Meatloaf is quick and easy in the air fryer. Use your favorite recipe or my basic one.
Amazing Air Fryer
Do you want an air fryer? I encourage you to take the plunge and treat yourself to one.
I was a holdout figuring I didn’t need one because I already had a flash deep fryer. With so many counter-top appliances, one thing I did not want was duplication.
However, I was looking at this entirely wrong. I don’t use my air fryer for “frying” per se as I don’t think it does all that great a job at it–french fries still taste oven baked. But what I came to realize was this is a terrific and very powerful convection oven.
It cooks in less time than a conventional oven and more importantly does not heat the kitchen in the warmer months.
Meatloaf comes out nice and juicy in the air fryer. Another great thing is that the fat all drains as it cooks because the basket is like a natural rack. Therefore, the meat does not sit in the fat. This is a boon for those who are diet conscious.
What I’m giving here is my very basic recipe for meatloaf. If you want a super duper delicious recipe, try my maple meatloaf and if you really want to bring the house down, try my copycat Cracker Barrel meatloaf recipe.
Your own favorite recipe is fine here too. This is more of a post on technique than it is for a recipe so any one will do.
Foil Is Your Best Friend
Unlike a solid piece of roast, meatloaf isn’t easy to remove from the basket. You just can’t stick a fork in it and transfer it to a plate. It’s fragile and may break.
That’s why with stuff like this, I make a couple of heavy-duty foil strips that make removing it from the basket easy (just see the photo). I also thought it was a good idea to use a parchment round too.
And because the air fryer is quick and very powerful, I cooked this meatloaf at 325 degrees F so that it would cook and not burn. That’s something you have to be careful of when using the air fryer. A lot is trial and error when you first get started, but I find Meredith Laurence’s air-fryer cooking charts and invaluable source and guide.
- 1½ lb lean ground beef
- 1 tbs instant (dehydrated) minced onion -OR- ½ cup fresh minced onion
- 2 tbs water
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1½ cups stuffing mix (i.e. Stove Top, Pepperidge Farm) crushed
- ¼ cup milk or cream
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- Sliced cheese (optional)
- Plsce the stuffing mix, instant onion/onion in a large bowl. Add the water and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients (but not the cheese if you are using) to the bowl and mix well.
- Place a parchment sheet in the basket of the air fryer. To aid removal, also put some strips of heavy aluminum foil to the bottom of the basket (see photo in post).
- Shape the meat mixture into a loaf shape (like a football) and place it on top of the parchment and aluminum foil strips.
- Set air fryer to 325 degrees F and cook for 30 minutes. Test for doneness with a meat thermometer. For all beef, it should read at least 160 degrees F.
- Place cheese on top, if using. The residual heat will slightly melt it.
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