Is it possible to freeze meatloaf? The answer is yes! Meatloaf is one of the most freezer-friendly meals available. You may freeze baked or unbaked meatloaf for future consumption regardless of its form.
Meatloaf is a classic dish for family gatherings, and you may freeze meatloaf to have it on hand when you’re busy. It’s the ideal make-ahead meal, or double the recipe next time you make meatloaf and save the extra loaf to eat later. Ground beef may be molded into a loaf before or after cooking, then frozen.
You may use leftovers as a meatloaf sandwich filling or serve it over rice, pasta, or noodles. You may also use meatloaf to fill casseroles. We are pleased to share with you that you can make this dish in advance, freeze it, and eat it whenever the urge strikes! If you’re curious how to freeze meatloaf, keep reading:
Table of Contents
How to Freeze Meatloaf?
Are you storing baked or unbaked meatloaf? If you’re freezing a baked leftover meatloaf, wait until it’s thoroughly cooled before putting it in the freezer. You can either use a plastic container with a good lid or a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag to pack the meatloaf for freezing. There are two methods for freezing the meatloaf: a hard plastic container with an airtight lid or a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag.
Place the cooled meatloaf inside a rigid plastic container and close the lid if you’re using one. Mark the container with the storage date and freeze it. Place the dish inside a resealable plastic bag and press out as much air as possible before sealing. Label with the storage date and place in the freezer after it is packed.
If you’re freezing a meatloaf mix that hasn’t been cooked, you’ll need to flash-freeze it first before packing to avoid contamination. Also, before flashing, freeze the dish pack in manageable sizes.
There’s a big chance of contamination if the meatloaf isn’t eaten soon enough after being taken from the freezer. Bacterial growth begins just 2 hours after defrosting. Packing the meatloaf in portions allows you to skip defrosting the entire slab of meatloaf.
To flash freeze:
- Start by putting the uncooked meatloaf (in single-serving portions) on a metal cookie sheet or muffin tray, ensuring none of the servings touch one another.
- Remove the meatloaf from the oven and transfer it to a freezer-safe pan.
- Freeze for 3 to 4 hours, pop the metal sheet in the freezer, and level the pan so that the meatloaf doesn’t slide.
Transfer the frozen meatloaf portions to a freezer container carefully once they have hardened. Shallow, rigid containers with an airtight lid are recommended for packing the uncooked meatloaf for freezing if you’d like to extend the life of your cooked or baked meatloaf, even more, flash freeze it instead.
How Do You Reheat Meatloaf?
It’s as simple as thawing frozen meatloaf! One method to defrost meatloaf is to submerge the entire container in a water basin. Allow the container to thaw for an hour or until the meatloaf is soft enough to slice. After that, place the meatloaf on a microwave-safe dish and reheat it in the microwave. It’s ready to eat when it’s done! You may also use an oven or even a toaster to reheat the meatloaf.
Another approach to defrost frozen meatloaf is to let it thaw gradually in the refrigerator for several hours to overnight. When the meatloaf is soft enough to cut, reheat it in a microwave or on the stovetop in a skillet.
How Long Meatloaf Last in the Fridge?
If you properly store cooked meatloaf by placing it in a resealable plastic bag or a Tupperware container, it will keep for several days in the refrigerator. Even if it’s in a plastic bag or container, meatloaf only lasts three to four days before going bad. Of course, you may keep it in the freezer for longer by doing so. Meatloaf kept in the fridge will stay good for less time than meatloaf kept in the freezer.
So, how long will cooked meatloaf keep in the freezer? Meatloaf can be easily kept in the fridge for three to four months. When taken out after the third or fourth month, it tastes best and has more flavor. It will, nevertheless, be safe to eat for considerably longer.
Meatloaf with sauce freezes better than meatloaf without any sauce. That’s because any sauce will help the meatloaf keep its form as it defrosts. If you freeze raw meatloaf, it’s more likely to become mushy when thawed.
Meatloaf is an excellent convenience food, but it doesn’t do you any good to keep it in the freezer to have it go soft when you take it out to serve! Assuming you plan on freezing meatloaf to eat later, make sure it’s been coated with sauce.
How to Know If Your Frozen Meatloaf Is Rotting
Now that you know more about meatloaf freezing, it’s time to teach you how to tell if your frozen meatloaf has gone bad or rotten. While frozen meatloaf may be edible after three to four months, it is still prudent to check it for spoilage.
Keep in mind that the meatloaf will spoil if the plastic has a hole. If you’ve been moving items in and out of the freezer a lot, it’s possible that this could happen quickly. All it takes is one little scratch or puncture from something sharp to ruin your frozen meatloaf.
If the bag is pierced, the meatloaf will not go bad right away, but it won’t keep as long as it should. Alternatively, if you kept it in a Tupperware container, be cautious when shifting stuff around in and out of the freezer. It may also pull the lid up enough to leave it partially open, resulting in the same problem.
There are several signals that meatloaf has spoiled in the freezer. If you notice mold on it, it’s expired, which means it must be thrown away. To avoid spreading an unpleasant odor throughout your home, remove the bag from within before discarding it.
Meatloaf that has gone bad will have an unusual odor and a strange taste. You should determine whether the meatloaf is spoiled before consuming it if possible. Meatloaf should only be tested as a last resort to see if it has gone wrong.
At this point, you have all the necessary information on how to freeze meatloaf properly and transform it into a delectable supper. Meatloaf is a highly flexible and underappreciated cuisine. It’s inexpensive to produce and store. Meatloaf is a simple recipe that can be made ahead of time and frozen to save you time on busy days. The next time you’re late to work and concerned about having to cook dinner, consider pulling out some frozen meatloaf. Your family will be pleased, and you’ll be able to unwind for the first time in days!