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Meatloaf Question

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi Gang ...

I made a turkey meatloaf the other day, and it turned out pretty well. It was from a recipe that I created. However, I have a couple of questions.

I felt the loaf was not quite moist enough (better than some meatloafs I've eaten). I added used some dry Panko bread crumbs to the mix because that was handy. Perhaps some "regular" white bread crumbs would have been a better idea, perhaps soaking them with a little milk? Might that improve the moistness?

To the 1 1/2 lbs of fresh ground turkey I added 1 whole egg and the white of a second egg. If I added 2 whole eggs, or just one whole egg, how might the texture of the loaf have changed? I still haven't come to fully undersatnd the role eggs play in some recipes.

I wasn't able to get that nice, caramelized crust I so dearly love. After forming the loaf I spread my habanero ketchup over it (which included about 1/2 Tbs of white sugar). It was tasty but not crusty. My thoughts for the next loaf would be to not add the sauce and see if the meatloaf gets some crust during cooking, and then add the ketchup about 3/4 the way through the cooking time.

How might heating the oven to a much higher heat than normal for cooking the meatloaf work - say bring the oven up to about 450- to 500-degrees, put the loaf in, and then after a few minutes drop the oven temp down to 350-degrees and finish cooking at that temp?

I must say the flavor of this loaf was superb. Adding habanero and serrano peppers to the mixture was just super!

So, to recap, I want a slightly fluffier, moister loaf with a better, darker crust.

Signed,

Inept in Indiana
post #2 of 11
Americas Test Kitchen made some meatloaf with some added gelatin to help with the moisture and structure. Take a look and see if their ideas are applicable to your situation.

You'll need an account to view the recipe, but it only takes an email address to register your account.

Glazed Meat Loaf or All Beef Meatloaf* Recipe-America's Test Kitchen
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #3 of 11
My experience is that egg whites make things dry. Turkey is already dry as it is, you don;t need more dryness. If you need the binding power of egg, then the yolk is slightly better, because oilier. My mother in law made the most dry meatloaf imaginable, and she used to say she used lots of eggs, like that was a good thing, but i think that's why it was dry.

the other factor, is milk, which makes stuff soft. Soak the breadcrumbs in milk and it will add a softness factor. And maybe a little fat would not be bad.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #4 of 11
For my meatloaves, I usually have some sort of base sauce (usually tomato based) that I bake them in.

I usually go heavy on the breadcrumbs, and throw a little of the base sauce in with the meat and they come out pretty moist.
post #5 of 11

Turkey Meat Loaf

I always add 2 whole eggs and 2 tbs of olive oil along with the bread crumbs. I also saute diced onion, mushrooms and celery and add those for moisture. I mix all the wet ingredients along with the bread crumbs and then add the turkey, and seasonings. I top it with BBQ sauce and it browns up nicely, I think the sugars in the BBQ sauce contribute to that. I bake at 375 degrees for about 1 hour. It comes our moist and flavorfull every time. I've come to like the turkey meat loaf better than beef and it is so much healthier. :lips:

PS: I bake it free form on a baking sheet.
post #6 of 11
Ground turkey has less fat than beef. I think the moistness of our childhood meatloaf came from how fatty the beef/pork/veal was. If you add (lots of ) olive oil or other healthier oil, that will help. The other way to retain moistness is to add some sort of liquid (water, milk, wine). Maybe even more panko, something needs to hold in the liquids, ground meat won't. My guess is that soaking the bread crumbs isn't much different than adding bread crumbs and liquid, but you can give it a try. If you bake the meatloaf in a breadpan, let it sit for 15 min. before serving, like a roast, it might reabsorb some liquid (and the more bread/oatmeal, the more gets absorbed). I agree that some egg is necessary to bind the liquids.
post #7 of 11
Per pound of meat I use, 1 whole egg, 1/4 c milk, and 1/3 c saltines. I always add some sauteed onion, mustard, worstershire, Tabasco and all of this lends extra moisture. It binds together really well but you can add a little exta milk if necessary. Also, take it out of the loaf pan! Shape on an oiled baking sheet coat with half of your ketchup and bake. But about fifteen minutes before it's done, top with remaining ketchup. It leaves a really nice crisp coating, moist on the inside and the ketchup just cooks to a glaze. Great.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
It was not cooked in a loaf pan ... don't know where you got that idea. I can't stand Tabasco sauce, that's why I made a habanero loaf, but the idea of using my favorite habanero hot sauce as you seem to use Tabasco crossed my mind, and I may try that when I make my next loaf.

Shel
post #9 of 11
On a whim once, I tried kefir as the liquid in my meatloaf and it turned out great. Kefir is similar to yogurt. It seems to make a really nice moist loaf. I use a basic recipe from my mom's 1962 Fannie Farmer cookbook and ad lib from there. Typically I used dried bread crumbs. Sometimes crackers. Chipotle powder gives it a nice kick and it's smoky flavor allows me to forego the slices of bacon draped over the top.

-t
post #10 of 11
I think an actual recipe would help. Whenever I make meatloaf at home, I make sure the meat isn't too lean, it has a decent amount of liquid but no where overpowering (egg yolks, BBQ sauce, habanero ketchup, etc.) and I always use finely torn up white bread soaked in milk in place of dry bread crumbs. That way, instead of the dry, bland, bread crumbs soaking up all the delicious flavor in the meatloaf, the milk-soaked bread will keep all those good flavors inside the meatloaf while making it tender at the same time. If you want a crust on your meatloaf, then I would reccomend seasoning it with a good amount of salt and pepper before heading it into the oven. That way you get that nice crunch on the outside which many people I know really enjoy. Sometimes I enjoy adding pureed/grated and sauteed onions and garlic which adds awesome flavor to the meatloaf and moistens it as well. Looks like you got the flavor down, though.
Meet Austin- destroyer of all picky eaters. He's watching you...
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Meet Austin- destroyer of all picky eaters. He's watching you...
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post #11 of 11
shell,you are geting some great advice.I use rice krispies instead of oats or crumbs.1/2 cp per half pound of meat.also I like to add stewed tomatoes,drained and choped.works for me. good cookin...cookie
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