Cooked meatloaf can last four days in the fridge when stored properly in an airtight plastic bag or container. Beyond this period, however, the food will begin to spoil and should be considered when storing meatloaf to reduce risks of foodborne illness.
Keep an eye out for signs of spoilage such as off-odors, color changes and an unpleasant texture; these indicate the meatloaf has reached its shelf-life and should be discarded immediately.
Meatloaf should usually last three days in the fridge after it has been baked, due to how cold temperatures help slow bacteria growth significantly. Unfortunately, they can only do this for so long before its quality begins to decrease due to perishability issues.
Meatloaf can quickly go bad when left sitting out for too long without refrigeration, becoming dangerous to consume and harboring harmful bacteria that could potentially cause food poisoning. To avoid this happening, it’s recommended to eat your leftover meatloaf within two or three days after making it.
To safely store your meatloaf, ensure it is stored in an airtight container or plastic bag before refrigerating it. Be sure to mark its container with its date of creation so you can keep track of its presence in your fridge. This can also help ensure a long shelf life for your dish!
Stored properly, a cooked meatloaf can last four days in the refrigerator before it starts losing quality and should be discarded as no longer safe to consume.
Your fridge can help give away when a meatloaf has gone bad if it emits an unpleasant odor or has started to mold, as any contaminated food should be discarded immediately in order to stop its spread of germs and preserve your health.
If you’re unsure whether your meatloaf has gone bad in your fridge, an oven thermometer is an easy way to monitor its temperature. Properly stored meatloaf should feel cold to the touch and read at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit in its center – any warmer and it likely has gone off! Alternatively, uploading photos to “Rotten Records” app allows you to track its presence over time as well as track other food temperature data to keep your kitchen hygienic and safe.
If you want to store meatloaf for later consumption, freezing is an option. Both raw and cooked versions can be frozen up to six months; just ensure it has cooled completely prior to freezing it tightly wrapped in plastic or foil to prevent freezer burn and make reheating easier without overcooking or crumbling apart. Also label the container or bag with its storage date!
To ensure the safety of your meatloaf, if it becomes slimy or has a rancid smell it should be discarded as this indicates bacteria has grown on it and made it unfit for consumption. You can also tell whether the meatloaf has gone bad by tasting it – any hint of rancidness indicates its decay and may indicate its inedible condition.
Raw and cooked meatloaf will keep longer in the freezer than in the refrigerator if properly prepared and stored before freezing. Cooking helps break down proteins to allow their molecules to fit more closely within ice crystals and preserve it longer. Wrapping both raw and cooked meatloaf in foil prior to placing it into the freezer will reduce risk of freezer burn.
Meatloaf should be stored in airtight freezer bags or rigid plastic containers to protect it from freezer burn and make reheating easier, but loaf pans adorned with aluminum foil may also work. Gallon-sized freezer bags may also be useful; just squeeze out excess air before sealing. Regardless of which method you select, however, remember that freezer burn may compromise its texture – therefore ensure it is stored in an appropriately-insulated freezer and avoid moving between different fridges/freezers during storage.
Storing in the Oven
When storing meatloaf in the oven, be sure to store it in an airtight container. This helps maintain an even temperature while reducing risk of spoilage. Likewise, use a lid that will prevent moisture or air entering the container; moisture could cause its texture and flavor to change over time. Furthermore, avoid containers made of reactive materials as these may alter flavor or promote bacterial growth in your dish.
If your meatloaf does not fit under its lid, try wrapping it tightly in foil or plastic wrap before storing. Alternatively, vacuum sealing it is another great way to preserve freshness and ensure optimal preservation – this method reduces freezer burn and other forms of food spoilage issues as well. When freezing cooked meatloaf for later enjoyment be sure to label its container or bag with the date it was frozen so you can track its shelf life and reheat properly when the time comes!
Binders are essential to creating a moist and tender meatloaf, such as eggs and stale breadcrumbs; however, any solid additive that acts as an effective binder will do just as well. Furthermore, chopped additions will enhance texture; too many large vegetables or crushed crackers could result in dense or compacted texture which won’t be as enjoyable to consume.
Refrigerated meatloaf should be consumed within three to four days after refrigeration for optimal taste and texture. Although it’s still safe to consume meatloaf that has been refrigerated longer than this period, its quality may begin to degrade over time.
To store raw meatloaf safely in the freezer, it must first be completely thawed out before being baked. The best way to thaw meatloaf is in the refrigerator overnight; then once fully defrosted it should be tightly wrapped in aluminum foil before being placed into a sealed freezer bag or container for storage. When reheating frozen meatloaf it is important to use a thermometer in order to verify its internal temperature; at minimum this must reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit for full consumption.
Meatloaf recipes typically call for mixing ground beef (usually hamburger or leftover roast), beaten eggs, breadcrumbs or oatmeal as binding agents and often vegetables and herbs for flavoring into a loaf pan and baking for one or more hours before it can be enjoyed as either a main course dish, made into sandwiches, frozen and then reheated as necessary.
An instant-read thermometer is the best way to ensure that your meatloaf is fully cooked and safe to consume, especially since different ovens cook at slightly different speeds. For accurate readings, place the thermometer directly in the center of the loaf without touching bones or any hard surfaces – such as metal racks.
As soon as your homemade or prepackaged meatloaf has cooled enough to touch, it should be refrigerated immediately to avoid bacteria-filled temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees F from multiplying quickly – this makes your meatloaf safest by staying out of its danger zone as much as possible.
Before serving the meatloaf, it’s advisable to allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes so the juices in the meat can redistribute and maintain a more even internal temperature. Be sure to monitor its internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer as its internal temperature may rise by as much as 5 degrees while it sits.
Once your meatloaf is cool, it should be wrapped in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and stored in the fridge. While it can last up to three months in there, for optimal results it’s best to consume it within two to three days to prevent spoilage. If in doubt as to its freshness, discard it if there are signs of mold or other visual changes such as visual or scent changes such as smelly or unpleasant aromas; slimy textures; or feels slimy when touched.