How long can meatloaf stay in the fridge?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How long can meatloaf stay in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of meatloaf. 

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How long can meatloaf stay in the fridge?

Uncooked meatloaf lasts in the fridge for 1-2 days while cooked meatloaf lasts for about 3-4 days if kept at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It should be kept in plastic zipper bags on one of the refrigerator’s shelves.

It’s worth noting that the values given above are for meatloaf’s expected shelf life.

What is the best temperature to keep meatloaf at?

Meatloaf should be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower at all times. Bacterial development is more rapid between the temperatures of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore it’s best to keep your meatloaf at a lower temperature to keep it fresh for longer.

Is it advisable to put the hot meatloaf in the fridge?

If the meatloaf is still steaming, chill it in a bowl of cold water or on the counter (for a little time) until the steam decreases. You may also lay ice packs under the dish to allow the heat to escape even faster.

Putting hot meatloaf in the fridge has certain disadvantages associated with it.

It warms the food next to it

Putting hot food in the fridge creates a quick rise in internal temperature, increasing the danger of contamination from other foods and shortening the period it may be stored.

It’s best to leave adequate room around the hot food for air to flow and improve the cooling process, and to lay the food on top if it’s a bit warm because the temperature is more constant in this area.

Food cools unevenly

The surface and volume of the object cool at different rates: the smaller the piece, the quicker it cools. As a result, it’s best to divide it and keep it in shallow containers to expedite the process.

Can cause condensation

It can produce condensation inside the fridge due to steam from hot food, which forms water droplets. Excess moisture contributes to the growth of mold and mildew, and even the rotting of food, over time.

The chilly, humid, and gloomy environment quickly becomes a perfect environment for bacteria and fungi of all kinds. It is best to cover the container with a cover to avoid this. This is especially important in the case of watery dishes like soups.

How long does meatloaf last at room temperature?

When kept at room temperature, meatloaf lasts for around 2 hours.

Because bacterial growth occurs at a quicker rate between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, meatloaf left out for more than 2 hours should be discarded.

Furthermore, if the surrounding temperature is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the rotting process is accelerated, and meatloaf left out in the open for more than an hour at such temperature should be discarded.

How long does meatloaf last in the freezer?

Cooked meatloaf lasts for 3-4 months in the freezer if stored in an airtight plastic freezer bag, although it is best consumed within 1-2 months for the best quality and taste. 

As a result, freezing the meatloaf extends its shelf life significantly due to the freezer’s low temperature, which inhibits bacterial growth on the meatloaf.

How to defrost frozen meatloaf?

You can quickly defrost frozen meatloaf by placing it in the refrigerator overnight, and thawed meatloaf can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days before cooking and consuming it.

If you’re defrosting frozen meatloaf in a bowl of cold water, the microwave, or on the counter, you should utilize it right away after cooking it till its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to vacuum seal meatloaf? 

You may even vacuum seal your meatloaf at home to extend its shelf life. It involves placing the meatloaf in a plastic zipper bag, eliminating the air, then nearly sealing the bag with a small amount of space remaining while lowering it into water.

After that, start pressing out the bubbles starting from the bag’s bottom and work your way up to the sealed end, closing the bag’s seal. 

A vacuum sealer pump can also be used to easily vacuum seal meatloaf at home.

Is it possible to refrigerate the reheated meatloaf?

Once the previously cooked refrigerated/frozen meatloaf has been reheated, it should never be refrigerated again. Because the temperature of the meatloaf goes above 40 degrees Fahrenheit when reheated and we know that bacteria develops rapidly between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. 

As a result, bacteria will make their way into your meatloaf, and reheated meatloaf should never be refrigerated, rather it is better to consume it completely or otherwise discard the reheated leftovers properly.

How to properly store meatloaf?

  1. Because microscopic organisms grow quickly at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F, it is best to refrigerate the meatloaf within 2 hours it is cooked in airtight containers to extend its shelf life while keeping its quality.
  1. If you wish to extend the shelf life of prepared meatloaf, keep it in an airtight container in the freezer. Cooked meatloaf that has been frozen at 0°C is safe to use for extremely long periods.
  1. Meatloaf should be stored in shallow compact containers to allow it to cool quickly.

You can read how to make meatloaf here.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “How long can meatloaf stay in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of meatloaf. 


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