Should Meatloaf Be Covered While Baking or Cooking?

Meatloaf is a popular bread in many homes, and if you make it frequently, you’ll want to learn some new skills for making your greatest meatloaf yet. You may have questioned whether or not you should cover your meatloaf while it cooks. We’ve dug into these issues and discovered substantial findings to share with you!

When it comes to meatloaf, there are two schools of thought: cover it while cooking or don’t cover it at all. Both methods have their pros and cons, but which one is the best? Let’s take a closer look at the debate between covering meatloaf while cooking or leaving it uncovered.

Should I cover meatloaf when baking?

It is not necessary to cover meatloaf when baking. Meatloaf is typically baked uncovered at a temperature between 350°F and 375°F for about one hour. If you choose to cover your meatloaf, be sure to use foil that does not touch the surface of the meatloaf because it will stick and be difficult to remove.

Some people prefer to cover their meatloaf while baking in order to keep the juices in and prevent the meat from drying out, while others find that covering the meatloaf results in a less crispy, more soggy final product. If you are unsure, you could try baking your meatloaf uncovered the first time and then covering it the second time to see which method you prefer.

How to cover meatloaf for baking or cooking?

meatloaf placed on aluminum foil to cover it
Aluminum foil is used when covering a meatloaf

A lid or a layer of aluminum foil should be used when covering a meatloaf. A cover keeps moisture from escaping the meat and storing it within the dish.

Most meatloaves will be cooked through after an hour of cooking. A cover will prevent the outside of the loaf from becoming too brown and crispy while allowing the inside to remain soft.

What is the finest method to cover your meatloaf?

meatloaf covered in the aluminum foil
Take the aluminum foil around the meatloaf and cover the ends of the pan

To begin, place your meatloaf mixture into the baking pan of your choice and cover it with a layer of aluminum foil. Loosely cover the pan with foil, making sure there is room for air to circulate and create a ‘tent’ shape.

To complete this task, you will need to take the aluminum foil and cover the ends of the pan. To do this correctly, use your finger to crimp it into place. Take the aluminum foil off your meatloaf when it’s getting close to being done baking. Set a timer for 15 minutes before the meatloaf is scheduled to come out of the oven. If you want a crispy outside to your loaf, then removing the aluminum foil at the end is key.

Do you cover the meatloaf with aluminum foil when baking?

Aluminum foil is key to a moist meatloaf, but only if you use it strategically. Cover the meatloaf for part of the cooking time, rather than keeping it covered throughout. Remove the meatloaf cover halfway through the cooking time and leave it uncovered for the final 15 minutes. This allows the top of the meatloaf to brown and form a delicious crust.

If your meatloaf recipe doesn’t call for aluminum foil, you can still use it to your advantage. Line the baking dish with aluminum foil before adding the meatloaf mixture. This will make cleanup a breeze and ensure that your meatloaf comes out of the dish easily.

The use of aluminum foil while baking is situational. If you want a moist meatloaf, cover it while it cooks. If you don’t want to spend time scrubbing the baking dish later, line it with aluminum foil first. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

How Long Does Meatloaf Take to Cook If Covered?

The meatloaf is baked for roughly the following amount of time:

-If the meatloaf is small (1-2 pounds), bake it for about 40-50 minutes.

-If it is medium (2-3 pounds), cook it for about 50-70 minutes.

-If it is large (3-4 pounds), then the time for baking is about 70-90 minutes.

If you have a convection oven, reduce the bake time to three-quarters of the original amount. The temperature should stay the same as what the recipe directs. A convection oven has faster heating elements that allow for quicker cooking times, as well as a lighter structure.

Knowing the appropriate time for cooking your meatloaf is critical in order to share a delicious meatloaf with your family and friends.


Simply put, it is better to cover your meatloaf while baking or cooking. By covering your meatloaf while it cooks, you can avoid a dry or overcooked final product. Do you prefer your meatloaves to be crispier? Remove the aluminum foil 15 minutes before baking is done for a crisper end product.

No matter your preference, following these tips will help you cook the perfect meatloaf every time. 

If you have any questions in the mind, please feel free to ask in the comments!

Happy cooking!


How should cooked meatloaf be stored?

Without proper refrigeration, meatloaf loses its flavor and becomes unsafe to eat after a few days. To keep cooked meatloaf safe and high-quality, store your food by using shallow airtight containers, heavy-duty aluminum foil, or plastic wrap. Meatloaf that has been properly cooked and stored can last 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

When not to cover meatloaf?

There are a few exceptions to the rule of covering meatloaf while cooking. If you are using very lean ground beef, there is no need to cover the loaf. The top may brown too quickly if you do, so keep an eye on it and loosely tent with foil if necessary. Ground turkey breast meatloaf is another exception; it has very little fat and does not need to be covered. Finally, if you’re cooking meatloaf in a slow cooker, there’s no requirement for covering the dish; the lid will trap heat and moisture insi

How do you keep the meatloaf from drying out?

Covering your meatloaf with a lid or aluminum foil while it bakes helps to keep it from drying out. A way to make your meatloaf moister is by adding a liquid such as milk, water, or stock into the mixture before shaping it.

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