Here is how to reheat meatloaf in the oven, air fryer, or microwave without drying it out (even if reheating from frozen!). Steal my secrets!

How to reheat meatloaf in the oven.

I’m crazy about meatloaf; yup. It’s my thing.

If you haven’t yet, try my go-to meatloaf recipe – and the yummiest meatloaf sauce. This meatloaf recipe with brown gravy is also super easy, and the gravy is next-level. It’s a failproof recipe, so if you’re new to meatloaf, that’s a good one to start with!

I also have a delicious Lipton meatloaf recipe for you to try.

Now here’s my inside scoop (as a food science expert!) on how to keep your meatloaf moist and juicy on day 2 and beyond.

How Long To Reheat Meatloaf In Oven

A key indication that your meatloaf is reheated thoroughly is it’s internal temperature. It needs to be heated to 165°F (74°C) in the center. This is according to USDA food safety guidelines and instructions for ground meat.

The total time it takes to reheat your meatloaf leftovers depends on various factors, like how thick it is and the initial temperature it was at.

As a general guideline:

  • Preheat your oven: Set your oven to medium heat at around 350°F (175°C).
  • Wrap it properly: Cover your meatloaf with aluminum foil or parchment paper to prevent it from drying out while it reheats.  I like to reheat the loaf in a baking dish or on a tray prepared with cooking spray.
  • Check internal temperature: Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F (74°C) to guarantee it’s safely reheated.
  • Estimated time: Generally, reheating meatloaf in the oven can take 20-25 minutes, up to 30 minutes. This depends on its size and thickness. Thinner meatloaf slices will heat more quickly than thicker ones.
  • Baste if necessary: If your meatloaf is drying out during the reheating process, you can add moisture by basting the top of the meatloaf with ingredients like broth, butter, or sauce. Don’t forget to baste the sides of your meatloaf, too!
  • Let it rest: Once your meatloaf reaches the desired temperature, let it rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute.

By following these steps, you can enjoy a reheated meatloaf that tastes as good as freshly made.

Ingredients for Frozen Salmon in Air Fryer

How To Reheat Meatloaf In Air Fryer

Reheating meatloaf in an air fryer is convenient and efficient. It’s a way to revive the flavors while maintaining the texture.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Preheat the air fryer: Preheat your air fryer to around 350°F (175°C) for a few minutes.
  • Prepare the meatloaf: Take it out of the refrigerator and place it on a microwave-safe plate or dish. If the meatloaf is in slices, you can lay them out individually for even heating.
  • Cover with foil: If you’re concerned about the meatloaf drying out, you can cover it loosely with aluminum foil. This helps to retain moisture during the reheating process.
  • Reheat in batches: Depending on the size of your air fryer and the amount of meatloaf you’re reheating, you may need to reheat it in batches.
  • Reheat time: Air fryers are quite efficient, so reheating typically takes 5 to 10 minutes. However, watch the meatloaf and check its internal temperature periodically.
  • Check internal temperature: Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the meatloaf reaches at least 165°F (74°C) to ensure it’s safely reheated. I like to insert and check at various points to avoid missing cold spots.
  • Serve hot: Once the meatloaf is heated through, carefully remove it from the air fryer and serve it hot.

Reheating meatloaf in an air fryer is quick and easy, and it can help bring back that freshly cooked taste without drying out the meatloaf. Enjoy your meal!

Meatloaf reheated in microwave on a plate.

How To Reheat Meatloaf In A Microwave

Ok, so as you can imagine, reheating meatloaf in a microwave is a convenient and speedy option.

Take caution, as you might sacrifice some texture compared to other methods.

Here’s how to do it effectively:

  • Slice: If your meatloaf is in one piece, consider slicing it into individual portions or arranging it in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate. This helps with reheating it more evenly.
  • Cover with a damp paper towel: To prevent the meatloaf from drying out, cover the slices of meatloaf with a damp paper towel. A  microwave-safe lid is great, too. This helps retain moisture during the process.
  • Reheat on medium power: Set your microwave to medium power (50-70%, depending on your microwave’s settings) to prevent the meatloaf from overheating and becoming rubbery.
  • Reheat in intervals: Microwave the meatloaf in short intervals. Start with 1-2 minutes, depending on the thickness of the slices and the power of your microwave.
  • Check and rotate: After each interval, check the meatloaf’s temperature and rotate or flip the slices for even heating.
  • Use a food thermometer: To ensure safe reheating, ensure that the meatloaf’s internal temperature reaches at least 165°F (74°C).
  • Let it rest: Allow the meatloaf to rest for a minute or two after reheating to allow the heat to distribute evenly.

While reheating meatloaf in the microwave is quick and easy, it’s essential to be mindful of the texture and moisture levels to achieve the best results.

Glazed meatloaf resting on baking sheet.

How To Reheat Meatloaf from Frozen

Reheating leftover meatloaf from frozen requires more time and attention to ensure it’s heated through evenly without drying out. If possible, thaw the meatloaf in the refrigerator overnight.

If you need to reheat it from frozen, here’s how you can do it effectively:

  • Preheat Your oven: Preheat your oven to around 350°F (175°C) while you prepare the frozen meatloaf
  • Slice into portions: If your meatloaf is in one large piece, consider slicing it into individual portions. This allows for more even reheating and helps reduce the overall cooking time.
  • Wrap in foil: Wrap each portion of the frozen leftover meatloaf tightly in aluminum foil. Wrapping it helps retain moisture and prevents it from drying out during reheating.
  • Place on a baking sheet: Arrange the foil-wrapped portions of the frozen leftover meatloaf on a baking sheet to catch any drips or spills and to ensure even heating.
  • Reheat in the oven: Place the baking sheet with the foil-wrapped meatloaf portions in the oven. The reheating time will vary depending on the thickness of the slices or portions.
  • Check internal temperature: After 30 to 45 minutes, check the internal temperature of the meatloaf portions using a meat thermometer. Ensure it reaches at least 165°F (74°C) to be safely reheated.
  • Remove foil: If you prefer a crispy exterior, unwrap the meatloaf portions during the last 10-15 minutes of reheating to allow them to brown slightly.
  • Let it rest: Once the meatloaf portions reach the desired temperature, remove them from the oven and rest them for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to be redistributed.

Checking meatloaf temperature with an instant thermometer.

Tips On How To Reheat Meatloaf Without Drying It Out

Here are my 5 top tips to reheat meatloaf like a pro!

  1. Use moisture-trapping methods: This is relevant, no matter the reheating method. Wrapping the meatloaf in aluminum foil or covering it with a damp paper towel can help prevent moisture loss during reheating.
  2. Add moisture:  Drizzle a tablespoon of beef broth, gravy, tomato sauce, or ketchup over the meatloaf before reheating.
  3. Reheat at lower temperatures: Avoid high temperatures when reheating meatloaf, as they can cause it to dry out quickly.
  4. Reheat in intervals: Instead of reheating the cooked meatloaf all at once, try reheating it in shorter intervals. This allows even heating and prevents the outer layers from becoming too dry while the center heats up.
  5. Add a pan of water: Placing a pan of water in the oven while reheating meatloaf can help create steam, which keeps the air moist and prevents the meatloaf from drying out.

Even if you apply one or two of these tips – they will make a big difference to the outcome.

Meatloaf with Brown Gravy being poured over it.


Just skimming through?

Here’s a roundup of the key points around the best way to reheat leftovers for a delicious meatloaf, second-time around.

How long does it take to reheat meatloaf in the oven?

Reheating meatloaf in the oven typically takes around 20 to 30 minutes at 350°F (175°C).

How do you moisten dry meatloaf?

To moisten dry meatloaf, drizzle a small amount of broth, tomato sauce, or gravy over the slices before reheating.

How do I reheat meatloaf without drying it out?

Reheat the meatloaf without drying it out by covering it with aluminum foil or a lid to trap moisture, and consider adding a pan of water in the oven for steam.

Can you reheat meatloaf in a crockpot?

Yes, you can reheat meatloaf in a crockpot by adding a bit of liquid to prevent drying and cooking it on low for a few hours. Never do this with frozen meatloaf, however, as it will be in the danger zone for too long. 

(Read more about the danger zone on the USDA website here.)

What is the best temperature to reheat meatloaf in the oven?

The best temperature to reheat meatloaf in the oven is around 350°F (175°C) to ensure it heats through evenly without drying out.

Next Reading: 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *