The Secret Ingredient You Should Be Using In Your Meatloaf

The Secret Ingredient You Should Be Using In Your Meatloaf

November 7, 2019 58 By William Morgan


Despite being a staple of American comfort
food since the 1870s, meatloaf doesn’t always
get the respect it deserves.
It’s certainly not the prettiest looking dish,
and if prepared poorly, choking down dry meatloaf
can turn an enjoyable meal into pure punishment.
“I’m thankful I got the smallest piece of
meatloaf… hahaha!”
If you’ve avoided cooking this meal for fear
of sending your family members running for
the hills, there’s a simple secret ingredient
that will save your meatloaf from drying out.
And no, it’s not ketchup.
That secret ingredient is… water!
There are numerous ways you can help prevent
that loaf of ground beef or turkey from turning
into a flavorless brick, and while sauces
and mayos can be great, you could be out of
luck if they’re not already in the kitchen
cabinet.
The legendary New York City Italian restaurant
Rao’s uses water to keep its famous meatballs
fresh, and Food52 has successfully applied
this same technique to meatloaf.
After all, meatloaf is really just one giant
meatball pressed into a baking pan.
While the Rao’s meatball recipe calls for
2 cups of water to 2 pounds of meat, Food52
noted that particular ratio didn’t go so well
for their meatloaf and recommends using less
water.
They also recommend pouring some water over
caramelized onions before adding them to the
meatloaf mixture.
It helps to cool them down and creates a tasty
onion broth that can be added to your meatloaf
for some extra flavoring.
Three fourths of a cup of water for 2 pounds
of ground beef should keep things nice and
moist.
When it comes to a juicy meatloaf, the right
ratio of lean meat to fat is an important
thing to take into consideration.
With ground beef chuck, it’s recommended that
an 80 percent meat to 20 percent fat ratio
be used to make a meatloaf that’s moist without
being greasy, according to The Spruce Eats.
Of course, if you like to keep things on the
healthy side of the spectrum, then you may
opt for leaner ground beef or skip the beef
altogether and go with ground turkey or ground
chicken.
These options can still make killer meatloaf,
but because they have a lower fat content,
there’s the risk of the meatloaf drying out.
By adding some water to your meatloaf mixture,
you’ll be able to make up for that loss of
fat and ensure that your ground turkey meatloaf
comes out healthy, juicy, and delicious.
Now that it’s clear that adding some water
to your meatloaf mixture is the easiest – and
possibly the best – secret meatloaf ingredient
ever, here’s the big question: how much water
should you add?
The truth is there really is no hard rule
that you must stick to in terms of water measurement.
You’ll need to factor in things such as the
type of meat you’re working with and any eggs,
veggies, or other things that you may be adding
to the meatloaf mixture.
However, it’s recommended that you add a little
bit of water at a time – about a tablespoon
– while you’re mixing your meatloaf mixture,
according to The Today Show.
When it no longer sticks to the bowl, then
the mixture should be moist enough and will
be ready to be transferred to the pan for
baking.
It seems the secret of adding a little H2O
to your meatloaf can also be done more than
one way.
The Birch Cottage takes a unique approach
to meatloaf and the water doesn’t go into
the meat mixture – but underneath it.
They recommend that to get a moist meatloaf
every time, you should place a large pan filled
with water on the bottom rack of an oven preheated
to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
This rather simple but outside-the-box approach
makes a lot of sense, as the water in the
pan should cut down on the amount of moisture
being cooked out of the meatloaf.
Lifehacker even reported that adding a little
bit of ice water to your ground beef mixture
when making burger patties can help in keeping
them extra juicy.
Now that you know the super simple way to
keep your meatloaf from tasting like the Sahara
desert, why not give this classic dish another
chance?
“The meatloaf, we want it now!
The meatloaf!”
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