When people are cooking, they need to keep several things in mind. This is because you need to ensure you are doing everything properly to prevent illness. Cooking food, especially meat, thoroughly is something especially important to do.
You can keep an eye on this by using a meat thermometer. One food people may check the internal temperature of is meatloaf.
In this article, we will go into what the internal temperature of a meatloaf is, how to check it, the risks of eating undercooked meat, and finally, how to cook it safely.
What Is Meatloaf?
Before you decide to cook meatloaf, you should understand what it is first! Meatloaf is ground meat that has been combined with other ingredients.
Most of the time, it’s made with ground beef, but it can have other types of meats mixed in or separately.
What makes meatloaf, meatloaf is the fact that it’s formed into the shape of a loaf before being cooked. Once it’s cooked, it’s often paired with ketchup!
This isn’t to say you have to eat it with ketchup, but it’s one of the more popular toppings that is used with it.
What Is a Meatloaf’s Internal Temperature?
The internal temperature of a meatloaf is important to know so you can make sure that your meatloaf is completely done. Once you stick the meat thermometer in, it should read 160 degrees.
You don’t have to worry about any bone in meatloaf because it’s ground beef. However, do make sure you aren’t sticking the thermometer into fat or something.
We will touch more on this subject in the next session, where you’ll learn just how to check a meatloaf’s internal temperature.
How Do You Check a Meatloaf’s Temperature?
It’s pretty easy to check the internal temperature of your meatloaf. Just follow these three easy steps!
- Take your meatloaf out and let it rest. The resting time gives it time to adjust to being out of the stove.
- Once three minutes have passed, place the thermometer into the meatloaf and read what it says.
- The final step requires you to take out the thermometer and wash it.
See how easy it is to check your meatloaf’s internal temperature? Now you can get to eating your meatloaf.
What Happens if You Eat Undercooked Meatloaf?
Like with other meats, if you eat undercooked meatloaf, you are putting yourself at risk of contracting one of the many bacteria that live inside it. Watch out for the following.
- coli is a bacteria that causes you to show symptoms usually 3 to 4 days after being infected. Common symptoms are diarrhea, cramps, and fever. Most strains are not profoundly serious, but if you end up with a serious strain, it can cause serious damage.
- Salmonella is an illness that comes from bacteria, and most often, it goes away on its own. If sick, you’ll end up with diarrhea, cramps, nausea/vomiting, and headache, to name a few symptoms.
- Campylobacter usually causes symptoms like bloody diarrhea, cramps, and fever. Most of the time, it goes away on its own and isn’t fatal. However, the elderly, children, and those who have a compromised immune system can be at risk.
- Yersinia is yet another bacteria that don’t need treatment. It will normally go away on its own. When you have it, you’ll end up showcasing diarrhea, stomach pain, and fever. These symptoms usually show up a few days after consumption and last around 1 to 3 weeks, depending on the person.
- Clostridium perfringens are one of the most common bacteria to cause food poisoning. Food poisoning isn’t fatal and is just more uncomfortable for the person who is afflicted. It usually causes you to experience gastrointestinal issues before finally clearing up after a few days.
So, the lesson here is to always cook your meatloaf thoroughly! If you can do this, you will greatly lower your risk of getting any of these bacteria into your body.
Ways to Safely Cook a Meatloaf
When it comes to cooking meatloaf, there is only one way to do it. Here we’ve found the most common way to cook meatloaf and given you a quick guide so you can easily replicate it!
- The first thing to do is preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- While that is heating up, combine the ground beef and whatever else you want to add to your meatloaf. The type of ingredients varies because not everyone likes their meatloaf the same way.
- Shape the meatloaf into a large enough pan. Then put it into the now-heated oven.
- It should take a total of 45 to 55 minutes to finish your meatloaf.
- Once it’s done, take it out of the oven and place it on the counter or whatever. Then you can use the meat thermometer and insert it inside the meatloaf to figure out what the temperature is.
- If it reads 160, let it cool before cutting it into slices.
- Serve without every side you prefer, and get to chowing down on your delicious meatloaf!
That’s all there is to making meatloaf. It is a bit of a long process, but the result is a delicious and moist meatloaf. When that’s the result, one can’t help but forgive the long cooking time!
And there you go, all you meatloaf lovers out there! Now you know exactly what the internal temperature of meatloaf is, how to check for it, the risks of eating undercooked meatloaf, and finally, ways to cook it properly.
Not everyone uses a meat thermometer or even has one on hand. Thankfully, it’s really easy to get your hands on one. All you need to do is either purchase online or at some brick-and-mortar store of your choice.
Try using it every time you cook meat. Soon enough, it will become second nature to you.
So, what are you waiting for? Go out and purchase yourself a meat thermometer!
You might also be interested in the following:
- What Is the Right Internal Temperature of Swordfish?
- What Is the Right Internal Temperature of Lamb?
- What Is the Right Internal Temperature of a Lobster Tail?
- What Is the Right Internal Temperature of Steak?
- What Is the Right Internal Temperature of Salmon?
- What Is the Right Internal Temperature of Chicken?
- What Is the Right Internal Temperature of Duck?
- What Is the Right Internal Temperature of Turkey?
- What Is the Right Internal Temperature of Pork?
- What Is the Right Internal Temperature of Cooked Fish?
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.