Learn how to reheat meatloaf in oven, microwave, air fryer or skillet without drying it out. Juicy and delicious meatloaf the next day!
Meatloaf is one of America’s national dishes. Its origins lay as far back as the Roman Empire! Since then, German and Dutch immigrants brought meatloaf to the United States, and that developed into the meatloaf we know and love today. There are quite a few regional variations, and even family recipes. Everyone makes meatloaf their own way, each as delicious as the last.
Meatloaf is a very filling meal, and unless you have a huge family (or a huge appetite) you might find yourself with leftovers. There’s an art to reheating meatloaf to make sure it doesn’t dry out. There’s nothing worse than dry meatloaf that tastes like cardboard! These handy reheating methods will make sure your meatloaf stays moist and delicious.
How to Reheat Meatloaf in Oven
The oven is one of the best ways to reheat any food. It provides an even, consistent amount of heat, which is trapped in the oven by design. You control the heat and, with some ovens, the type of heat as well. Ovens don’t dry food out as much as microwaves do, so they’re perfect for reheating meatloaf. Besides, you’ll be reheating your meatloaf with the same appliance you cooked it with. That way your reheated meatloaf will taste as close as possible to fresh meatloaf!
To reheat meatloaf in an oven, follow these steps:
- Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F (or 121 Celsius).
- Add your meatloaf and one tablespoon of beef broth, liquid beef stock, or water, to an oven-safe baking dish. Don’t use too much water, or your meatloaf will be soggy, which is as bad as drying out. Cover this dish with foil.
- Place it in the oven for 25-30 minutes. At this point your meatloaf should be hot all the way through and as moist as the day you made it!
Reheating Meatloaf in Microwave
Microwaves are a staple kitchen appliance for a reason. They are the most convenient way to reheat virtually any food. Microwaves aren’t very good at heating up large, dense blocks of food. However, they’re perfect for smaller volumes! You should use the microwave to reheat slices of meatloaf, not the entire loaf itself.
- Place your meatloaf slices on a microwave-safe plate. They should be in a single, well-spaced layer. Remember that a whole loaf will dry out in the microwave. That’s them opposite of what you want!
- Place a damp paper towel on top of your plate. This will keep your slices nice and moist.
- Using a low-power setting, heat the slices for sixty seconds. Higher temperatures will overheat the outside and leave the inside cold. Avoid the temptation to increase your microwave power!
- If your meatloaf has a little way to go, put it back in the microwave for thirty seconds at a time until it’s ready.
How to Reheat Meatloaf in Air Fryer
Air fryers were the must-have kitchen appliance for the past few years. They have really taken off with younger families, who use them to make everything from fries to pasta! You can use an air fryer to reheat your meatloaf. This works even better if you cooked your meatloaf in the air fryer to begin with.
Like a microwave, air fryers aren’t great at heating larger helpings. Your best bet is to use slices of meatloaf in your air fryer to be sure that they reheat evenly.
- Line your air fryer’s basket with air fryer paper.
- Take your meatloaf slices and spray both sides with cooking spray. This prevents your meatloaf from sticking to the paper or drying out.
- Set the timer for 3 minutes, and heat your slices at 350 degrees F. If they’re not warm all the way through afterwards, you can put them back in for two minutes. Be careful not to dry the slices out!
Reheating Meatloaf with a Skillet
If you don’t have much meatloaf to heat up, or it’s only a few slices, your skillet will work wonders. If you lubricate your skillet with butter, oil, or bacon grease, you’ll ensure that your reheated meatloaf is moist and delicious!
- Preheat your skillet using your preferred lubricant. Oil is commonly used for a more neutral palate, but for extra flavor your can use butter or bacon grease
- Cover the skillet and reheat your meatloaf for 3 minutes. For crispy edges, use medium heat. For a more tender finish all the way through, use the low medium setting.
- Flip your slices every minute or so to ensure even cooking, unless you want a firm, crisp crust. Fewer flips will get you a nice strong sear.
- Use a meat thermometer to check your meatloaf’s internal temperature. Once it reaches 165 degrees Farenheit it will be ready to eat.
Note: if you notice the pan getting dry, you can add a tablespoon of water, beef broth, or oil to keep things nice and moist.
A Few Meatloaf Reheating Tips & Tricks
You should always cook ground meat to at least 165 degrees Farenheit to ensure safety. Lower temperatures can cause food poisoning, and that’s not fun. Trust us.
When using a meat thermometer, always insert from the side, not the top, to get an even reading.
Microwaves provide the least crispy meatloaf, while skillets provide the crispiest. Make your choice of reheating appliance accordingly.
Some people like to use a microwave browner or crisper plate. These handy implements ensure that your meatloaf - or anything in the microwave - will emerge as crispy as the day it was cooked. They use the microwave’s heating mechanism to raise the temperature of the browning dish. The presence of a heating surface, rather than a hot environment, gives you the crispy finish that makes meatloaf so scrumptious.
Finally, if your meatloaf is dry beyond redemption, don’t throw it out just yet! You can crumble your dried meatloaf and add it to a meat sauce. This works great in a ragu, curry, or even a hearty stew.