When you consider options for meal prepping, meatloaf may not be the first to come to mind. After all, it’s not like a casserole that can quickly be baked, frozen, and reheated, since meatloaf tends to dry out when reheated. Which may leave you wondering if you can freeze uncooked meatloaf? Guess what? Meatloaf is a great dish for advanced meal preparation.
You can freeze uncooked meatloaf and it freezes quite well. This method is much better than freezing cooked meatloaf since when thawed it will bake to the same perfection as unfrozen meatloaf. Uncooked meatloaf can stay frozen for between three and six months.
In this article, you will learn how to freeze uncooked meatloaf, how long it remains fresh in the freezer, how to defrost and cook it, and why freezing raw meatloaf is better than freezing it after baking.
Freezing Uncooked Meatloaf (5 Steps)
Freezing uncooked meatloaf is a great way to plan meals ahead of time. Freezing meatloaf is quick and straightforward, but you want to do it correctly so that the meat remains fresh. Follow these five steps to freeze your uncooked meatloaf.
- Choose your recipe. Everyone has their favorite and least favorite meatloaf recipes. It doesn’t matter if your meatloaf has eggs in it or not; it is safe to freeze. Pick your preferred recipe and gather the ingredients.
- Decide how much you want to make. If you are freezing your meatloaf before cooking, it is likely because you are planning in advance for mealtimes. It may be a good idea to double or triple the recipe and then portion it out into the appropriate meal sizes for you or your family.
- Mix your ingredients. Now that you have determined the quantity of meatloaf you want, follow the recipe up to the cooking step. Mix the ingredients and prepare to store.
- Wrap, store, and seal. It is a good idea to wrap your prepared meatloaf in parchment paper or cling film to help it maintain its shape. Next, store it in a ziplock freezer bag or another freezer-safe container that’s airtight, and squeeze any excess air out before sealing it.
- Label, date, and freeze. The last step is to label the meatloaf. Make sure you include the date of freezing and any other information you may need. Then, it is ready to freeze.
How Long Does Meatloaf Stay Fresh in the Freezer?
Meatloaf stays fresh in the freezer for anywhere from three to six months. However, if you have a reliable deep freeze that will keep your meat at freezing or below zero temperatures, it will last even longer.
Can You Refreeze Uncooked Meatloaf?
You can refreeze uncooked meatloaf and it is generally considered a safe practice. If your meatloaf was adequately sealed and thawed in the refrigerator, you could refreeze it.
Keep in mind that if you thaw the meatloaf at room temperature, it should be cooked and eaten immediately. It would not be advisable to refreeze in that scenario.
Defrosting and Cooking Uncooked Meatloaf
The best way to defrost uncooked meatloaf is to move it to the refrigerator approximately twenty-four hours before you plan on cooking it and allow it to defrost slowly. You can defrost the meat at room temperature if it does not entirely defrost in the refrigerator, but you will not want to leave it at room temperature for more than a couple of hours.
Once your meatloaf is completely defrosted, you can follow the original recipe’s instructions for baking.
Why Is It Best To Freeze Meatloaf Before Cooking?
It is best to freeze uncooked meatloaf before cooking because it will have a better taste and texture than meatloaf that was cooked prior to freezing. Raw meatloaf also lasts longer in the freezer than precooked.
Even though you can freeze cooked or uncooked meatloaf, uncooked is the better option. If you bake the meatloaf before freezing, you should eat it within a few weeks. Additionally, it will not reheat well. Meatloaf that was cooked and frozen tends to be drier and less flavorful.
Can You Freeze Uncooked Meatloaf – Summary
You can freeze uncooked meatloaf. Freezing uncooked meatloaf is a great way to practice meal preparation with this American classic.
To freeze raw meatloaf, follow this process: follow your recipe up until the cooking step, wrap and store it, then label it and freeze. The meatloaf will remain good in the freezer for up to six months, and once defrosted, it will cook the same as a freshly prepared meatloaf.