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Best Way To Reheat Meatloaf: How To Keep Meatloaf Soft?

The best way to reheat meatloaf is using the oven; you bake the dish for five minutes. The leftover meatloaf can stay up for two hours in room condition.

Best Way To Reheat Meatloaf: How To Keep Meatloaf Soft

How Many Ways To Reheat Meatloaf?

Meatloaf is a delicious dish for a household dinner. The crispy cover, in combination with the softness of the well-seasoned meat, makes it tastier than any other dish. Assuming that you have made an abundant amount of meatloaf one day but do not know how to deal with it. It is much better to store it in the freezer and reheat it for the next meal.

Nevertheless, reheating a haslet can be a big obstacle for inexperienced cooks. If not heated properly, the bacteria in the food can not be eliminated. Consequently, the eaters may get into trouble with their digestion right away.

When it comes to the best way to reheat meatloaf, there are five easy methods that even a newbie can do: steaming, using a skillet, microwaving, using an oven, and air frying.

Best Way To Reheat Meatloaf – 5 Options

How To Reheat Meatloaf By Steaming ?

Heating up by the steamer is one of the most effective ways to revise the flavor of meatloaf. If you are a traditional cook, this method can work well in your implementation. 

Things you will need:

  • A steamer: Either an inox steamer or bamboo steamer is okay.
  • Oil or a sheet of parchment paper.
  • Leftover meatloaf


Step 1: Add 2 inches (5 cm) of water onto the simmer (the below part of the steamer) and boil for 2 minutes.

Step 2: Place the loaf nicely on the stovetop. Please place some oil on the bottom of the steamer basket to prevent the meat from sticking to the pot. Or else, you can place wax paper underneath the dish.

Step 3: Put the pot above the boiling water and cover it tightly. Wait for 3-4 minutes, and then the dish is ready for the meal.

My verdict: 

The meatloaf heated on the steamer is original in flavor and stays warm for a long period. However, this implementation is not suitable for busy people as it takes a long time to complete.

Moreover, please note that you must not place the stovetop above the water once the water is not boiled. This is because the meat will be soggy and lose its genuine shape.

Reheat Meatloaf By Steaming

How To Reheat Meatloaf Slices Using A Skillet?

Reheat meatloaf by skillet is the easiest method for any home cook; here is the instruction:

Things you will need:

  • A non-stick pan
  • Some butter or oil
  • Meatloaf in slices


Step 1: Spread some butter or oil onto the skillet’s surface and put it on fire. This preparation can prevent the loaf from sticking to the bottom of the skillet.

Step 2: Place the slices on the pan and put a lid above the meat; wait for 3-4 minutes and flip them in time.

Step 3: When the slices are hot, turn off the heat right away and pick them up from the skillet. Leave the dish to cool down, and then you can taste it with your family.

My verdict: 

In my opinion, this trick is really quick as it can bring back 70% of the meal’s original quality and keep it warm for an hour. However, the meatloaf can go well only if you pick them out of the pan at the right time. 

If you want to moisture the dish nicely, add some beef broth onto the skillet. In case crispy slices are your preference, restrict flipping the slices regularly. The more you flip, the softer the meat will become.

Reheat Meatloaf Slices Using A Skillet

How To Reheat Meatloaf In The Microwave

Microwaving is the best bet to retain the softness of the loaf. The steps are very simple:

Things you will need:

  • The leftover meatloaf
  • A microwave
  • A damp towel


Step 1: Cut the loaf into 1-inch slices so that it can be heated thoroughly.

Step 2: Place those slices onto a microwave dish and cover it with a damp towel to avoid the meat from drying out.

Step 3: Set the timer for 2 minutes; you should flip the slices once every minute to ensure that every face is heated.

Step 4: When your slices are not hot enough, replay the process for 2 more minutes.

My verdict: 

This gadget can refresh the meat flavor very well because the texture is soft and the smell is good. Nevertheless, placing the whole pack in the microwave is avoided as the meat will be hot outside but cold inside. 

Additionally, if the loaf is frozen for a long period, you should firstly defrost them before reheating.

Reheat Meatloaf In The Microwave

How To Reheat Meatloaf In Oven:

The warming process in the oven is longer than in other appliances, but it is always better to reheat the loaf in the place that you used to bake it. This makes sure the flavor reaches closest to the original touches.

Things you will need:

  • Old meatloaf
  • An oven
  • A heat-resistance plate
  • Aluminum foil
  • Few spoons of water (or butter if preferred)


Step 1: Set the oven to  225°F or 250°F in 3 minutes to preheat it. This will ensure that the machine can operate smoothly.

Step 2: Spread a few spoons of water on the surface of the loaf to maintain its softness. If you want to add more flavor, replace water with butter.

Step 3: Place the loaf on a heat-resistance plate and seal it with an aluminum foil.

Step 4: Put the dish onto the oven and set the timer for 25 minutes. Take a look at the dish regularly in the whole process.

My verdict: 

This oven method is far beyond my expectation; the bread is really delicious. Remove the aluminum lid in the last 2 minutes for a crispy texture or replace the plate with a wire rack.

Regarding the frozen meat in the fridge, level up the time setting for 5 more minutes. The ideal internal temp should be 165°F. If you want to bring out the best taste of the food, the best oven for baking will be the first choice.

Reheat Meatloaf In Oven

How To Reheat Meatloaf In An Air Fryer:

Utilizing an air fryer is the newest way to rewarm the haslet. It can either save your time or keep the dish in good condition.

Things you will need:

  • Residue meatloaf
  • An air fryer
  • Spoons of water


Step 1: Split the loaf into small equal proportions in order to ensure that the food is thoroughly exposed to the heat.

Step 2: Add a few spoons of water to both faces of the meat and cover them with foil to avoid dehydration.

Step 3: Put the dish nicely onto the air fryer, set the temperature at 350°F, and reheat for 5 minutes.

Step 4: Along the heating process, you must check up on the texture every two minutes. If the slices are too dehydrated, add some more water.

My verdict: 

From my perspective, an air fryer is the most optimal choice. It does not require any effort and complicated tools to be implemented. Moreover, the quality is well maintained; the meat is soft and warm for more than two hours.

There is one notion that this up-to-date appliance can not defrost the frozen food. Therefore, it should be thawed out in 15 minutes in the microwave prior to the main process.

Reheat Meatloaf In An Air Fryer

Can An Air Fryer Replace Vs A Microwave?

In some cases, an air fryer can be a practical alternative to the microwave. However, there are differences between the two kitchen appliances.

Cooking Times

The air fryer takes longer to heat the food, while the microwave is twice as fast as the other. For instance, reheating a 200 gr haslet takes 2 to 5 minutes for the microwave to finish the process, but the operation can extend up to 10 to 15 minutes with the other.


In terms of comfort, the air fryer defeats its counterpart. This gadget only has two buttons: the temperature setting and the time setting buttons, so the implementation is super simple. In contrast, the microwave comes with many functions, making it quite confusing when activating the machine.


When it comes to flexibility, the microwave outweighs the other. While the microwave can cook any kind of food from liquid to consolidation, the air fryer only works well with dry food. Additionally, the microwave has more functions, such as cooking, reheating, and defrosting. But the other can not do anything except for frying and reheating.

defrosting meatloaf

Easy To Clean

In comparison with the microwave, an air fryer is easier to clean due to the small dimensions of the machine. Unlike the big fixed appearance of the microwave, the air fryer’s basket can be uninstalled easily. You can do a thorough clean-up for the part with water and soap, but you can only dry-clean the big microwave.

Food Safety

According to the FDA, microwave heating processes can produce a chemical substance called acrylamide, which can cause cancer in humans. Conversely, the other can reduce the amount of acrylamide in food. Therefore, it is more advisable to utilize the air fryer in cooking.


It is apparent that the microwave won this competition as it is much larger than its rival. No matter how much food you cook, it can still heat up in the same amount of time.

meatloaf beef


How Do You Reheat Meatloaf Without Drying It Out?

It is unpleasant to have such a parched haslet in the meal. These are the tricks that can save your dish from being dehydrated. 

The most effective method is to add some beef broth onto the loaf before reheating. During the cooking process, the heat generated from the oven will evaporate the moisture in the meat. By adding some water, the food will have extra moisture to avoid evaporation. Furthermore, the beef broth also helps leverage the original flavor of the dish. Please take notice to pour an appropriate amount of water, or else your dish will become soggy and tasteless.

Another possible way to dampen the meat is to utilize aluminum foil in your kitchen. Prior to putting the loaf into the stove, you should cover the plate with a layer of aluminum foil. Since you already know that aluminum is supportive in precluding evaporation, it can be used in moisture preservation. Thus, the aluminum substance can also help evenly distribute heat flow throughout the food, keeping it warm for a long period.

If your kitchen is out of aluminum foil, a damp towel will be a good choice.

reaeat meatloaf with aluminum foil

How Long Does Cooked Meatloaf Last At Room Temperature?

Under normal weather conditions, the bacteria will grow well within the range of 40°F and 140°F. Once you leave the cooked meatloaf outside, it can stay up to two hours. This threshold will vary slightly depending on the temperature of the external environment. 

For example, the haslet affected by the harsh sunlight in the summer can only be preserved for one and a half hours. In contrast, the cold wind in the winter can prolong the shelf life to three hours.

When the dish is spoiled, it will give off a bad odor and sour taste. Even worse, some white mold can appear on the surface of the meat. 

How Many Times Can You Reheat Meatloaf?

There are no hard-and-fast rules on the limited number of reheating times. However, it is advisable that we not reheat the food more than three times. 

Regarding the fact that the nutrients on the food will be degraded every time heated, consuming third-time warmed haslet is very detrimental to your health. Hence, after too many rewarming cycles, the meat will become dehydrated, and its flavor will fade dramatically. 

Therefore, once you can not eat the meatloaf all in one go, you should freeze them in a storage bag or place them in the fridge. Remember to only reheat an appropriate portion of the loaf at one time to make sure that the dish is not leftover one more time.


In a nutshell, the best way to reheat meatloaf boils down to your preference and time available. All in all, there are 5 methods: steaming, microwaving, oven baking, air frying, and using a skillet. The fastest way is to use the microwave, and the most effective way is to refer to the oven. 

Before any reheating process, there is a rule of thumb that the meatloaf is defrosted completely. Otherwise, the dish can not be warmed thoroughly, and it may cause digestion problems once you eat it.

We hope these cooking hacks can be beneficial to you. If you have other tips, please leave a comment below.

>>> Read more here: 4 Best Way To Reheat A Burrito In Minutes


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Anya Kaats

Hi! I’m Anya, a San Diego-based Holistic Health Coach and Marketing Consultant on a mission to share good food, health & happiness with as many people as possible. I am a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and have worked in the natural & organic products industry for my entire professional career with companies such as Suja Juice, Brad’s Raw Foods, and Mamma Chia. While my life may be totally consumed with healthy food now, nutrition wasn’t always a passion of mine.